Kicking up a stink over Denaby sewage plant

Resident Frank Knapton pictured with councillors Tracey Leyland-Jepson, Sue Phillips and David Holland, outside the water treatment plant in Denaby. Picture: Marie Caley S0971MC
Resident Frank Knapton pictured with councillors Tracey Leyland-Jepson, Sue Phillips and David Holland, outside the water treatment plant in Denaby. Picture: Marie Caley S0971MC

Residents and a councillor are calling for a permanent solution to a foul odour coming from a ‘problem’ sewage plant after it was confirmed there has been yet another leak from the facility.

People living in Mexborough and Denaby Main have been complaining about alleged leaks from the waste water treatment plant near Banbury Bridge ever since it opened several years ago.

Yorkshire Water, which operates the Denaby Lane site, said they are investigating an issue with the pump house which is leading to a “flow coming out of the side of the building.”

Councillors in Mexborough, Denaby and Conisbrough have received numerous complaints about the issue from residents and have urged Yorkshire Water to solve the problem for good.

Mexborough councillor David Holland said: “They’ve been monitoring it for long enough. It’s high time they did something about it.

“Last year Yorkshire Water’s operating profits were £331.5m. Perhaps they should show a bit more concern for their customers instead of giving huge dividends to their shareholders.

“They keep saying they don’t get many complaints so I urge local residents or people passing by to make a complaint to 08451 24 24 24.”

Resident Frank Knapton MBE, a 77-year-old retired policeman, of Morton Road, Mexborough, added: “It has been a problem place ever since it opened a few years ago. The smell at times is horrible.

“If it was just occasionally then we could probably accept that. But it is pretty much every week there is a bad smell coming from there.

“There have been a number of new homes built in Mexborough and Denaby in recent years and I wonder if it can handle the waste coming from the extra number of houses.

“It seems there is a real issue and I would like to see Yorkshire Water sort it out.”

The £14 million pound facility opened in 2008 and saw two sites at Mexborough and Burcroft decommissioned so the waste could be processed at one site.

Coun Holland received a letter from Yorkshire Water’s customer service department in which the organisation accepted there had been a problem at the £14 million pound plant.

It said investigations revealed the odour control units have been operating efficiently and readings from the perimeter fence showed odour levels “would not cause any health issues for nearby residents.”

But the letter added there was an issue with sewage coming from the plant.

It continued: “The pumping station wet well, directly next to the gate at the perimeter fence, is the worst affected area of the site, we have an issue with the pumps in the pump house which is leading to a flow coming out of the side of the building into the wet well.”

The letter goes on to say Yorkshire Water will monitor the situation after an officer visited the site and agreed that in a gust of wind the odour would carry and cause concern.

Yorkshire Water spokesman Matt Thompson said: “The issue with the pumps was a case of some heavy duty rags becoming entangled, and this was quickly resolved.

“Owing to the operational nature of the site - it receives up to 215 litres of waste water every second - there is always likely to be the occasional odour around the site. However, we work very hard to minimise odours wherever possible.

“We have two odour control units at the site which continue to perform as they should, and the on-site team follow strict operational procedures to ensure that equipment checks and maintenance is carried out on a regular basis, to ensure that if there are any issues, they are picked up quickly and dealt with.

“We want to reassure everyone concerned that we take any odour complaints very seriously.”