Chickiba Lake locals kick up stink

RESIDENTS around Chickiba Lake at East Ballina have had enough of a bad smell - and have been on the issue like a bad smell to get it fixed.

The body corporate of the Lakeside Units at the southern end of the lake has sent a letter to Ballina Shire Council complaining about the foul smell coming from the Chickiba Lake sewage pumping station at the north-eastern end of the waterway.

A member of the body corporate, Dennis O'Sullivan, said the residents in the 16 units have been putting up with the smell of raw sewage wafting across from the pumping station for five weeks while work has been carried out on the pipes.

He said several residents had complained to the council about the smell, which he said got so bad it forced people to go inside and shut their windows and doors.

He said the odour was most prominent in the afternoon and evening, but depended on the direction of the wind.

He said when it was bad, it was very, very bad.

And it's now time, he said, for the council to fix the problem.

“We would like it repaired so we can enjoy the pure clean air we are used to,” he said.

While he said the council had been very good in listening to the residents, and a staff member had come out to assess the situation for themselves, the odour hadn't let up.

“Ballina Shire Council has an excellent record against those who pollute our environment, so why is it that despite the continual complaints, the smell is forcing residents in the area to close doors and windows?” he said.

“A great way to live.”

He agreed being confined inside would only be made worse when the warmer weather arrived.

The council's group manager of civil services, John Truman, said the work at the pumping station to reline the inside of the main sewerage pipes was being done by a contractor.

He said the contractor had experienced difficulties with the 'integrity of the liner', which had caused the problem.

“The council is continuing negotiations with the contractor with regards to rectification of the issue,” he said.

“Council recognises there is some impact to local residents and apologises for that and wishes to assure the residents that council is seeking to resolve the issue with the contractor as soon as possible.”

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