Pilot aims to address odour issue in Washdyke
We are undertaking a pilot project throughout February to gather better odour information and data in the Washdyke and northern Timaru area. The aim is to reduce odour reaching beyond business boundaries and the impact this can have on residents.
We will be providing updates on this page throughout the pilot.
- working with businesses in the area to get more information on their operations and timing of certain activities
- gathering weather data and monitoring wind patterns; and
- employing an independent odour assessor to spend time in the area to provide an impartial, outside perspective.
Southern Zone Delivery Lead Brian Reeves said that odour is a serious concern for many residents in the Washdyke and northern Timaru area.
"This pilot – and particularly the different data streams – will enable us to bring together odour reports, the physical impact on residents and the likely location at the same time. We hope this will give us a compelling picture of the situation, in a way we’ve not been able to before."
Reeves emphasises the importance of the collaborative element of the project.
“We are excited to work with both the community and local businesses on this pilot, all of whom have a collective desire to improve the situation for everyone involved, and particularly affected residents. The businesses we have spoken to are on board and cooperating fully.”
After February, the results of the pilot will be analysed and reviewed, with the findings reported back to the community.
- Smelt-it reports,
- businesses on their operations,
- weather data and wind patterns, and
- the independent odour assessor.
We want to thank members of the Washdyke/Timaru communities and the local businesses that have taken part in the pilot.
We look forward to reporting back on our findings at the end of March.
Timaru residents are helping find the source of unpleasant odours by using the Environment Canterbury smelt-it.web.app this February.
A pilot project, targeting Washdyke and the northern Timaru area, aims to gather better odour information and data using the free website app.
For the past week, Timaruvians have been able to use Smelt-it to easily and anonymously record noticeable odours, which are then investigated by a team in the target zone using mapping technology and odour assessment methods. In addition, businesses in the area are proactively taking part in the pilot, working closely with Environment Canterbury to help identify potential odours as they are reported.
Feedback on Smelt-it and other analysis will be analysed and shared with the public and local businesses once the pilot ends. However, our team working on the ground in the Washdyke and northern Timaru area is already developing a better understanding of the range and nature of odours in the area.
Southern zone delivery lead Brian Reeves said having more ‘real-time’ reports coming through from the public is helping build the big picture of which businesses are emitting different odours at different times.
"Overall, the aim is to reduce odour reaching beyond business boundaries to reduce the impact these odours have on our community. With Smelt-it, we’re able to collect more data and respond in a timely manner, where possible. The more people that use Smelt-it when they smell an odour in northern Timaru, the more successfully we’ll be able to accurately pinpoint and assess a source."
The team have also had good feedback about how Smelt-it focuses on the impact on a person’s daily life rather than a numbered scale.
“We’re looking for meaningful information – like is the smell bad enough to stop you from enjoying being in your backyard? It’s a much more practical approach to monitoring odour impact,” said Reeves.
Two public drop-in sessions have also been held, where residents asked questions about the pilot and gave feedback on Smelt-it and their experiences with odour issues in Timaru.
“We had a good turn-out and the level of engagement was high. We’re confident those that came along will be telling all their friends and family to use Smelt-it if they experience a bad odour in the area.”
Learn more about the pilot and using Smelt-it with our frequently asked questions below.
We need to know where you were when you notice the odour and at what time.
We will then use wind direction and dispersion models to narrow down potential sources using a scientific approach.
Please see the FAQs on the Smelt-it tool for information.
Alternatively, you can call 0800 324 636 and talk to one of the team for help.