General view of housing in the suburb of Banora Point.
General view of housing in the suburb of Banora Point. Scott Davis

EXPLAINED: Pong in Tweed suburb ‘not sewage’

THE source of the pong overwhelming a Tweed suburb is not from toilets according to the council.

While the past week's floods are over, the 'sewage-like' smell in low-lying areas of Banora Point has made sure they are not far from resident's minds.

Tweed Shire Council investigated and found the funky odour is naturally occurring after the sudden-rise in the groundwater table following an extended dry spell.

While the council's environmental health unit says there is no risk to human health or the environment as a result of this natural phenomena, the smell may be around for days yet.

Waterways senior program leader Tom Alletson said the most likely cause was the saturated ground and the ponding of surface water in the low-lying areas.

"A whole lot of organic material has washed into the canals and surface ponds with the heavy rains," he said.

"That material is now decomposing and this process removes the oxygen from the water and gives off a very bad odour similar to sewage.

"The hot days over the weekend would have increased the rate of decomposition as well as the smell."

The council confirmed there was an overflow from the holding lagoons at Banora Point Wastewater Treatment Plant into the nearby wetland last week during the heavy rain.

This overflow was largely stormwater combined with some wastewater.

The lagoon holdings are now being pumped back through the wastewater treatment plant to be retreated for release again.

Residents are reminded not to access the affected wetland area.

Ponding of floodwaters in low-lying areas has also led to a fish kill in Cudgera Creek.



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