‘This action follows months of misery’ – Stench plaguing Fairfield from Letchworth Sewage Works must stop by end of March as abatement notice is served

The long-standing stink from the Letchworth Sewage Works causing misery for the people of Fairfield

The long-standing stink from the Letchworth Sewage Works causing misery for the people of Fairfield must end thats according to their MP and an abatement notice served to bosses by council officers. - Credit: Archant

The long-standing stink from the Letchworth Sewage Works causing misery for the people of Fairfield must end – that’s according to their MP and an abatement notice served to bosses by council officers.

Central Beds Council initiated formal enforcement proceedings on Anglian Water last Wednesday, with the notice requiring an end to the withering stench by March 31, 2017.

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt has also stepped in to stop the stink, and was awaiting a response from Anglian chief executive Peter Simpson as the Comet went to press.

A Fairfield parish council spokesman said: “A faint sewerage smell has sometimes been experienced during summer months for several years – but this is nothing compared with what residents have suffered this year. It follows a change in the way sewerage is dealt with at the Letchworth waterworks.

“This action follows months of misery and complaints from affected residents on Fairfield.


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“Central Beds Council has now collected the evidence it needs to take the action that is aimed to force Anglian Water to take action that will hopefully, permanently solve the issue.”

Councillor Steve Dixon, speaking on behalf of Central Beds Council, said an abatement notice had been served on Anglian Water ‘for the likely occurrence of a statutory nuisance from odour arising from the sewerage treatment works’.

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He added: “We have to allow a reasonable period of time for them to undertake any necessary works to achieve compliance with the notice.”

An Anglian Water spokeswoman told the Comet that the firm took odour complaints from neighbours seriously, and that it was working closely with Central Beds Council’s environmental health officer to suppress the smell.

Anglian’s efforts to control the stink have included the installation of a ‘bloodhound’ system, intended to mask the smell of the raw sludge tank, in October.

Two pumps serving this temporary solution failed on December 2 and 3, causing the stink to intensify for days – with some pipes also freezing and splitting in the cold.

Anglian says it has identified a permanent solution and is now obtaining quotes and timescales to implement it. Mr Simpson visited the site last Thursday, following Mr Burt’s contact.

Fairfield Parish Council is set to invite Anglian Water to a meeting to explain its actions.

One Fairfield woman told the Comet: “Residents are sceptical and think neither the parish council nor Central Beds has done enough. They have until March to do something about it. The smell is still awful and I for one have had enough of it.”

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