Villagers angry over ‘intense’ sludge cake fumes

Villagers at Saxby are angry about ‘intense’ fumes coming from a large pile of treated human waste which they say is ruining their quality of life.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 5:53 pm
A pile of sludgecake (treated human waste) stored near the village of Saxby, which some residents are very unhappy about EMN-210107-104050001
A pile of sludgecake (treated human waste) stored near the village of Saxby, which some residents are very unhappy about EMN-210107-104050001

They are also concerned the so-called ‘sludge cake’ could potentially contaminate a nearby watercourse and insist they were given no warning of it being dumped there, on farmland around 20 metres from the edge of the village.

The Environment Agency has looked into the issue but said it is not something which is their responsibility because of where it is located.

One villager, Andrew, who complained to the agency said: “The storage is 10 metres from a public right of way and highway with no warning signs nor any precautions in place.

A pile of sludgecake (treated human waste) stored near the village of Saxby, which some residents are very unhappy about EMN-210107-104039001

“It is approximately 20 metres from the edge of Saxby village and is potentially contaminating a water course.

“The fumes for over two weeks have been intense and highly inappropriate and there are a lot of flies around it.”

The Environment Agency say it is their priority to deal with reports that present a high or significant risk to the environment and they look at evidence and intelligence to work out where the high and significant risks are.

In response to Andrew’s complaint, an agency representative said: “This would not come under the Environment Agency’s remit as the storage is more than 10 metres from inland waters and more than 50 metres from any well or borehole.

“If there is evidence of water pollution from this then please get in contact with us at this point.”

Farmers use waste sludge, after it has been treated and recycled, on their land as a fertiliser and to improve the structure of soil.