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Pumping Station? Macgregor odours

By Pesty - 13 March 2011 20

We are about to sign up to buy a house / land package on the Brinabella estate (Macgregor stage 3).

We snuck onto the building site today to see exactly where our new home would be.

This is strictly forbidden but we figured given the enormity of the decision we are about to undertake, we would at least have a look at the plot!

Once in there we noticed a strange odour and reckoned it was  coming from a stack / vent pipe call it what you will associated with  what appears to be a pumping station of some description, a few hundred meters away. 

Googling ACTEWAGL I can find nothing about it.

Does anyone know what the pumping stations (there seem to be a few along there) are all about and if there are any known bad smells associated with them? Thanks!

What’s Your opinion?

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20 Responses to
Pumping Station? Macgregor odours
Jethro 8:46 am 14 Mar 11

LSWCHP said :

Am I going completely mad? You are about to spend a Brazilian dollars on a house and land but it’s “strictly forbidden” for you to look at what you’re purchasing?

Surely this can’t be so.

The entire section of the suburb that is under development is completely fenced off with large no trespassing signs from village housing. I always thought that was pretty dodgy as it means theres no way anyone from the public can see their building practices.

As far as the smell goes, take a walk along the Bicentennial Horse Trail that runs around the back of the news site (along the creek) and you can see the pumping station for yourself.

Special G 8:42 am 14 Mar 11


wildturkeycanoe 8:25 am 14 Mar 11

It’s only when the wind blows from the west that it gets bad. Maybe the egg farm? The old rubbish tip to the west may also contribute to the problem or maybe the oil recycling plant at Parkwood where the deep fryer residues end up. It’s not that bad all the time, just the right meteorological conditions occasionally flare it up.
As for not being allowed to visit your own house whilst under construction, I’d say it’s due to liability issues as the entire area is a construction site. If you were to trip over a piece of building rubble, you could sue them and that’s why they fence off everything. Also, it makes it easier for security to prevent theft from the buildings and storage depots.

Braddon Boy 4:59 am 14 Mar 11

The main Belconnen Trunk Sewer passes through the new part of Macgregor.

See those nice open grassed strips (no, not the ones with high voltage power lines in them)? That’s where it goes!!! In some places in that area it is quite deep, deep enough for them to actually tunnel it when it was built.

The stacks you speak of are simply there to avoid too much pressure build up in the pipe caused by decaying effluent. There are no sewer pump stations in the area.

I thought VBC were doing works to reduce the odour in the area. It seems they either haven’t finished yet, or perhaps they cheaped out. But a developer wouldn’t do that, would they? And definitely not VBC…

Gerry-Built 3:16 am 14 Mar 11

Parkwood eggs (Pace Farms) most likely. They are the big bunch of buildings right on the border on parkwood road. Thousands of chooks just a few hundred meters from the newer areas. I live in the nearby area of Dunlop, and we would usually have around four days during summer when the smell is obvious…

Those new areas seem miles from an arterial road…

I wouldn’t even consider purchasing if I wasn’t allowed in to see the land!

chewy14 10:26 pm 13 Mar 11

I very much doubt there is a pump station in Macgregor seeing as its all downhill to the poo plant.
And who could have ever thought there would be problems building a suburb in a buffer zone for major electricity and sewer infrastructure?

2604 10:07 pm 13 Mar 11

This must come as a real surprise to those northsiders who think their sh!t doesn’t stink.

screaming banshee said :

Oh, and the northside smells rosy…incase you were wondering.

LSWCHP 9:27 pm 13 Mar 11

Am I going completely mad? You are about to spend a Brazilian dollars on a house and land but it’s “strictly forbidden” for you to look at what you’re purchasing?

Surely this can’t be so.

pharaoh 9:09 pm 13 Mar 11

I work in sewer systems (not for ACTEW but an interstate water company) and all I can recommend is you call them and register a odour complaint.

Sewer Pump Stations (or SPSs) can often have associated odours for different reasons:

– The Pump not turning on often enough, leaving sewage sitting still too long.
– Flows being too turbulent entering the station, mixing the sewage and releasing the gas
– People upstream dumping items in the sewer other than typical sewerage.

Often this is too hard to fix, so they put in vent stacks to get it above the height people will smell it at.

Your area would be close the the end of the sewer system, as sewage is discharged to the large treatment plant just south-west of Holt. The smells could be coming through the pipes from anywhere in Canberra…

I advise asking to speak to somebody at ACTEW about the issue, as they wont put detailed info of whats there on the web because operational details are constantly changing, and broadcasting the specs of the sewer publicly would provide possible info for planning a terrorist attack on infrastructure.

Ags 9:00 pm 13 Mar 11

They are vent pipes as well as vortex drops for the sewer.
What is a vortex drop? If the sewer level drops by a few meters say, instead of “stepping” the sewer down with “jump ups” they have a cylinder type drop pipe where the water is flicked by a lip edge on the pipe. The water starts spinning and sticks to the sides of the pipe by vortex, just like the gravatron ride at the show. If the water was just allowed to fall down the drop it would undermine the bedding at the bottom. Due to the levels betewen the sewer treatment plant and the level of the land in Macgregor there are a few in the area.
The height of the vent should be higher than any surrounding houses so the smell goes over the top of your house and not in the windows. As there is developement in the area now I wonder if the vent stacks are high enough? Does the height need to be raised now there are houses in the area?
These vent are constantly emitting lovely smells into the air. The potency can vary depending on the strength and direction of the wind. If you cant smell it just hope the wind doesn’t change.
PS: Welcome to the neighbourhood.

curlylocks 8:02 pm 13 Mar 11

Wow I never knew that you were not allowed to go and “checkout” the land that a house you are wanting to purchase as a package. How strange, and there is a sewer works down Stockdill drive but I am pretty sure that it is a far way away from the said new development. I can only suggest that you maybe go and ask the residence of other houses that are already established if they have had the odour around all the time.

Carl 7:11 pm 13 Mar 11

He means the sewage treatment plant. Lovely odor.

Grail 6:23 pm 13 Mar 11

Google Lower Molongolo Water Quality Control Centre.

When it was built it was expected to handle the sewage for about 200k people, and land was set aside for the existing design to be duplicated twice (I.e: treating the effluent from 600k people).

Of course subsequent governments have decided that upgrading the plant will cost too much, so they resort to pooling the shit in a dam while the processing plant works through it as fast as it can.

Deckard 6:03 pm 13 Mar 11

I think you’ll also find that you live nearby the Belconnen tip and the Parkwood egg farm. You may get smells from both when the wind blows the right way.

pptvb 5:31 pm 13 Mar 11

Here’s a clue….drive past the entrance to the Magpies Golf Course, to the bottom of Stockdill Dr.
You will soon understand what is being pumped & vented!

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