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Council calls on Thames Water boss to intervene in stink row 08.11.11

Sutton Council is calling on the boss of Thames Water to personally intervene to tackle a foul stench from Beddington Sewage Treatment Works

Residents living up to three miles away from the plant on Beddington Lane have made complaints about the stink, which is affecting hundreds of homes. Businesses say it is affecting their takings.

The council is already working with the Environment Agency to see what legal action can be taken against the operators, Thames Water.

But it is now writing to the company's chief executive Martin Baggs to ensure he is aware of the problem – and demand he takes urgent action.

Cllr Colin Hall, Sutton's Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, said:  "This situation has been going on far too long and we want Mr Baggs to assure our residents that everything that can be done is being done to tackle this problem.

"We are already investigating the legal route but this takes time and it is not fair that residents should have to put up with this problem for so long when it is having such a detrimental impact upon their quality of life."

Residents have suffered periodic problems from the site for years but the most recent episode was sparked in August when two of the digesters suffered technical problems.

Digesters are huge tanks in which bio-degradable sewage is broken down by bacteria.

Thames Water say sludge is being tankered away to other sites for disposal while it attempts to resolve the issue.

Experts say the odours are extremely unpleasant but are not harmful to health.

The council is also meeting with the Environment Agency on Monday to discuss what enforcement action can be taken.

Last updated: Monday, 19 December 2011

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