Letchworth Waterworks – Update

Picture of water treatment centre

Ward Councillor, Steve Dixon made the following statement on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council at the Fairfield Parish Council meeting on December 8.

“As you are aware, we served an abatement notice on Anglian Water yesterday [December 7] (by hand at their Head office in Huntingdon) for the likely occurrence of a statutory nuisance from odour arising from the Sewerage Treatment Works. The notice requires them to abate the nuisance by the 31st March 2017 (we have to allow a reasonable period of time for them to undertake any necessary works to achieve compliance with the notice).

[CBC officer] Jane Mann has visited the site today and met with manager Neil Chamberlain. She has provided the following update for me to pass onto the Parish Council:

Following my site visit today I can update as follows;

‘Firstly regarding the odour episode last weekend both the pumps serving the odour neutraliser on the centrifuge centrate and cake discharge area failed (one failed Friday evening and the other Saturday morning) therefore the odour neutralising sprays in this area were not operational. The pumps have been repaired/replaced on Monday and Tuesday of this week and were in operation during the site visit today. Anglian Water has also ordered spare pumps to be held on site so that they can be replaced quickly if the pumps fail in the future.  In addition some of the pipes and mixing valves supplying water and air to the bloodhound odour neutralising unit covering the sludge holding tank froze and split in the sub freezing temperatures . The defective pipes have been replaced and replacement valves are on order. The bloodhound unit was in operating effectively during the site visit today. Anglian Water is sourcing suitable insulation to reduce the likelihood of the bloodhound system freezing again.

Anglian Water has received the results of the odour logging on site and a revised odour model for the sewage treatment works has been produced. These results are being used to target odour mitigation works to the areas of the site that are currently producing the highest levels of odour. It should be noted that it is not practicable to control all odour at all times from an operational sewage treatment works.

The three areas that produced the most odours during the monitoring period were The Centrifuge Centrate discharge, the Centrifuge Cake discharge and the Strainpress discharge point. Anglian Water has identified a program of permanent odour mitigation works to each of these areas and is currently obtaining contractor quotes and timescales to implement this program.’

Neil Chamberlain of Anglian Water advised Jane that the CEO for Anglian Water visited the site yesterday, apparently as a result of contact from Alistair Burt MP.”

At the parish council meeting it was agreed that the only party who are not addressing residents are Anglian Water themselves. To this end FPC are planning to invite Anglian Water to a meeting to explain their actions.