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Hi-tech move to stem stench

PUBLISHED: 14:17 25 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

THE sweet smell of success could be in the air soon for residents who kicked up a stink over a nasty niff wafting over Felixstowe.

Householders have had to put up with the all-pervading pong – the resort's very own BO – for four years, ever since a new sewage treatment works was built.

THE sweet smell of success could be in the air soon for residents who kicked up a stink over a nasty niff wafting over Felixstowe.

Householders have had to put up with the all-pervading pong – the resort's very own BO – for four years, ever since a new sewage treatment works was built.

But now Anglian Water intends to build a new plant at the works which will be designed to "extract the odour at source" before it can get into the atmosphere.

Residents of the southern area of the town are keeping their fingers crossed that the new odour-eating equipment will stem the stench.

One attempt to get rid of the smell, which seeps into homes, clothes and furniture and is impossible to shift, has already failed.

Around £100,000 was spent on a hi-tech deodorant called a bio-scrubber, an

environmentally-friendly machine which uses bugs to absorb sulphur molecules which make the pungent pong, but it still did not end the problems.

Now, following extensive research by expert consultants, a new ploy is to be tried with the construction of a belt sludge thickening plant at the sewage works in Walton Avenue.

The new equipment will thicken the sludge which is stored to wait for removal by tanker. The building to house the machines will have a hood over it which will "extract odour at source" using a chemical smell control system.

Engineer Colin Clarke said: " It is felt that the amount of sludge removed from the temporary tanks (at present) is insufficient, with the result that some sludge is recirculated in the works. This could be a contributing factor to the odour problems on site."

Another advantage of the new system will be that it will mean less tankers will have to visit the site to collect sludge – also cutting the amount of smell, some of which may escape during removal.

Suffolk County Council is deciding a planning application for the equipment and it is hoped it can be built this autumn.

Residents in the West End area have suffered most from the sewage smell. It is worse in hot weather when the town is full of visitors and householders in Levington, Nacton and Orford Roads claim that on bad days they cannot even escape the smell by closing all their windows.

The obnoxious niff first started four years ago after the completion of the £14 million scheme to modernise Felixstowe's sewerage system and stop untreated material being pumped into the sea.

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