Former Timaru resident Megan Waghorn is happy to see Caroline Bay has been redeveloped, but she is horrified a sewer manhole is ruining its appeal by creating an intermittent odour.
There is a problem hanging around Timaru like a bad smell - and that is just what it is.
It appears to be most noticeable in the area just in front of the whale pot at the northern entrance to Caroline Bay.
This is not the first time Timaru residents have complained about an odour.
A series of articles appeared in The Courier in May last year, in which many Timaru residents spoke of a smell lingering around the business district.
The source of the smell was never confirmed.
This time the cause is known and there is a clear solution.
Timaru District Council district services manager Ashley Harper, of Timaru, said a sewer manhole was causing the intermittent smell.
He said the smell had been in the area for about two years, the time it had taken to make the new sewer.
"The smell comes and goes. It's because we're re-laying the sewer."
By the end of January the new sewer would be finished and the smell would disappear, he said.
Former Timaru resident Megan Waghorn was disappointed to notice the smell upon her return to Timaru recently.
She was delighted with the redevelopment of Caroline Bay, but said the odour negated the improvement it had made to the area.
"The new, beautiful sign welcomes people and the smell ruins it. I don't think anyone would want to come back [to the north entrance area]."
Ms Waghorn was in Timaru for a two-week holiday.
She had lived in Timaru for eight years, but six months ago she moved to Australia.
She described the smell as revolting and off-putting.
Ms Waghorn said there was no use beautifying Caroline Bay when an ongoing odour problem was still lingering.
"You can see they are trying to modernise the area and get more tourists in, but they need to fix that problem first.
"When people think of the place, they will think of that horrible smell and they won't want to come back. It's pretty otherwise."
Environment Canterbury (Ecan) senior enforcement officer Lance Corcoran, of Timaru, said in principle odours were dealt with by Ecan, but if sewage caused an odour it should be dealt with by the council.
He said if a complaint had been made about the smell it would have been investigated immediately.
"What a pity [Ms Waghorn] didn't ring us. People need to contact us, otherwise we have no opportunity to be involved."
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