AFTER seven months of waiting, Mallala residents Don and Kaye Mackenzie are finally back to living normally, without the smell of sewage wafting through their beloved stone home.
The elderly couple’s kitchen and laundry were repaired in March, after they were damaged when a Mallala Community Waste Water Management Scheme (CWMS) sensor fault caused their home to be flooded with effluent.
Mr Mackenzie said while he and his wife are very pleased with the job, which was paid for through Adelaide Plains Council’s insurance, questions still remain about why it took so long for the work to be undertaken.
“It should never have happened in the first place,” he said.
“Then to be waiting for seven months…Kaye’s health has been bad, and we couldn’t have people here for Christmas.”
Adelaide Plains Council infrastructure general manager Martin Waddington said council is pleased there has been a positive final outcome for the couple, and admits the issue was complex and took longer than initially anticipated.
“Council, in conjunction with Mr Mackenzie, identified a variety of issues resulting from the spill incident and council responded with a comprehensive cleanup program as quickly as possible,” he said.
“It was later found that some repair and replacement work would also be required, which wasn’t evident in the earlier stages.
“Council agreed to resolve those issues for Mr Mackenzie, which included installing new floors and new kitchen and laundry cabinetry.”
Mr Mackenzie said he and his wife were forced to eat outside, and live out of just one bedroom, due to the flooding affecting half of their cottage.
“Neil (Slater) pushed our fridge into the front lounge room, so then we couldn’t watch TV because we didn’t have room for anything else in there,” he said.
“We were just living in our back bedroom with everything of ours in there.
“We had to cook and eat all our meals out on the back verandah, and do all of our washing up in a small bucket.”
Mr Mackenzie said he was very grateful for the help of the Mallala and Districts Ratepayers Association, which stepped in and made sure council was held accountable for fixing the issue.
“If we didn’t have Neil Slater, John Lush and Hilary Stones they would have forgotten us and we would still be living outside,” he said.
The new kitchen and laundry cupboards, and benching, was supplied by Gawler’s David Hurst Kitchens, whose owner and staff were “fantastic”, according to Mr Mackenzie.