Severn Trent apologises to residents affected by "foul, medieval stench" of Sandwell sewage works
Severn Trent has vowed to residents on a Sandwell street that work will be done over the next eight weeks to reduce the "foul, medieval stench" emanating from a nearby sewage works.
Residents of Forge Lane in Cradley Heath are in close proximity to a Severn Trent sewage pumping station, but residents say the "stench" has only recently escalated to an "unbearable" level.
After complaining to the company, Severn Trent has now apologised to residents for the upset caused and have detailed work to rectify the issue.
In a letter written to residents by the team manager of Severn Trent in Stourbridge, Paul Acton, Mr Acton claims that the bad smell was a result of faulty storm tanks at the site.
Mr Acton explains that valves will be installed to allow Severn Trent to manually drain the storm tanks, and that "extremely challenging" work will be carried out over the next eight weeks to alleviate the issue in the long term.
In the letter to residents, Mr Acton said: "Firstly, huge apologies for the upset and frustration that has been caused due to the issues at Cradley Forge as a result of faulty storm tanks.
"I'd like to reassure you that our teams are working on a solution to help reduce odours. This includes installing valves so we can manually drain the tanks, and later this year we have planned work that will alleviate the issue in the longer term.
"The planned work that's needed is extremely challenging and requires careful planning, but we have spoken with the specialist contractors who are supporting us who advise they will aim to carry out the work over the next eight weeks.
"Please be assured that it is our absolute priority to do what we can in the short term, while working on a long term solution to resolve this, and we appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we do this.
"Again, we'd like to apologise for the issues that have been caused and our teams are continuing to monitor the site closely."
"Like something from medieval times"
Residents of Forge Lane have previously spoken to the Express & Star about the overwhelming odour that has been plaguing their houses for the past few months.
Phil Penn said: "I've lived here about nine years and it's been fine, and every now and again in the summer we get the smell for a few hours.
"But over the last few weeks since we've had the heat, it's been just constant for us. It's overpowering. All the neighbours are complaining about it, but Severn Trent told me no one else has complained.
"It's like something from medieval times, just the stench of it. We have to lock the windows and if we don't, you'll walk into the kitchen and it'll just smell like raw horrible sewage.
"Friends and family are reluctant to visit as well as putting you off your food due to the smell, and it even makes the house smell like a toilet 24/7."