Official investigation into source of egg-like smell plaguing residents

October 02 2018

A NUMBER of sites are being investigated as authorities try to track down the source of an unexplained smell causing concern among residents of Lyde Green and Emersons Green.

As previously reported in the Voice, the smell is most commonly experienced early in the morning and during the evening.

Residents who have continued to share experiences on social media say it has an egg-like or sulphuric odour, and although it was initially thought to be coming from the Shortwood Quarry landfill site on Cattybrook Road, the Environment Agency says it is currently investigating other potential sources, including the abattoir at Westerleigh.

A spokesman for the agency said: “The landfill at Shortwood Quarry is an operational non-hazardous waste landfill and has an environmental permit, issued by the Environment Agency, for the disposal of non-hazardous waste.

“In May this year, we required the operator Enovert to upgrade its landfill gas extraction system at Shortwood landfill. The gas extraction system consists of a series of wells drilled into the landfill, which collect the flammable and odorous gases produced by the landfill and burns them to produce electricity.”

 The spokesman said Enovert had added 17 new gas extraction wells to the 60 already installed in the site, to remove gas from the area of the site currently being worked on. Once extracted, the gas is burnt to generate 1.3 MW of electricity, which is exported to the National Grid.

 Enovert has been told to check the gas generation plant and to ensure it is operating correctly and not causing further smells, the agency spokesman said, adding: “Ongoing investigations are taking place to identify other measures that can be taken to further reduce frequency and intensity of smells released from the landfill site.”

 Work at the quarry site is due to be finished by this time next year.

 The spokesman said the agency had been investigating other potential sources of the smell. He said: “As part of these investigations we have required the abattoir located just north of the M4 motorway at Westerleigh to make improvements to their ventilation system, which should reduce the release of odour from their operation.”

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said the authority had “received a number of odour complaints” in the area and was monitoring them for any possible links, while also liaising with the Environment Agency, Bristol City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council over complaints made to them.

 The council spokesperson said: “Because they cover such a widespread area, it suggests that just one site is not responsible for the smell and we think that the most likely cause is spreading on farms in the local area. It is not uncommon for us to receive these types of calls at this time of year, with colder nights and warm days.”

 Anyone who has concerns about smells in the area should contact the Environment Agency by calling 0800 80 70 60.