Abatement notice related to milk byproduct dumping

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 06:50 02/04/2014
The Eltham wastewater treatment plant pond where Fonterra has dumped buttermilk byproduct that is creating a stink with nearby residents.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax Media

BIG STINK: The Eltham wastewater treatment plant pond where Fonterra has dumped buttermilk byproduct that is creating a stink with nearby residents.

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The stink over Eltham's smelly water treatment is spreading.

Taranaki Regional Council has issued an abatement notice after the spray from aerators at the town's treatment plant drifted as far as State Highway 3, 500m away.

The aerators were installed by South Taranaki District Council to try to disguise the pong from its putrid buttermilk pit.

TRC resource management director Fred McLay confirmed the STDC had been issued with an abatement notice last week.

STDC engineering services manager Brent Manning said council officers had discussed a solution with TRC which involved the aerators being turned down or off in very high winds.

Meanwhile, an engineer is urging the STDC to continue to work with the community to fix the problem at the wastewater facility.

The town's troubles began last year after Fonterra dumped about three million litres of milk byproduct, along with another 150,000 litres of tainted milk, at the plant.

A report by Louise Wickham, who has more than 20 years' experience working in air pollution, recommends that STDC continues to monitor the gas emissions and air quality.

Nearby residents told Wickham about ongoing health issues, including fatigue, nausea, headaches and muscle pain.

Taranaki medical officer of Health Dr Jonathan Jarman has welcomed Wickman's report. He said the district health board remained committed to working with the council, the TRC and the community to find a solution.

Manning said he needed time to fully consider the report.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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