There’s something foul at Kirkmuirhill

Sewage sludge being spread in fields in Falkirk area.
Sewage sludge being spread in fields in Falkirk area.

A Carluke reader contacted the Gazette this week to complain about an overpowering stench in the Kirkmuirhill area.

Wendy Jardine claimed the foul, decaying and rancid smell has been present in the air around Kirkmuirhill for more than a week now.

She commented: “It’s unbearable and is causing residents to feel sick. I suffer from asthma and this has exacerbated my condition having caused quite a few attacks.”

Mrs Jardine reported the matter to both South Lanarkshire Council and SEPA for investigation as to what was causing the stink.

A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said: “Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment.

“We have received a number of complaints about odour in the Kirkmuirhill area of South Lanarkshire.

“A SEPA Officer attended the area recently to investigate and confirmed that the source of odour was a stockpile of sewage sludge and digestate stored on land beside the B7078.

“We have contacted the fertiliser provider and the farmer who has confirmed his intention to spread and incorporate the material over the next few days. We are satisfied that both involved parties are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

“SEPA will continue to work with the producer to try and understand why this batch of fertiliser was particularly malodourous and ensure that appropriate measures are taken at source to prevent any reoccurrence.”

A spokesman for South Lanarkshire Council said: “This would be a matter for SEPA initially. The council will only become involved if there has been a breach of regulations.”

Digestate is a nutrient-rich substance produced by anaerobic digestion that can be used as a fertiliser. Sewage sludge refers to the residual, semi-solid material that is produced as a by-product during sewage treatment of wastewater.