Hold your nose, the ‘Pathhead Pong’ is back!

Pathhead sewage treatment works at Kirkcaldy
Pathhead sewage treatment works at Kirkcaldy

residents living near a sewage plant in Kirkcaldy have reacted with dismay at the return of the notorious “Pathhead Pong”.

Following a lengthy battle between those who live near the facility and Scottish Water over the smell that would come from the plant, a new outer building was installed at a cost of £4.4m in 2010 to alleviate the stench.

However, at the beginning of February the building exploded into flames due to an electrical fault and while repairs are being carried out, locals have reported that the foul odour is back and is as bad as ever.

Mrs Norma Rutherford, whose house overlooks Pathhead Sands and the site of the sewage works, said that the facility is permanently unmanned which is part of the problem. “I asked after the fire if they were going to get a night watchman but was told no,” she said. “They’ve said that if there’s a problem with the smell in the future they’ll get it fixed, but how will they know if there’s never anyone there?

“My husband and I have both been ill recently and the last thing we need is for all this to start up again.”

It was Mrs Rutherford who contacted the fire service when the blaze broke out and says that no-one has contacted her from Scottish Water to thank her or to pass on information regarding the plant.

She said: “I felt sure that someone from Scottish Water would come around to see us and no-one did. Nor have I been thanked personally for phoning the fire brigade.

‘‘If it wasn’t for me that whole place would have been destroyed.

“It took nine years of protest before they did anything last time, but it looks like it’s the same as ever with Scottish Water.

‘‘They just couldn’t care less.”

A Scottish Water spokesman said: “We are taking action to carry out repair work at Kirkcaldy following last month’s fire. We are liaising with our contractor to source all the equipment needed to carry out repair work as soon as possible. In the meantime a temporary extraction fan has been put in place to minimise odours.”