MidCoast Council has refuted claims that the strong odours being experienced by residents at Green Point are the result of sewage in the adjoining wetland.
“A thorough check of the area has been undertaken and we are confident the sewerage system is not the source of the smell residents are experiencing,” water services director, Brendan Guiney, said.
Investigations were carried out after an anonymous report was made to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) that sewage was discharging in the area.
“We believe the smell is rotting vegetation, which is not unusual given the current low water levels in the wetlands, combined with low tides and hot weather,” Mr Guiney said.
Local resident, Bill Shannon, who has lived at Green Point for 20 years, is convinced it is sewage.
He believes it was deliberately dumped in the wetland during the power outage before Christmas and has also been dumped there during previous power outages in 2016 and 1997.
“There’s no other way of getting it down there,” he said.
Asked what evidence he has to support his claims, Mr Shannon said that as a former treatment plant contractor he knew what the substance looked like.
He had no doubt that what was present in the wetland behind his house was sewage.
While Mr Shannon doesn’t know who may have dumped the sewage, he believes it’s an issue council needs to address.
“I want it cleaned up,” he said.
“They (council) need to foot the bill for whoever dumped it.”
In response to Mr Shannon’s statements, Mr Guiney reiterated there was no evidence of sewage discharge into the wetland at Green Point and also outlined the council’s procedures when faced with substantial power outages.
Nothing else looks or smells like that.Bill Shannon
“From time to time, there can be extended power blackouts where we cannot operate our pumps,” he said.
“In these events, council deploys diesel pumps, portable generators and tanker trucks to transport waste to the nearest sewage treatment plant safely.”
A spokesperson from the EPA supported Mr Guiney’s claims.
“There is no evidence to suggest the cause of the odour is sewage,” he said.
“The EPA and the council are working together effectively on the investigation.”
Complaints have also been raised by residents of Charlotte Bay regarding strong odours emanating from Wallis Lake, but council advised they have investigated their manholes and pumps in that location and again believe that the smells are being caused by rotting vegetation.
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