Smell set to linger over northern Shepparton in coming days

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On the nose: A smell has built up over Goulburn Valley Water’s wastewater management facility and is expected to linger over the next few days. Photo by GV Water

Unique conditions at Goulburn Valley Water’s wastewater management facility have upset nostrils in northern Shepparton, and the smell is expected to linger over coming days.

High volumes flowing into the facility over winter combined with cold weather has slowed the micro-organisms involved in the waste treatment process.

Still days and nights allowed the odour to build up over the facility, with breezes then moving it into residential areas.

GVW general manager of service delivery Daniel Flanagan said the company had a dedicated incident management team in place to address the odour issue, with a number of improvement measures already in operation.

“We know this is impacting the amenity for many people in northern Shepparton and we are really sorry for that,” Mr Flanagan said.

“We have already put a number of mitigation measures in place — we now have water recirculation into the aerated lagoon, and we plan to pump additional water in over coming days, which can help improve odour.

“We’re also looking at other options available to us and we’re increasing our sampling and monitoring program to assess improvements.”

Based on forecast weather conditions, including northerly winds, the odour is likely to hang around in the coming days.

Odour management mechanisms will continue to be implemented and monitored, with current improvements expected to begin having an impact within the next 10 days.

“We understand the community’s frustration with the continuing odour and we’re working to improve it each day; although, as the lagoons contain large volumes of wastewater it can take a while for the new processes to have an impact,’’ Mr Flanagan said.

“An independent odour investigation highlighted three areas where GVW could improve odour, and we’re currently working on investigating these further.

“The improvements include better utilisation of the gas captured on site, covering and treating odour from the inlet and optimising the large aerated lagoons.

“They are significant projects, so we need to plan and design the options fully before we can progress to construction and implementation.”

GVW has committed to keeping residents updated regularly — these updates will be posted at