An end to ‘Parbold and Appley Bridge pong’

The Hoscar Sewage Works near Parbold
The Hoscar Sewage Works near Parbold

A MASSIVE sewerage investment package may be perfume to the noses of thousands of residents.

For generations, communities living south of the Wigan Waste Waters Treatment Works handling our toilet waste have had to close windows or hold their breath on warm summer evenings.

Now engineers have told a public meeting of their technical solution to finally snuff out what has long been dubbed the Parbold (and Appley Bridge) pong.

West Lancashire Borough Council is working with neighbouring households and operators of the Hoscar plant, United Utilities, to tackle odour problems.

And have now reported a “very positive for all sides” meeting with the drains giant and community representatives. Officers from UU gave a presentation about its plans for future operation of the plant, while Borough Council planners outlined the enforcement options open to them to police the smell problem and emphasised last year’s odour issues exacerbated by the weather.

United Utilities revealed that a £1.2m investment package is now under way at the site which hope to help control future odour problems that may arise.

The meeting also heard agreement had been reached for greater “information sharing” between the council and United Utilities.

Town hall chiefs at West Lancs have also undertaken to provide additional feedback and monthly summaries to residents.

A spokesman for UU told the Observer: “Over the last decade we have invested in excess of £50m to upgrade Wigan Wastewater Treatment Works to improve our everyday work activities.

“This has led to a significant reduction in odour complaints from their peak in 2006. That said, we will always look at opportunities to continue to address any issues raised by our neighbours relating to odour.

“And it’s for this reason we are currently nearing the completion of another £1.2m project on site to help deliver such improvements.”

United Utilities operate Hoscar under Department of Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Code of Practice which states the complete removal of odour “will not be possible in all cases.”

However, if there are significant odour problems, the council will look to use the legislation available to attempt to make improvements for residents and will liaise with the site accordingly.

Borough council assistant director community services Dave Tilleray said: “We are aware of the concerns from residents and want to work with them and United Utilities on issues that arise.

“It is very important that residents contact us with any complaints that they have about the site so we can raise these issues with United Utilities. So I hope that residents will please get in touch with us if there are any major concerns about the site.”

Residents can now make odour complaints at a specific and newly set up email address or call the council on 01695 577177 and ask for Environmental Health. Problems can also be reported to United Utilities on 0845 746 2200.