Phooey! Sewage stink upsets Maroochydore residents

A PUTRID smell has driven Maroochydore resident Louise Black to sell her home and move south.

The wafting sewage pong has driven her Maroochy Waters Dr neighbours to act, calling for a fix to the onerous odour.

Ms Black, who has lived with her daughter Louisa Wood on Maroochy Waters Dr for the past five years, described her reason for relocating to Pelican Waters.

"It is solely because of the smell, road noise and we've got bats," Ms Black said.

She moved in to the home five years ago, noticing the smell about a month later.

"We sort of liked the area, that's why we bought here, not realising what it was going to be like," she said.

"It's got more frequent in the past year."

"They need to do something about it," she said.

Neighbour John Caruana described the smell as being like a noisy neighbour.

"Finally you say 'I've got to do something about this'," Mr Caruana said.

He worked for the Maroochy Shire Council water and sewage treatment plant for 15 years before starting a sewage management and maintenance business.

The smell is overpowering, even for his hardened nose.

"It's worse than any of the treatment plants I work on, that's for sure," he said.

Would you move homes just because of a bad smell?

This poll ended on 30 May 2015.

Current Results

Yes, it can affect your whole lifestyle


No, shouldn't let it dictate your life


Smell ya later!


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

He and fellow neighbour Denise Lamby are organising a letterbox drop to gauge support for their push to fix the problem.

Mrs Lamby said the smell used to be infrequent.

"But since Christmas it can be three to four times a week," she said.

"Usually on a still night, slight breeze, with cloud cover."

She has contacted Unitywater as well as the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Fellow neighbours Colin and Maxine Curtis were glad something was being done.

They retired to the Coast from Melbourne 15 years ago.

"It's not as bad as it was 15 years ago, but it has started to come back," Mrs Curtis said.

She had not often spoken about it with neighbours to know the extent of the problem.

"I'm glad it's not only us," she said.

Unitywater executive manager for infrastructure planning and capital delivery Simon Taylor said resolution of the issue was a priority.

Temporary CCTV equipment was installed to monitor about 150m of sewerage main and no blockage was found.

Some Maroochy Waters residents are sick of the smell in their area. Maroochy Waters Dr couple Colin and Maxine Curtis are fed-up with the sewerage smell that wafts over their home. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Some Maroochy Waters residents are sick of the smell in their area. Maroochy Waters Dr couple Colin and Maxine Curtis are fed-up with the sewerage smell that wafts over their home. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

"Following this, crews installed odour loggers at some of the properties in Maroochy Waters Dr, at several manholes in the street and at the Maroochydore Sewage Treatment Plant last week to determine where the odour is originating from," Mr Taylor said.

"We are expecting to have initial results from these this week and will be able to determine the most appropriate measures going forward," he said.

He said he would wait until he had the results from the odour loggers to confirm the smell's origin.

An odour control unit has also been installed at a pumping station near the intersection of Maroochy Rd and Sunshine Mwy.

"It is currently being assessed to determine if it is operating as efficiently as it can," Mr Taylor said.

He said Maroochydore Sewage Treatment Plant was operating well within its design capacity and consistently achieved compliance with Department of Environment and Heritage Protection licence requirements.

"Unitywater is investing more than $500 million in sewerage and water infrastructure over the next five years to cater for population growth and to ensure our infrastructure meets strict standards for our unique and delicate environment on the Sunshine Coast," he said.

A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection spokeswoman said two complaints had been received relating to odour nuisance in the Maroochy Waters area.

"EHP is working with Unitywater to identify the source of the reported odour," she said.

"Residents concerned about nuisance sewage odour are encouraged to contact Unitywater on 1300 086 489 or EHP's pollution hotline on 1300 130 372.

Topics:  editors picks maroochydore sewage sewage treatment plant

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