Demands for water company to stop ‘the pong’

James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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A SICKENING stench of raw sewage has caused fury among businesses in Havant.

Since April an unpleasant pong has been in the air at Broadmarsh, close to Budds Farm Water Treatment Works in Southmoor Lane.

Bosses at Southmoor Workspace, a modern development offering office facilities to dozens of small businesses, said the constant smell was making working life very uncomfortable.

They have been complaining about the smell to Southern Water since April, but say there has been little improvement.

Gemma Waugh, 24, part of the management team at Southmoor Workspace, said: ‘We have lots of different businesses in the building.

‘We have actually lost two tenants over the last three months because of the smell.

‘It’s become quite a problem.

‘Every time we show people round they say “Is the smell always like this?”.

‘One of the businesses said they didn’t want their client to turn up to their office with the smell of raw sewage.

‘It’s like this the whole day and it puts you off eating.

‘Every time we phone up they seem to give another excuse.’

The business development has been up and running for a year.

Ms Waugh added: ‘I am sure we are not the only business round here affected.

‘It’s difficult economic times at the moment to trade it and this doesn’t help.’

Budds Farm treats flows of around 2,400 litres a second from almost 400,000 people in and around Portsmouth, including Waterlooville, Havant and Hayling Island.

A spokesman for Southern Water, which is based near Worthing, West Sussex, said: ‘We are sorry that some customers are experiencing bad smells coming from our Budds Farm Wastewater Treatment Works.

‘We believe this is due to the storage and movement of treated waste which is taken away for use as a fertiliser in agriculture. We are dealing with more waste than usual at the site, while we carry out improvements at our Peel Common treatment works, which could be why the smells are stronger than normal.

‘We have odour control measures in place but will review these and look to see if there is anything else we can do.

‘Treatment works by their very nature will always generate smells but we do all we can to minimise these.’