Pong protesters may soon notice sweet smell of success

IT looks like permanent relief from a plague of bad smells from their local sewage works might finally be available for the long-suffering citizens of Kelso.

Last week, TheSouthern reported that local representatives were due to meet with officials from Scottish Water to hear the agency’s latest proposals for finally getting to grips with the problems of bad odours being emitted by the town’s waste water treatment works.

Back in November, an enforcement notice was issued by Scottish Borders Council for Scottish Water to draw up an improvements plan to deal with the problem pong once and for all.

On Tuesday night, officials from Scottish Water met with the local stakeholders group and it would seem a solution to the sewage plant smell situation might now be a reality.

In a statement issued to TheSouthern, Scottish Water said the waste water treatment works was being independently assessed, with the findings being reported back to the stakeholder group in October.

Bill Elliot, Scottish Water’s regional community manager for the Borders said he wants neighbouring residents to report any issues as soon as possible.

“It is important that they do this to allow operators to investigate any issues as quickly as they can, and to ensure that the issues are correctly monitored,” he said.

“We empathise with our customers who experience odour issues. This facility was built long before the housing estate was constructed, however we realise the importance of being a good neighbour and that is why we are working with the community to help address their concerns.”

Regional waste water operations manager Raymond O’Brien says Scottish Water takes reports of odours very seriously .

“We realise that unforeseen odours can arise from waste water treatment works (WWTWs) from time to time and that is why it is important that neighbouring residents in Kelso accurately report these as soon as possible,” he said.

Customers experiencing any odour issues from the Kelso WWTW are encouraged to contact Scottish Water’s customer helpline on 0845 601 8855.

Local MSP John Lamont was one of those who attended the meeting and he told TheSouthern yesterday that now that a number of possible causes of the bad smell have been identified and several action points drawn up, he hoped this would finally address the problems.

He added: “In addition, some tankers carrying sewage away from the treatment works have been using the town square as part of their route. This will now stop which is good news.

“The odour survey and action plan will now go to Scottish Borders Council for approval. The stakeholders group will meet again in October to see if any further action needs to be taken.

“In the meantime, it is essential that residents continue to report every instance of bad smells around the waste water treatment works to Scottish Water. This is the only way that we will know if any of these measures are being effective.”