Town hopes smell misery close to end

FLEETWOOD is waiting to see if its smell misery is over following an announcement that work on the town's sewage plant is all but finished.

United Utilities has spent 58m to expand the Jameson Road plant to cope with increasing demand from the Fylde coast and also to limit the smells which have plagued Fleetwood for more than a decade.

Alex Bolton of United Utilities said: "The site is now one of the most modern and technically advanced in the North West, capable of meeting future demand by treating up to 2,300 litres of wastewater every second.

"Although the majority of improvement work at the works is now complete, we remain committed to a long-term engagement with the local community."

But anti-smell campaigner Wendy Wood, who raised a petition over the stink, said she would reserve judgement.

She said: "It will be interesting to see how it goes.

"The smell normally starts about May.

"We had some smell just before Christmas but it was just for a brief time.

"It's a case of keeping fingers crossed and hoping that United Utilities are true to their word and their work is going to make a difference."

The company's statement came as MP Eric Ollerenshaw toured the site to look at the changes.

He got a behind-the-scenes look at the project which has seen new screens and settlement tanks to improve the quality of the treated wastewater which is returned to the environment.

There is also a new plant to treat sludge – a by-product of the sewage treatment process.

Mr Ollerenshaw said: "I was very impressed with the level of investment that the site has undergone over the past two years.

"United Utilities has clearly been very proactive in its efforts to combat odour issues arising from the treatment works, and to improve the quality of bathing waters on the Fylde coast.

"I understand that the company is also working closely with local Fleetwood residents to continue to monitor odour levels, and resolve any outstanding issues, which is encouraging to see."

United Utilities is still encouraging Fleetwood people to report any odour problems on their hotline: 0800 781 7134.

Around 200 members of the public are still pursuing a compensation claim against United Utilities for the years of smell problems they have suffered.

They have the assistance of a no-win no-fee lawyer but, as yet, no court date has been fixed.