Christchurch City Council is considering to offer financial support for residents living close to the waste-water treatment plant and complaining about the unbearable stench.

The stink is coming from Bromley’s fire-damaged sewerage plant and has intensified over the last few months, causing breathing issues to the residents.

Residents of the nearby suburbs Linwood, South New Brighton and Aranui are also reporting the pungent reek that clings to clothes. Residents are forced to keep the windows shut and some are not even putting their laundry on the line for drying outside, as the smell clings to the clothes.

 Experts are also expressing concerns about mental health and long-term health effects.

Christchurch City Mayor Lianne Dalziel, along with councillors received a briefing from council staff on discussions they have had with partner agencies about possible support that can be offered to the affected residents.

 “Residents living near the plant are bearing the brunt of the stench. They have told us their power bills have gone up because they are using dehumidifiers and fans all the time because they cannot leave their windows open,’’ says Mayor Dalziel.

“Given the exceptional circumstances and the extra costs they are shouldering, it is appropriate that they should receive some financial assistance from the council. There are days the stench from the plant is utterly overpowering. If you can smell it in Ilam, you can imagine what it is like in Bromley.

“Councillors have indicated that they want to make support available to households in the immediate vicinity of the plant,” Mayor said.

Work has already been started to remove the rotting material inside the trickling filters which is partially responsible for the stink. It might take three weeks of set up before the actual removal can be started. It might take four months to complete the entire job. 

“We want to make that support available as quickly as possible. We also want it to be easy for residents to access the support they need. This is why we are working in partnership with existing community and government agencies,’’ the Mayor says.

“The Finance and Performance Committee will receive an update on the situation at the waste-water treatment plant on Thursday 26 May. That update will seek the Council’s ratification on the funding for the community support package discussed today.”

Mohammad Iqbal, who lives in Linwood told Indian Weekender, “Depending on the wind direction, there are times when we don’t feel like cooking in the kitchen as the stench seeps through even the closed windows. It is disgusting and sickening.”

Iqbal welcomed financial assistance but expressed concern that it will probably be offered to the residents in the immediate vicinity of the waste-water plant only, which is not fair to residents of nearby suburbs who had to deal with the stink and its effects.