As advised we wrote to Falkirk Council and received the under-noted response from the Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards Manager. We have noted that the first smell complaint the Community Council received on our Facebook page was on 12th September pre-dated the spreading noted in the response and the most recent on the 9th October after completion of the spreading.
We would welcome any comments you may have on Falkirk Council’s response in order that we can agree a response as appropriate to Falkirk Council – please post your comments here or e-mail them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, Falkirk Council has advised the direct phone number for registering smell complaints is 01324 504982. We would urge residents to continue to register any ongoing smell complaints in the area as soon as you detect them in order that they can be investigated.
Falkirk Council’s response:
“I can confirm that enhanced treated sewage sludge was being spread onto fields at Kersebrock farm, from the 22nd September till the 25th, ploughing continued until the 29th. During this period there was an easterly wind which unfortunately blew the resultant odours across the Larbert/Torwood area. The odours were eliminated as soon as the material was ploughed into the ground, however unfortunately there was a delay with the plough completing the work due to adverse ground conditions. The last complaint received at this office was on the 30th September at which time officers checked the area and did not detect any odours.
Further spreading took place at Kersebrock on the 2nd & 3rd October, however there was a westerly wind and no complaints were received and officers monitoring the area did not detect any odours in the vicinity. The farmer who owns a number of fields to the west of Larbert has been contacted and confirmed that he has not been spreading any kind of fertiliser in the area. Officers have checked the area west and south west of Larbert and there are no signs of agricultural activity that would cause any odours. Officers have not been aware of any odours in the area since the 26th September, and no complaints have been received since the 29th. An officer checked the area again on 8th October and there was no odour or signs of agricultural activity in the area.
It has been confirmed that the sludge used at Kersebrock farm complies with the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations and the DETR Code of Practise for Agricultural Use of Sewage Sludge.
Due to its nature, sewage sludge will always have an associated odour while spreading operations take place. If the material is ploughed into the ground, the odour will disappear quickly thereafter, however if the sludge is to be used as a “top dressing” then it will lie on the surface of the field and the odour may be present for several days (depending on the weather).
The spreading operations have been carried out in compliance with government legislation and relevant guidance. Consequently council officers have no grounds or powers to prevent further spreading.
I would recommend that constituents contact this office when there is an odour present in order that the matter may be investigated promptly.”