Parish angered by water company's summer works
CONCERNS have been raised in St Erth about the effect sewage work carried out during the summer period had on the village.
St Erth Parish Council has hit out at South West Water (SWW) after repeated attempts to ask for work to be postponed until after the peak tourist season have gone unanswered.
Routine maintenance work in the village has led to many complaints from residents regarding the smell of treatment at the sewage works and prompted the parish council to call for any non-essential work to be restricted to the winter months.
Parish council chairman Ted Taylor said he was "appalled by South West Water's attitude to the local community" after it failed to respond to the issue.
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He added: "The smell coming from the sewage works during the summer has been awful, despite assurances from SWW its routine maintenance works were 'very unlikely' to cause any problems.
"Everyone understands SWW has to undertake emergency work and that sometimes, routine maintenance work results in additional, unforeseen work – but summertime is when we all spend much more time outdoors.
"This is when we have the most visitors to the parish, who help to sustain the local economy, and many tourists to west Penwith are also greeted by the smell on occasions."
The parish council has asked SWW to explain why work cannot be carried out between November and March, but is yet to receive a reply.
Parish clerk Peter Rylett confirmed that the council was asking Andrew George, MP, for his support and involvement in the matter.
A spokesman for SWW said work was originally scheduled to take place in the autumn, but a fault led them to begin the work early.
She added: "We brought forward a £275,000 scheme to improve digesters at Hayle sewage treatment works near St Erth after experiencing a fault in the biological process.
"Without bringing forward these improvements the treatment of sewage sludge at the works would be severely impacted and consequently affect the sustainable operation of the works.
"We apologise to customers affected by odours during the work.
"We have met with representatives from the parish council on site and since then informed them of improvements we are making which will reduce odours."