MP Alistair Burt has received the following response from the CEO of Anglian Water, Peter Simpson.
Dear Mr Burt
Thank you for your email of 5 December 2016, regarding the odour complaints from Letchworth Water Recycling Centre.
On the weekend of 4 and 5 December, due to the freezing weather conditions that had been experienced, the housing on the pumps cracked. These pumps were the ones operating the odour masking equipment. One of the pumps cracked on Friday and the second cracked on Saturday. As soon as we were made aware, we called our maintenance team out to carry out essential repairs
Both pumps are now up and running and, as a precautionary measure, we have purchased two more motors so we have spares, if required again at short notice. This would have certainly caused the odour to be stronger in and around the Fairfield Park estate.
Moving forward, with regard to managing the odour that comes from the water recycling centre, we have purchased several odour spray systems that are located on the equipment at the site, which we feel are the main areas of concern. The sprays will ensure that the odour masking chemical is aimed to achieve effective odour management. As well as these units that are in operation we are looking at covering the area of site equipment that has the strongest emissions as identified in our investigations. We are looking into two possible methods to achieve this odour removal. Once we have the area covered and suitable odour removal this will be a permanent fixture on site.
I visited the site on Wednesday 7 December, along with Director of Waste Water Operations, Paul Gibbs. We found the site was operating within satisfactory levels and we believe the work mentioned will reduce the potential of any odours in the future.
We have been working very closely with representatives from the local parish council, town council, environmental health and local residents. We have and will continue to keep everyone concerned updated with the progress on resolving this issue. If you would like to be included on any communication that is sent out, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Both Cllr Dixon and FPC take exception to the last paragraph and will be pursuing those comments. On our behalf Cllr Dixon has questioned why the smell was so bad this weekend (December 17, 18 and 19), and suggesting the current equipment they have deployed, inadequate for anything beyond a south westerly wind.