City, Water Corp probe odours in Munster

Councillor Bart Houwen outside the Munster pump station.
Councillor Bart Houwen outside the Munster pump station.

THE City of Cockburn and Water Corporation have begun investigating odour issues in Munster.

Cockburn councillor Bart Houwen prompted council to begin work on a report into the cause of bad smells he believed were emanating from the pump station on Mayor Road.

He said he had received calls from a number of locals unsure of what to do and hoped the document would offer residents the correct avenues to channel their queries.

“I know people in this area understand the odour problem and don’t tend to report it because they live with it,” he said.

“I was concerned people weren’t reporting the issue so I started to ask people and everybody I asked just kept saying ‘yes – the odour is coming from the pump station’.

A Water Corp spokeswoman said the wastewater pump station on Mayor Road was decommissioned in 2002.

But an overflow basin remains as a contingency measure in the event there are problems with another pump station on Cockburn Road.

She said a large wastewater main, known as the Bibra Lake Main Sewer, also passes through the Mayor Road site, transporting wastewater to the Woodman Point Treatment Plant.

Four odour control units installed at this site are changed annually to ensure they are operating properly.

The most recent change came at the start of September.

The spokeswoman said 20 calls from eight customers near the site had been made over the past year.

Nine of those were made in September last year, with the Water Corp changing the carbon in the odour control units to address the issue.

“In response to the other 11 calls, we have taken steps such as sealing access chamber covers on nearby streets and changing the carbon in the odour control units again (in early September),” she said.

She said the City of Cockburn had made contact following Cr Houwen’s request, and the issue would be investigated further.

Part of that will include speaking to residents.

Cockburn’s planning and development director Daniel Arndt said the city had not received any recent complaints.

“The city’s officers are currently investigating the matter and will consult with the Water Corporation,” he said.

“It is unlikely the city will receive sufficient information in time for the October meeting; however the city is aiming to present its report to the November council meeting.”