Anglian Water is under fire for dragging its feet over a new stink from Spalding’s sewage works.
Complaints surged following the recent collapse of the company’s main sludge storage tank at West Marsh Road.
The tank has been “condemned” by the company’s structural engineer and removed from service because there’s a high risk of its ceiling collapsing.
But replacing it is expected to cost in the region of £300,000 to £500,000 and delivery could take nine to 12 months.
A report from Anglian Water to tomorrow’s county council environmental scrutiny committee says: “This is a major capital scheme and the issue has been escalated to identify the urgent need for funding.”
But Coun Roger Gambba-Jones described Anglian Water as a “hundreds of millions pounds company” and says it should simply get on with the work.
He said: “This is something we should invest in for the future, not just put a sticking plaster over it.”
The councillor says he’s been battling Anglian Water over the smell from the town sewage works since he was first elected in 1999.
He says the district can’t seem to get the evidence to challenge the company under statutory nuisance because, although unpleasant and nasty, the smell is “just below the level” required to be illegal.
Coun Gambba-Jones said at the county elections, the Tories under leader Martin Hill pledged “to go into battle with Anglian Water across Lincolnshire for areas such as ours that do have odour problems”, but “regrettably it appears to have been an empty promise up to now”.
He said: “Anglian water did make various promises when this was raised by local businesses and I can only suggest that local businesses help us out again because Anglian Water don’t seem to take much notice of us as a council.”
The report to the county’s environment scrutiny committee says Anglian Water is using an alternative tank to process sludge and has placed an order for mobile odour masking sprays.
Anglian Water spokesman Antony Innes said: “In the short-term, we are looking at any repairs that could be made, whilst we look at a longer term permanent solution. The £300-£500k is an estimation – the final scheme could involve more than replacing/repairing the damaged tank.”
The company has apologised to businesses and customers in Spalding who have “noticed an increase in odour”.