City of Greater Dandenong’s Officer for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) resolved a longstanding odour concern for Dandenong North residents.
From late 2017 to early 2018, City of Greater Dandenong received many reports about a foul odour.
“Dandenong North residents reported the smell of sewage. It was invading their homes and causing extreme discomfort, including nausea,” the OPLE said.
Residents said the odour came and went. The council encouraged them to complete odour diaries to help find a pattern.
The OPLE investigated the surrounding area with a council environmental health officer. They found the odour but could not locate its source.
“We looked at the pattern of reports and considered wind conditions. We also checked area maps by putting a drainage overlay on the council’s geographic information system (GIS). But we couldn’t pinpoint where the smell came from”.
The OPLE then used EPA’s GIS, which contains different information to the council’s system.
“It showed a main sewer line running directly under the reporters’ neighbourhood. More investigation found Melbourne Water had decommissioned the sewer line but hadn’t capped the vent shaft.
“During warmer months the sewer vented from time to time. It released the foul smell causing residents discomfort”.
The OPLE’s evidence convinced Melbourne Water that the open vent shaft was a major problem. Melbourne Water capped the vent shaft in April 2018. The City of Greater Dandenong has not received any further reports of similar odour in the area.
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Reviewed 1 October 2020