Irate residents say it stinks to live in Shepparton's Boulevard Estate where they have been plagued by a "foul odour" which may have been permeating the area for as many as 20 years despite persistent calls for Goulburn Valley Water to fix it.
Yvonne Tasker, who moved to the area four years ago to build a house, said she had been affected by the "offensive smell" since moving in.
“We couldn't use our evaporative airconditioning in the summer because the smell was too bad, and we had to install a split-system instead,” she said.
“One lady I know who lives here said she had been battling the issue for 20 years.
“I want it fixed; we haven’t paid all this money for a piece of land and a nice home for nothing.”
Ms Tasker said after contacting Goulburn Valley Water 10 to 15 times, a company representative told her a "significant problem" had been identified between Aspendale Cres and Golf Dve after an odour detector was installed in the sewerage system.
She said the representative explained the highest reading was at 9 am but it was still "problematic" at other points of the day.
GV Water operations manager Steven Nash said only five complaints had been registered from North Shepparton residents this year and three the year before, with "no significant issues" identified.
He said an odour detector had been installed at the Boulevard Estate and a Melbourne expert would be contacted to help solve the smell.
“We received a complaint and put a detector in the nearest manhole because sometimes it can be a septic tank, or odour from somewhere else,” he said.
“The logger has given us an indication and we’ll go to our consultant today and we’ll have to try a few different things.
“We have a hierarchy of different treatments and we’ll work through that over the next few months.
“We really appreciate being told about the problem. We’ve only put one odour logger in and if we need to put more we'll do that, and if it’s a problem we can solve, we’ll do it.”
Wendy Ellis, another Boulevard Estate resident, said she had noticed the smell for years and had contacted GV Water about three times.
“I don’t get why it should take this long to fix, it’s been going on for years,” she said.
“For the last 12 months it’s been really foul and most unpleasant.
“If you’re travelling around in your car or hanging out in the house, you can smell it — it comes through your vents.”
Mr Nash said GV Water took odours seriously and acknowledged the problem could involve "looking at the whole catchment".
“It's not something the consultant has looked at before, I'm not sure how big this is,” he said.
“If we have to change a pump, the pump still has to perform its basic functions, so it's not a simple thing.”
Mr Nash said testing would need to be conducted in summer when odours could worsen to properly assess the source of the smell.