Pile of human waste has been dumped near homes in Mackay, causing complaints
Pile of human waste has been dumped near homes in Mackay, causing complaints Peter Holt

Pile of human poo dumped near homes in Mackay region

A PILE of biosolids, the organic matter created from the sewerage treatment process, which contains human waste, was dumped in the Erakala-Dumbleton area.

The sludge pile's foul odour put so much strain on residents they complained.

While many are unaware of the use of biosolids on Mackay farms, the process of trucking the substance to crops from the Bakers Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant has been ongoing since 2008. The biosolids, which cost farmers nothing to use, have proven to be a quality fertiliser.

Should sewage biosolids be used as fertiliser?

This poll ended on 12 September 2014.

Current Results

Yes

66%

No

33%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

After receiving complaints of a putrid pong, Mackay Regional Council investigated. Water services chief operating officer David Brooker said the odour emanated from a load of biosolids incorrectly disposed of by a contractor.

"There are very stringent guidelines governing how and when biosolids are applied to the land and it appears the company has inadvertently made a mistake," Mr Brooker said.

However, Arkwood, the company contracted to deliver the substance, denies any wrong doing.

"It was business as usual," Arkwood chief executive officer Tony Newman said.

However, the biosolids service to Mackay cane farmers has now been flushed away.

"We are not in the business of making complaints," Mr Newman said.

"We will continue the service to the west but not in Mackay."

Arkwood workers had been back to the site to minimise the odour issue, he said.

The biosolids stink comes off the back of other aroma issues in the Ooralea area.

Although Canegrowers Mackay chief executive officer Kerry Latter was unaware growers used biosolids, he urged Arkwood to reconsider their options.

If the problem could be mitigated, it was possible more farmers would be able to benefit from the fertiliser, Mr Latter said.



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