£5.4m scheme to tackle ‘unbearable’ stench in Ottery St Mary

South West Water headquarters. Ref mhh 0001-27-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

South West Water headquarters. Ref mhh 0001-27-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Ottery residents plagued by an ‘unbearable’ and ‘vomit-making’ stench in summer months could be free of the stink next year - after the completion of a £5.4million sewage works project.

South West Water (SWW) has invested the money - which includes the decommissioning of Ottery’s sewage works and the diversion of all flows to Fluxton. This will leave the town site for flow control and storm water storage only.

Nick Murch, operations manager for SWW, told the town council on Monday that the Fluxton plant should be ready by April 2017 and fully online by July.

Jennie and Bob Skelly have lived in Riverside View for 28 years and said the new plant would solve the problems they encountered. Mrs Skelly said: “We had such a hot summer, it was unbearable living here.

“We closed the doors, but we had to have a window open. When the smell came through, when you put your head on your pillow, you thought you were eating it - it was so awful. I think it has now solved our problem. I do not think we will have a smell like we had this year once the system is up and running.”

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A SWW spokeswoman said the £5.4million scheme was a ‘great opportunity’ to resolve the smell issue.

Councillor Paul Carter said it was ‘fantastic news’ on how the money would be spent, adding: “I think it’s great news for everybody and I look forward to it coming online.”

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Cllr Roger Giles described the smell for residents in Oak Close, Millford and Riverside View as a ‘disgusting, horrible and vomit-making.’

He asked SWW to consider covering the town’s remaining storm tank, as this would be a small percentage of the final cost.

Mr Murch replied: “At the present time, there is no intention to cover it, but we will monitor the situation after the new works are built, because we are hoping that the new increase in flows down to Fluxton will negate the need to use it.”

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