Anglian Water told it risks ‘unlimited fines’ if it doesn’t fix Norfolk stench
PUBLISHED: 12:09 03 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:29 03 October 2019
Anglian Water has been told it has six months to sort a persistent stink at a seaside village or face an “unlimited fine”.
The company has until April 2020 to control smells coming from its sewage treatment works in Caister under an abatement notice issued by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
The move comes after households in Caister kept "stink diaries" and claims holiday makers were put off by the pong.
Brandon Lewis, the area's MP, has also written to Anglian Water calling for urgent action.
Penny Carpenter, chairman of the environment committee, said: "Over recent years, the council has continued to liaise with Anglian Water around addressing reports from residents of foul odour from the water company's Caister Sewage Treatment Works.
"While Anglian Water has completed works at the site during that time, there has been an increase in complaints this year, particularly since Easter.
"In response, environmental services officers undertook proactive monitoring in the back gardens of complainants in the area and gained evidence to support enforcement action.
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"The council is satisfied that the works are causing a statutory nuisance to the community and has served an abatement notice on Anglian Water, requiring them to put a stop to the issue by April 1, 2020, at the very latest or risk prosecution with the possibility of an unlimited fine.
"This deadline gives the company a reasonable period to complete abatement works they have identified as required to address the particular issue, while holding them to a timeline for compliance."
An Anglian Water spokesperson said: "Our Caister water recycling centre receives tens of thousands of litres of sewage every day and has a vital role in serving the community, so keeping odours to a minimum is something we take seriously.
"We continue to work with the local council and their environment committee and have made positive progress with our investigations to find the source of odours from the site and we are making changes to our site management to help reduce smells further.
"These changes are due to be completed by early next year.
"As always, we would ask residents who notice unpleasant smells to contact us through Facebook, Twitter or using our customer services number 03457 145 "145, noting the time, date and location where they smelt the odour.
We also have a dedicated email address for residents of Caister to let us know of any odour issues which is firstname.lastname@example.org."