FOUL ODOURS from the Waste Water Treatment Works, Hedon Road have once again prompted a high level of complaints from local residents. These complaints have manifested on the Hedon Blog’s Facebook Page, but it is essential that they are also officially recorded at Yorkshire Water too.
The most effective complaints are smart complaints – those that state specifically WHERE you were located when experiencing the offensive smell, and at WHAT TIME on the date of your complaint.
Whilst most residents know the source of the smell is the sewage works, it is essential that other possible sources are discounted (farmers’ fields, Cranswick Foods, etc).
Record your complaints to the Yorkshire Water Customer Helpline on 0845 1 24 24 24. You can also contact East Riding of Yorkshire Council on 01482 396301 – and it is also a good idea when certain about date, time and location to record it immediately on Fix My Street mobile Apps (note: map the location where you experienced the smell, not the treatment works itself, unless you were passing the site).
The reports logged on Fix My Street are sent minutes later to East Riding Council and allow us (the public) to see the level of complaints graphically mapped.
In March this year Yorkshire Water demonstrated its Odour Watch technology to local councillors. The software can logistically investigate each complaint and match it to prevailing wind conditions, other weather factors and sensors at the treatment works to determine the source of any odour complaint. Odour watch can record this information historically.
The effectiveness of the system was revealed when Preston parish councillor, Cllr. Barbara Mendham, asked to see the information on a complaint she’d logged about a particularly nasty smell experienced by her and family members last November – she’d noted the date and time in her diary. Within seconds of entering the information into the system, what looked like a weather-map appeared on-screen showing the ‘plume’ of offending odours, the direction it travelled, its range and dissipation. It confirmed that Cllr. Mendham’s complaint had originated from the sewage works.
So you might know an offending smell is from the treatment works – friends and neighbours might know the same – but unless you’ve logged your complaint then it won’t prompt the kind of investigation as outlined above and be confirmed as a ‘proven’ complaint.
In June this year the Community Forum, comprising key Yorkshire Water staff members and local councillors, met at the treatment works to discuss preparations for the ‘pea season’ which is the most challenging time of year for managing odours and when under normal circumstances the biggest ‘load’ is expected at the site. But in June, reports about the preparations seemed quite upbeat: Tanks at the site were being cleaned, essential spare parts were being stocked on site, and maintenance checks had taken place to ensure that the site was working as efficiently as possible.
There will undoubtedly be disappointment that once again residents have been forced to cancel barbecues, garden parties and simply enjoying their gardens – and instead go indoors and close windows because of obnoxious smells.