Flintshire residents kick up a stink over vile odour

Reporter:

Lois Hough

A STENCH which has plagued Flint for two days has prompted a furore from residents.

More than 40 complaints have been made to Flintshire Council and the Environment Agency about the smell from sewage sludge spread over farmland by Welsh Water.

Furious residents have likened it to the smell of “dead bodies” and Flint councillor Alex Aldridge said it has had a “massive” impact on the town.

“It is an awful, awful smell,” he told the Leader.

“Not only have people had to take their washing off the line but children on their half-term holiday can’t play outdoors.

“They must have spread a phenomenal amount to cause that stink because it lasted for hours.

“Welsh Water should have informed the local authority or put a press release out. It is called an application of common sense.

“In future they need to be mindful of the people of Flint.”

Cllr Aldridge originally suspected the smell to be a purge of sulphur from the power plant in Connah's Quay or chicken manure.

Resident Dave Jones, of Fearn Close, said: “I have smelled sewage before but this is not sewage. It is more like dead bodies.

“I have heard all sorts of rumours. One person said developers had dug up dead cows and someone else said a farmer and spread fish guts over his land.

“The weather is glorious but everybody has had to shut their windows and doors to block the smell out.”

One Windsor Drive resident, who wished to be anonymous, added: “It is like living next to an abattoir. I was close to being physically sick.”

Welsh Water say the spreading of sewage sludge, which brings benefits to crops, was completed yesterday.

It will work with the Environment Agency to implement odour control measures should the process be required in future.

A spokesman said: “We have agreements with farmers to supply treated sewage sludge (bio solids) for use on farmland.

“We consider the recycling of bio solids to agriculture to be a sustainable, well managed practice and is recognised as the best practicable environmental option
in most circumstances.

“The bio solids are treated prior to use to ensure any pathogens present are killed.

“This process is carried out across the UK and is undertaken in line with an industry code of practice.

“This is a free product and has cost savings to the farmer, as paid for fertilisers would otherwise be required.”

A spokesman for Flintshire Council added: “Council officers are liaising with Welsh Water and the Environment Agency to establish if any further spreading is intended and if so what odour control measures can be put in place to minimise any nuisance that may be caused.”

See full story in the Leader

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