Water firm IS importing sewage for treatment
A water company has admitted that it “imports” sewage waste from outside the county, following complaints about the stench.
Last week the Kentish Express reported how residents are putting up with foul smells around the Ashford treatment works in Kinney’s Lane.
Campaigners such as Marcus Donkersley submitted a Freedom of Information Act request which revealed some 12,500 tonnes of sludge was brought in from outside Kent in the first three months of this year.
He said the treatment works had been expanded by Southern Water and accused the company of being “in denial” about the stench.
Despite earlier rebuttals, the company has now admitted that sewage does come from further afield, but says the amount is “controlled”.
In a statement the company said: “We bring a controlled amount of sludge from outside the Kent area to the Ashford site, as this is our largest sludge treatment centre Kent.
“The process is carefully man- aged to ensure the site can cope with these imports.
“We would like to assure residents we are working very hard to minimise the impact of odours caused by our wastewater treatment works.
“Odour levels are strictly regulated by the Environment Agency and we have been working closely with them. Following concerns from local residents we have carried out an extensive investigation, which has found there are no issues with our operations at the Ashford site.”
The company met residents last month to discuss concerns.
Writing in this paper this week, Ashford MP Damian Green says that while importing sewage is a concern, the main issue should be using technology to prevent smells escaping.
The company says it uses a suppression system to mask smells and has just finished installing the system around the site.
It claims to be an “industry leader” in recycling 100% of the waste materials on site for agricultural fertiliser and compost, while waste is also used in the combined heat and power plant.
The company added: “Unfortunately there will always be some odours associated with the wastewater treatment process, however hard we try to minimise the impact on nearby residents.”
Our Man in Westminster – page 18
Ashford waste treatment works in Kinney’s Lane