Residents at Sovereign Harbour have had to suffer an ‘absolutely rank’ sewage smell emanating from the water treatment works.
Paul Richardson, of Kitts Drive, has had to keep his windows shut at all times in the hot weather – but says the smell from the works at Langney Point has still been invading his home for weeks.
He said, “It is making people feel ill and must be contrary to health and safety regulations.
“We’ve got people in retirement here and young families, both groups are at risk.
“It’s all-pervading, it gets into your life. Once it’s inside the flat it’s everywhere, in the wardrobes – you can’t get the smell out.”
The 71-year-old said he had been having trouble getting through to Southern Water and neither he nor his wife had received an apology.
He said, “There is no indication on how long it will take to resolve. In the meantime, we will have to suffer.”
He added that he had concerns for the new houses and flats being built close to the treatment works.
A spokesperson for Southern Water said the problem was due to a broken ‘odour scrubbing system’ which it has been trying to fix since the weekend.
They said, “We’d like to apologise to our customers in the local area and assure them we’re working as quickly as possible to fix the issue.
“We’d like to say sorry to people living near our Eastbourne waste treatment works who have been putting up with bad smells over the weekend.
“Our odour scrubbing system was blocked on Friday (July 27) and specialist contractors have been on site trying to make repairs all weekend.”
They said there is now a temporary system on site which should be fully operational by Wednesday (August 1) while crews will be working to clear the system.
The spokesperson said, “We’re also taking other measures including taking waste away in tankers.
“The contractors are working as fast as they can to fix the problem with the main system.”
This comes during a major £16 million upgrade of the wastewater works in what the company says is an effort to better protect the environment and meet the needs of its 140,000 customers.
Southern Water said in a statement on its website, “We’re aware of the potential for increased smells, particularly in the summer months. We’re constantly monitoring odour levels and have completed a full refurbishment of the odour control system.”