South West Water claims to have cut sewage stink by 50 per cent
A LONG-TERM pong in Ivybridge is said to have been reduced by up to 50 per cent, according to South West Water.
Residents heard about the improvements made to remove the stench at the second public meeting on Friday night at the Chapel Place community hall.
Chaired by Gary Streeter, MP for Devon South West, local residents complained again about the smell and South West Water and the South Hams District Council discussed what is being done to tackle the problem.
Richard Gilpin, head of waste water services at South West Water, said: "The odorous smells have decreased by 50 per cent and we've also turned the pump station off."
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One resident, who originally started a petition to get the problem dealt with, repeated the claims of many, saying problems with the smell – which affects Keaton Road and surrounding streets – had been going on for around six years.
Bob Halls, aged 63, of Keaton Road, brought together representatives of South West Water and South Hams District Council as well as assorted businessmen and women, residents and local councillors.
During the meeting Mr Halls said: "I nearly lost my dog today, he had collapsed because the fumes were so bad. I'm tearing my hair out to get people to make their feelings known about the problems here."
Since the last meeting South West Water has taken over the running of the Orchard Park pumping station and Mr Gilpin was positive about the work that had been done to rectify the problem.
He continued: "We've also cleaned Keaton Road sewer and completed the refurbishment. We've received four complaints since the last meeting which were followed up." He now hopes by taking the pumping station out of the equation it will be clearer where other odorous problems are arising.
Dave Smith, publican at the Duke of Cornwall, was unable to attend the meeting but a letter was read out in his absence. He said: "I have to let you know that problems with odour are still going on and in my opinion have not improved. I think we should be compensated for loss of earnings."
MP Gary Streeter concluded that a third, and he hoped final, meeting was needed.
He said: "After another six weeks of monitoring residents will be able to 'sniff it and see' and they need to be more energetic about filling in diary sheets. Thank you all for coming and for making it such a productive evening."
The next meeting is due to be held on Thursday November 22 at Chapel Place community hall in Ivybridge.