RUBBISH in Bendigo Creek has drawn the ire of White Hills residents who say they face another summer living near next to a smelly eyesore.
Residents of Knight Street, which crosses the creek, say built up rubbish causes a stench during the dry months.
The City of Greater Bendigo says the smell is a longstanding issue, related to historic gold mining.
But there is no known groundwater discharge to that section of the creek, which is the normal source of Bendigo Creek's rotten egg smell.
Knight Street resident Ken Andison said the stench and the rubbish had been a problem for about 30 years. He lives just a few houses away from the creek.
Mr Andison said the smell intensified when the rain stopped, and the creek dried out. He described it as like rotten eggs.
He believed the rubbish washed down the creek from central Bendigo, when people threw it on the ground.
"There's old chairs, trees, shopping trollies, you name it, plastic, everything," he said
"At this stage it's not too bad, but once the rain stops it'll start to smell again."
Mr Andison said various agencies have given him the runaround, each saying the issue is another's responsibility.
City of Greater Bendigo referred questions about the smell of the creek to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, saying it was a longstanding issue relating to gold mining.
The smell of rotten eggs coming from parts of Bendigo Creek comes from hydrogen sulphide, contained in groundwater discharges.
DELWP Bendigo groundwater project manager Natalie Trotter said there was no known groundwater discharge between Weeroona College and the Bendigo Rowing Club.
Therefore there should be no hydrogen sulphide smell, Ms Trotter said.
Read more: Bendigo's toxic groundwater to be treated
City of Greater Bendigo engineering manager Brett Martini said the city did not have responsibility for the creek's water quality but had installed rubbish traps in more than 40 water drains over the past 10-15 years.
Manager of parks and open space Paul Gangell said the city had not received particular complaints of rubbish at the site.
Mr Gangell said the city removes a range of rubbish that builds up along the creek, including dumped rubbish, street litter and sediment.
Knight Street resident Chris Lee said litter accumulated in cumbungi grass trapped water, leaving it to sit stagnant, causing the smell. He believes if the weeds and cumbungi were cleared, the stagnant water would move on.
Read more: Concerns for Bendigo Creek's heritage raised
Mr Lee said he had lived in Knight Street for 35 years, and it had always been like that. He said every organisation he has spoken to said the creek was not their responsibility.
He believes the problem area sits between the Botanic Gardens and Lake Weeroona.
"It's very disgusting, full of trolleys, bollards, rubbish, plastic bottles, you name it, it's in there. Through summer it's real awful, it just stinks through summer," he said.
"Just through summer it just smells, that's about all. And it's an eyesore, you've just got everything in it. You've got old shopping trolleys and all the other stuff that's in it.
"I'd just like to see it cleaned out, just cleaned out regular and just kept clean."
No smell was discernible when the Bendigo Advertiser visited the creek at Knight Street. But a whole wheelie bin sat in the creek, surrounded by other plastic waste.
The Environment Protection Authority Victoria said no member of the community had called about the Bendigo Creek in the past two months.
Members of the public can report suspected pollution to EPA's 24 hour hotline on 1300 372 842.
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