LONG-SUFFERING victims of the notorious Methil Ming are crying foul over a latest investigation into the source of the putrid pong.
Independent expert Professor Robert Jackson, who was drafted in by Scottish Water, claims the foul smell is not just coming from Levenmouth’s sewage works.
His report also blames the River Leven and local drains.
“In particular, he pointed out drains near the Shorehead bus station and also the Shell garage at the Bawbee Bridge,” said spokesperson Bill Curley.
However, local residents claim that conclusion would be laughable but for the seriousness of the situation.
A 67-year-old woman who lives in Kinnarchie Crescent, Methil said: “That’s very funny. I’ve lived in this area all my life and there’s no way that smell was here before the sewage plant was built.
“My first reaction to that report was that it was codswallop. Somebody has passed the buck here.
“In the meantime, are we expected to hold our breath for another 10 years until this problem is fixed?”
In reaction to the report, Scottish Water has pledged to work alongside the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Fife Council to identify and address all the odour sources.
But Jill White, a businesswoman who lives in Leven, says Scottish Water “owes it to the community” to be more upfront than that.
“The report is not conclusive at all – if it’s not the sewage plant, why is there a putrid odour when I drive past Innerleven Church at 7.10am every morning?
“It’s even more crucial now that they publish a progress update every month – for example, through the East Fife Mail – and they should be committing to some sort of deadline. Rather than an 0845 number, why not provide us with a dedicated free phone line? People are being charged for complaint calls. The response time is up to two hours and you get a call back eventually, where they simply leave a message saying there’s been no smell detected.”
Anne Marie Dewar, Scottish Water’s regional community manager for Fife, said it was essential local residents report odours as and when they are experienced to allow its new multi-agency working group to keep an accurate record of the situation.
“I would encourage Scottish Water customers to continue reporting such issues to our customer helpline, based in Edinburgh, where our operatives will record details, allowing us to take immediate action. They can do so using our specialist local rate number 0845 601 8855,” she said.
“I will continue to update key local stakeholders and community leaders on any developments regarding Levenmouth on a regular basis.”