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Frankton's big stink: Appalled by a putrid sewage pong in their neighbourhood, residents of 'Old Frankton' this week petitioned council, demanding a fix

By PHILIP CHANDLER

Residents of Queenstown’s ‘Old Frankton’ subdivision, who’ve been complaining about
the horrific stench of raw sewage for about three years, are at last being listened to.

The smell, affecting house holders in Boyes Crescent, Wilmot Avenue and Bridge Street, appears to emanate from sewage pipeline inspection hatches.

Boyes Cres’ Steve Gurney says some days he’s been ‘‘gagging with the stench’’, and has had to shut his windows.

He believes the problem’s most noticeable during westerlies coming up the lake, and has worsened since the latest lockdown.

Complaints he’s laid with Queenstown’s council and Otago Regional Council have got nowhere, he claims.

Exasperated, Gurney on October 1 contacted neighbours to see if they were also unhappy.

As a result, this week he petitioned Queenstown’s council with the names of 16 aggrieved householders, some of whom had also lodged complaints.

The petition requires council ‘‘fix the smell problem,’’, give a deadline for fixing it, and independent certification it’s been fixed.

Exasperated: Boyes Cres resident Steve Gurney

Council infrastructure boss Peter Hansby admits ‘‘this has been an unpleasant experience for residents, and we thank them for their patience’’.

Council, he says, has been taking steps to provide an interim fix, and a permanent solution, ‘‘thanks in part to local residents bringing it to our attention’’.

‘‘The issue is related to waste water stagnating in the Hanley’s Farm pipeline and creating an odour as it flows to, and then from, the Frankton Beach wastewater pump station.

‘‘Things should be resolved when there is increased demand and flows helping to prevent
stagnation.’’

A key part, Hansby says, is an upgrade to the Hanley’s Farm wastewater pump station, due
to be completed in the first half of next year.

Meantime, council’s looking to install odour filters on Boyes Cres’ manholes, though it’s had
‘‘supply chain issues with our original preferred product’’.

Gurney, who’s seen this response, asks why it’s taken till now to learn ‘‘the truth of the
problem’’.

Meanwhile, he tells Mountain Scene he’s keen to know if other Queenstown areas are suffering similar sewage whiffs from what he calls ‘Old Frankton’s’ ‘‘antiquated sewerage reticulation system’’.

scoop@scene.co.nz