The results of a report into the ‘Methil Ming’ have revealed that the most likely cause of the odour is, in fact, the waste water treatment works.
Now, Scottish Water, which runs the facility, has admitted it must do more to communicate with local residents about efforts to eradicate the pesky pong.
Details of the report, which was conducted by the James Hutton Institute, Heriot-Watt University and Cranfield University, were revealed at a recent Scottish Water stakeholders’ meeting.
The report included a number of recommendations aimed at reducing the stench in the area, including odour stack extension, implementation of an odour reduction dosing programme for summer 2014 and an improved discharge regime aimed at traders with high potential risk to create sewer septicity.
The commitment by Scottish Water to do more has been welcomed by David Torrance MSP and Lindsay Roy MP who were both present at the meeting.
Mr Roy said: “After years of excuses, Scottish Water recently came clean and admitted that the treatment works is the source of the horrible smell that blights people’s lives on a regular basis.
‘’It is spending a lot of time, bringing in independent experts and spending a lot of money in a bid to resolve this.
‘’The real test will come in the summer – it is essential we do not see a repetition of last year when complaints soared during the hot weather.”
Mr Roy added that while Scottish Water has admitted it must do better in terms of communication, studies still show that members of the public have little or no trust in what it says.
Also commenting, Mr Torrance said: “Scottish Water is continuing to work hard in an effort to address these problems and I’m hopeful that the future outcome will resolve the issues which have impacted on the community locally.”
Speaking at the meeting, Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s chief operating officer, said: “It is clear that people’s quality of life is being affected and we have enough information now to identify where the problem areas are.”
He added that while there had been frustrations expressed in the past about the length of time it had taken to get to this stage, some of the studies had been complex and had taken time.
Referring to clear actions regarding things such as the sewage network and chemical dosing, Mr Farrer added: “We have a very robust plan backing up these actions.
“We want them to be delivered at the earliest possible time.”