Something foul in Cumbalum estate
By DAWN COHEN
JEFF and Margaret Munro looked forward to fresh country smells when they moved from Wollongong to their dream home in Ballina Heights ? so the stench of raw sewage came as a nasty shock.
Since moving in to the new Cumbalum development four months ago, the Munro family has been assailed by smells from over- flowing sewage.
Ballina Shire Council civil services group manager John Truman declined to comment for this story, but a report to the council, leaked to The Northern Star, says 'We have received verbal reports that the pump station at Cumbalum has overflowed many times in the past'.
The report, titled Water and Sewerage Section Monthly Production Report, Reporting Period December 1, 2004, to January 31, 2005, says ratepayers had, so far, spent $79,831.68 pumping out the overflowing waste.
"Trucks come and pump it out, but it still smells terrible, especially when I come home at night after work," Mr Munro said.
The internal report said the Environmental Pollution Authority (EPA) should be notified within 24 hours of an overflow.
However, EPA public affairs officer Lawrence Orel said the organisation could not locate any records of notification from the council.
"It is possible the overflows do not fit the requirement to notify," Mr Orel said.
"It may be coming from a liquid treatment plant adjacent to the sewage plant rather than the sewage plant itself."