The mystery source of a pervasive pong troubling Timaru may soon be uncovered with the help of a computer programme.
Environment Canterbury says the "nuisance odour" has been a persistent problem for Timaru residents, particularly during the warm summer months.
The usual approaches to finding the source of the smell have so far been unsuccessful.
However, Environment Canterbury spokesman Jason Evered says it's hoped a new software program being trialled will be able to trace the stink.
"Residents have been suggesting a variety of reasons for the troublesome smell, but it will be good to finally identify the source and do something about it ending the speculation."
The EnviroSuite Odour Tracking system works by modelling local weather in real time.
As soon as a complaint is received, the system runs a "backtrack" from the location of the complaint and shows the path that the odour has travelled.
The system has been previously used to successfully track smells in Australia and Spain.
Mr Evered says the software should be installed by Christmas.
But to really get to the bottom of the problem, Mr Evered says Timaru residents are being encouraged to report any bad smells, "making sure they note the location and exact time where and when they smelt the odour, as well as a description of the smell".