Kick­ing up a stink

‘Im­ported’ waste blamed for sewage stench

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Ai­dan Bar­low abar­low@thek­m­group.co.uk @aidan­bar­lowKM

Res­i­dents have ac­cused a wa­ter com­pany of “im­port­ing” waste to Ashford, caus­ing an un­bear­able smell.

It fol­lows com­plaints of a stench com­ing from the sewage treat­ment works in Kin­ney’s Lane this sum­mer.

The odour has been re­ported in ar­eas such as By­brook, Lit­tle Bur­ton Farm, Willes­bor­ough and Ken­ning­ton.

Last week res­i­dents met South­ern Wa­ter of­fi­cials but said they were told by the com­pany that waste was not be­ing brought in from out­side Kent.

Bu Mar­cus Donker­s­ley, from By­brook, sub­mit­ted a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest to the En­vi­ron­ment Agency, re­veal­ing 12,500 tonnes of sludge was be­ing brought in from as far afield as West Sus­sex.

Res­i­dents have ac­cused a wa­ter com­pany of be­ing in de­nial about im­port­ing thou­sands of tonnes of sewage waste to a “su­per­sized” treat­ment works.

It fol­lows com­plaints of un­bear­able smells com­ing from the Ashford sewage treat­ment works in Kin­ney’s Lane this sum­mer.

The odour have been re­ported in ar­eas such as By­brook, Lit­tle Bur­ton Farm, Willes­bor­ough and Ken­ning­ton, prompt­ing ques­tions by res­i­dents to the site op­er­a­tor South­ern Wa­ter.

Last week res­i­dents met com­pany of­fi­cials about the smells but said they were told by the com­pany that waste was not be­ing brought in from out­side of Kent.

But cam­paigner Mar­cus Donker­s­ley, who lives in By­brook, sub­mit­ted a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest to the En­vi­ron­ment Agency, which re­vealed that 12,500 tonnes of sludge was be­ing brought in to the site from as far afield as West Sus­sex.

He said: “They have ex­panded the site but res­i­dents have al­ready got prob­lems as it is.

“Ba­si­cally, South­ern Wa­ter don’t have enough treat­ment plants else­where, so they are let­ting Ashford’s be­come a su­per­size one.

“There’s stuff com­ing in from as far away as Hamp­shire. It’s ridicu­lous. They have said that the lev­els of sewage be­ing brought to the site are not in­creas­ing and de­nied that it was be­ing brought in from out­side of Kent.

“They’ve tried to claim it is due to muck spread­ing, when the near­est fields from the pre­vail­ing winds are miles away.

“They are in de­nial about this. I’ve lived here for 30 years and I’ve never smelled any­thing like this be­fore.

“There is the smell of the urine which is par­tic­u­larly bad.

He added: “I go to visit my par­ents liv­ing on the Lit­tle Bur­ton Farm es­tate, and you can’t sit out­side in the gar­den be­cause it’s that bad.”

Mr Donker­s­ley’s Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest re­vealed that 12,500 tonnes of waste had been brought in in the first quar­ter of this year, which he es­ti­mates is around 100 lor­ries each day.

South­ern Wa­ter was con­tacted for com­ment but had not re­sponded as we went to press.

‘South­ern Wa­ter don’t have enough treat­ment plants else­where, so they are let­ting Ashford’s be­come a su­per­size one. There’s stuff com­ing in from as far away as Hamp­shire’

Kin­ney’s Lane sewage works

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