The problem of a bad smell emanating from the Paphos Sewerage Board (Sapa) wastewater treatment plant in Acheleia has been resolved, according to the town’s mayor Phedonas Phedonos.

Phedonos, who doubles as the chairman of Sapa’s board of directors, informed a delegation of the House Energy Committee on Friday that “there was an odour”, but that the odour in question was “unusual” given the last 15 years of the plant’s operation.

He said the odour had been caused by a “build-up of dried sludge”.

The sludge is transported to a private company and then onwards to Vasiliko, where it is incinerated.

However, Phedonos explained, “for some reason, the manager of the unit had stored it for a few days because he had some problems with the transport contractor.”

He said that as a result, “there was a strong stench, which reached as far as Paphos airport, Acheleia, and Geroskipou.”

He added that timely interventions had been made, and the contractor which manages the unit “took care to remove the sludge.”

At the moment, he said, “there is actually no problem at the moment, but we are continuing to monitor the situation,” adding that his goal is “to prevent such a thing from happening again.”

He reassured the committee’s delegation that the sludge is a normal result of operations of the plant and “had nothing to do with poor operation of the plant,” adding that the treated water is analysed weekly and “falls within the required standards and specifications.”

“However, this sludge should not be stored in an area near the airport or Acheleia. In no case do we want to put a burden on Acheleia’s residents or onto the airport,” he said.

Committee Chairman and Disy MP Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis said wastewater treatment should “be subject to controls based on international standards”.

He said his committee sees the situation at the plant to be “very positive”.