Doubts float to surface on Kelso’s sewage pong cure

Kelso sewage works near the new Riverside Housing Estate.
Kelso sewage works near the new Riverside Housing Estate.

There are serious doubts as to whether the saga of the mystery noxious pong blamed on Kelso Sewage Works will ever be totally solved.

On Monday, there were seven complaints about bad smells logged by residents of Riverside Drive.

Local Scottish Borders councillor Alec Nicol had gone to the works and met with Scottish Water officials.

The bad odour has been going on for a considerable number of years, despite several surveys and upgrading of the facilities.

At Tuesday’s meeting of Kelso Community Council, Mr Nicol said when he checked those tanks on the site which are open, there was no bad smell.

“Yet there were seven separate complaints about the smell – to be honest, I’m now at my wits’ end and they [Scottish Water officials] are also at their wits’ end over this,” he said.

“The only thing I can think of is the three ‘settling’ tanks and two ‘bubbling’ tanks must give off something because the rest of the tanks are all enclosed.”

Fellow councillor, Tom Weatherston, said it might be like living near a chip shop or chutney works – sometimes there will be a smell.

“I think it could just be the nature of the beast in this case,” he said.

“In the long term, the aim must be to get a new sewage works away from Kelso because I don’t think you’ll ever totally cure the problem, given the location of the works.”