Home » Foul odour – smart complaints most effective

Foul odour – smart complaints most effective

NOTE: The most effective complaints are smart complaints – those that state specifically WHERE you were located when experiencing the offensive smell, and at WHAT TIME on the date of your complaint…

FOUL ODOURS from the Waste Water Treatment Works, Hedon Road have once again prompted a high level of complaints from local residents. These complaints have manifested on the Hedon Blog’s Facebook Page, but it is essential that they are also officially recorded at Yorkshire Water too.

The most effective complaints are smart complaints – those that state specifically WHERE you were located when experiencing the offensive smell, and at WHAT TIME on the date of your complaint.

Whilst most residents know the source of the smell is the sewage works, it is essential that other possible sources are discounted (farmers’ fields, Cranswick Foods, etc).

Fix My Street report: "Smell recorded here Sunday 12th, July 2015 at 10pm"
Fix My Street report: “Smell recorded here Sunday 12th, July 2015 at 10pm”

Record your complaints to the Yorkshire Water Customer Helpline on 0845 1 24 24 24. You can also contact East Riding of Yorkshire Council on 01482 396301 – and it is also a good idea when certain about date, time and location to record it immediately on Fix My Street mobile Apps (note: map the location where you experienced the smell, not the treatment works itself, unless you were passing the site).

The reports logged on Fix My Street are sent minutes later to East Riding Council and allow us (the public) to see the level of complaints graphically mapped.

Tom Bellringer from Yorkshire Water demonstrates the odour watch software to Councillors Mike Bryan and Barbara Mendham
Tom Bellringer from Yorkshire Water demonstrates the odour watch software to Councillors Mike Bryan and Barbara Mendham (March 2015)

In March this year Yorkshire Water demonstrated its Odour Watch technology to local councillors. The software can logistically investigate each complaint and match it to prevailing wind conditions, other weather factors and sensors at the treatment works to determine the source of any odour complaint. Odour watch can record this information historically.

The effectiveness of the system was revealed when Preston parish councillor, Cllr. Barbara Mendham, asked to see the information on a complaint she’d logged about a particularly nasty smell experienced by her and family members last November – she’d noted the date and time in her diary. Within seconds of entering the information into the system, what looked like a weather-map appeared on-screen showing the ‘plume’ of offending odours, the direction it travelled, its range and dissipation. It confirmed that Cllr. Mendham’s complaint had originated from the sewage works.

So you might know an offending smell is from the treatment works – friends and neighbours might know the same – but unless you’ve logged your complaint then it won’t prompt the kind of investigation as outlined above and be confirmed as a ‘proven’ complaint.

In June this year the Community Forum, comprising key Yorkshire Water staff members and local councillors, met at the treatment works to discuss preparations for the ‘pea season’ which is the most challenging time of year for managing odours and when under normal circumstances the biggest ‘load’ is expected at the site. But in June, reports about the preparations seemed quite upbeat: Tanks at the site were being cleaned, essential spare parts were being stocked on site, and maintenance checks had taken place to ensure that the site was working as efficiently as possible.

There will undoubtedly be disappointment that once again residents have been forced to cancel barbecues, garden parties and simply enjoying their gardens – and instead go indoors and close windows because of obnoxious smells.

14 thoughts on “Foul odour – smart complaints most effective

  1. Just had a return call from YW today after complaining for the umpteenth time.
    Their rep said there is a high level meeting going on at the moment and there will be an announcement on their website this afternoon.
    In response to my query about illnesses (sore throats etc) they said to ‘seek appropriate medical help’

  2. Well, the last 2 weeks have been the worst for the foul stench I’ve ever known. I have complained every year but it makes absolutely zero difference. Never mind Yorkshire Water giving money to charity – we should all be getting a rebate on our water bills in recognition of the misery caused. As far as I’m aware, environmental health would class this as affecting the use and enjoyment of our homes, and therefore as something to serve a notice on….if it was one of us causing the problem! But, yet again, big business gets away with it. Surely it must be affecting our health, too? Surely it can’t be good for us breathing this sh*t (literally) day in, day out. Uuuurrrgh.

  3. It is disgusting, putting me off living in the area, that horrible smelling pit will end up making Hedon like a ghost town as no one wants to be here anymore

  4. I’ve reported this disgusting odour to the Environment Agency 0800 807060 and Yorkshire Water 0845 1242424 after having to close all of my windows the stench was unbearable, I live approx. 2 miles from this plant, Yorkshire water told me they were aware of the odour and it was under investigation, we’ll see what comes of it if anything

  5. What ERYC EHO need to do is to serve notice on Yorkshire Water that this is declared as a Statutory Nuisance, something I previously pressed for them to do a couple of years ago , but sadly ignored. They need evidence so the more logged complaints the better . If declared as a Statutory Nuisance , then there are immense powers available to ERYC to force them to take action and make the required improvements within a set timescale ….or suffer substantial fines.
    Only when substantial fines are imposed will Yorkshire Water sit up and take this seriously. We’ve all been fobbed off by them for the last 10 years.Time now for ERYC EHO to flex their muscles !

  6. The smell from the saltend treatment plant has got so bad that I haven’t even left my house today. On Monday evening I attempted to walk my dog, but only made it the short distance to the end of my estate (leaf sail, hedon) before I couldn’t stand the stench any longer and had to turn back. Yesterday’s trip to Asda almost had me vomiting, and today I’ve given in and stayed home with my windows closed. The smell still managed to get in the house, but I plugged in a few air fresheners to cover it a little.

    This is my 3rd summer in Hedon, and I’m afraid I can’t stand a 4th. I’ll be moving away from this foul stinky pit ASAP.

    So thanks Yorkshire water for literally gassing me out. And thank you ERYC for doing absolutely nothing about it!

    1. This year has been the worst that I’ve known. It’s not right if you can smell it all the way on Leaf Sail Farm.
      Just on the phone to them now, they’ve said there’s big a big influx of calls regarding the smells.

    2. 19.00hrs and disgusting smell again , how much longer do we have to put up with this. On the positive side I am reassured YW have Odour watch software tracking it!!!

    3. I live in South Preston. This is the worse smell that I ever experience throughout this week and affecting the whole evening. What good does it make when over a million pounds or more been spent in the previous year to contained this noxious odour to be rectified. I just wondered whether the Yorkshire Water Authorities and the local councillors ever listen to the people who live around this green environmental friendly water recycling plant? This is posted at 2324 Hours.

  7. 9.30 pm 22/7 the worst it’s ever smelt it’s got to be time for something more than complaining . What’s our council doing ? We need to explore some legal avenues. If I caused this neusance to my neighbours I would expect to be locked up .

  8. Do u av a number please were I can ring to complain about the stench we av to put up wiv mornin and nite!!! It’s disgustin and surely ain’t heathy smellin them smells!!! Something need doin Asap. Many thanks Karen

  9. I urge anyone who experiences these foul odours to report them to Yorkshire Water Helpline on the number given above (0845 1242424). When I rang to complain today about Sunday evening and Monday evening the lady taking the details was unaware of any other complaints in recent days. When I expressed my surprise she checked the log and said that only one other complaint had been made and that was on 12th July. Someone else later returned my call, took the details again and promised they would be passed on to Yorkshire Water to be dealt with. (The Helpline is apparently operated by an associate company of Yorkshire Water). I was asked if I wanted someone from Yorkshire Water to contact me but I declined as I have been along that route a number of times previously and know exactly what would be said.

  10. I live on Greatfield estate in East hull. Iv complained 3 times this year, last year and the year before that. Still no joy. Tried karl turner and hull city council. Had to shut my daughters window even though it’s boiling. I presume il.be writing this next year too.

  11. Brilliant, Yorkshire Water now have technology to prove what the public have been saying for years (bad odours escaping from the plant). Now what are they going to do to stop the smells?

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