THE FOUL smells coming from an Eastbourne sewage works could be a thing of the past after the borough council ordered a water company to clean up its act.
Revolting odours have been emanating from the waste water treatment works at Langney Point (pictured), for more than a year and last summer Southern Water apologised to Sovereign Harbour residents and blamed the problem on a lack of odour control chemicals.
But now Eastbourne Borough Council has served Southern Water with a 28-day notice to eliminate the bad smells and the utility company could be prosecuted if it fails to deal with the problem.
Jan Weeks, the chairman of the Sovereign Harbour Neighbourhood Panel, said, “This problem has been dragging on for some time and, because of varying wind directions, affects a very wide area from Langney Point to the North Harbour.
“The odour is very offensive and is so strong that it can be smelt inside homes. Southern Water (SW) has been aware of this problem for a very long time and seems to have done little to rectify it.
“The St. Anthony’s and Langney Point Neighbourhood Panel, supported by the Sovereign Harbour Neighbourhood Panel and the SHRA, has been making representations to SW and Eastbourne Borough Council in an attempt to encourage SW into taking action.
“I am delighted that the council has now taken action, but it is sad that it was necessary to resort to legal action to ensure that local residents can enjoy the comfort of their homes.”
In response to the order Southern Water has again apologised and pledged to improve its system and cut down on the nasty whiffs.
A spokesperson for Southern Water said, “We acknowledge there are problems at the site and we are committed to solving them.
“We are carrying out improvements, which will involve the upgrading of the odour control system, replacement of some existing equipment, and the installation of new equipment that will help us provide a better treatment process.
“It’s a complex issue, made particularly difficult as the site is situated underground, but we can assure customers we’re working as quickly as we can.
“It is our priority when planning this work to ensure the system remains operational at all times and the risk of releasing odours is minimised.
“However, there have been occasions when odours have been released from the works while the improvement work is underway and we are sorry that customers have been affected by this.”