Water Corp pings the pong

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
The Sewage pump station at the corner of Safety Bay Road and Warnbro Sound Avenue.
Camera IconThe Sewage pump station at the corner of Safety Bay Road and Warnbro Sound Avenue.

The Water Corporation is trying to find a long-term solution to eliminate an unpleasant odour coming from a wastewater pump station, which nearby residents say is causing an “unliveable” situation.

It is understood the odour is spreading from the pump station at the corner of Safety Bay Road and Warnbro Sound Avenue in Rockingham.

Warnbro homeowner Nat, who requested her last name be withheld, said the smell had been an issue for years.

Despite living about 1km away from the pump station, she said the slightest breeze would cause the smell to reach her home.

“Most nights myself and my boys would walk the block or ride and it was quite pungent,” she said.

Resident Maggie Lucas who has lived close to the site for more than a year and a half said the smell got so bad she was forced to turn her air conditioning off in the summer.

“It’s horrible, anywhere you go in the house you get the same smell, but with the aircon on it gets sucked in at twice the rate.

“Something has to be done, it’s just not liveable with. They just need to do something more radical rather than quick fixes.

“Recently they seem to have been doing some more work so it’s good to see they’re trying.”

Water Corporation Perth regional manager Gary Monaghan said crews had attended the site several times since complaints were received about three weeks ago, in an attempt to find out where the odour originated.

Following “thorough inspection” crews resealed all lids and inspected the bypass pump. They also replaced the carbon filter in the odour tanks - but still the smell remains.

“The initial work undertaken is standard protocol when an issue of this kind arises, as it allows the team to monitor the situation and ascertain whether further investigation is required,” he said.

“While these steps may be seen as "short-term fixes", they are a crucial step in achieving the desired outcome of a permanent solution.

“Water Corporation recognises that it can sometimes take a significant amount of time to deliver these outcomes, and appreciates the patience of customers and residents in allowing us to work through these solutions.”

Data is now being logged at the pump station and at other sites in the area to monitor odour levels, to help the Water Corporation decide whether the odour tanks themselves need to be replaced.

Mr Monaghan said crews were also logging data from another site “downstream”, which could also be contributing to the odour.

“Once we collate the data from this site, we can determine whether a larger filter is required or if a dual-filter system should be installed,” he said.

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