More action from Aberdeen City Council and SEPA needed to solve Torry pong says expert

Nigg Waste Water Treatment Works in Torry has been linked with unpleasant smells in the community.

Aberdeen City Council and environment watchdog SEPA should step up efforts to tackle an odour problem in a city community, according to the man investigating it.

Independent expert Professor Rob Jackson was commissioned by Scottish Water in 2015 to find the source of the smell. People in Torry have complained about the stench for more than 15 years, and have raised questions about the £63 million Nigg Waste Water Treatment Works, run by Kelda Water, which opened in 2001.

Prof Jackson has written to the Nigg Monitoring Group, chaired by Maureen Watt MSP, saying statutory bodies – the city council and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) – must do more.

He said: “The community remain of the opinion that such odours predominantly emanate from the waste water treatment works and while some smells may from time to time undoubtedly be associated with this source I remain of the opinion that other offenders are present.

“Kelda Water Services is clearly committed to eradicating, wherever and whenever possible, odour risk from the works and I consider it unfortunate that the works continues to be perceived as the sole or primary culprit for all reported complaints.

“With this in mind I believe it to be imperative that the two statutory bodies responsible for policing odour nuisance re-double their combined efforts to identify polluting premises and impose sanctions upon the offending companies.”

Prof Jackson’s report in 2015 found seawater was allowed to enter at some points in the sewage network.

A council spokeswoman said: “Aberdeen City Council is continuing to investigate any incidences of odour occurring within Torry reported to it, and is taking action as necessary to minimise the issue.”

A SEPA spokesman said: “SEPA remain committed to minimising the impact of odours in Torry. With regards to the Nigg Waste Water Treatment Works, SEPA has welcomed the significant investment in the site made by its operator and continue to closely monitor its performance through inspections and regular site meetings.”