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A Portsmouth pong caused a stink between Hampshire County Council and the Southern Water Authority.

County officials told water men to stop dumping sewage sludge at the Paulsgrove tip next to the M27.

The county hall chiefs slapped on the ban after complaints from local residents about an obnoxious smell that had been wafting around the area since Christmas.

However, Southern Water Authority (SWA) was not altogether convinced that the pong was their fault.

It said that if there was a delay in finding a new tipping site, quantities of the sludge would build up at the Chickenhall plant near Eastleigh, spelling a pollution risk.

The SWA had been dumping sewage sludge at Paulsgrove at the rate of a skip-load a day for a period of nine months.

The sludge was extracted during both the primary and secondary stages of sewage treatment.

In windy weather, the smell had permeated a wide area of north Portsmouth and led to protests from local residents – with some calling out the Gas Board, fearing the odour stemmed from a gas leak.