Torry residents had to abandon their gardens last week amid claims of a pungent stench emanating from a city water treatment centre.
The £63 million Nigg Waste Water Treatment Works opened in 2001 and residents say they were assured smells were “never meant to go pass the boundary fence” when planning consent was being sought 20 years ago.
But people living in the Torry community complain that bad odours have been wafting across the area for many years – and persist despite improvement works and many promises of an end to the problem.
The local community council accused Scottish Water of failing to address the problem after complaining of foul smells assaulting the senses of residents again last week.
Ron Pushkins, chair of the Torry Community Council (TCC) has written to Roseanna Cunningham, cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform to seek assistance.
In his letter, he says: “Our community was blighted by serious sewage issues during the recent bank holiday weekend where we experienced good weather.
“Folk had to abandon their gardens for their own wellbeing.”
Mr Pushkins claims the water treatment centre and its operation has been a long-standing problem despite the Scottish Government claiming there has been no breach of the Sewage Nuisance Code of Practice.
Scottish Water has assured the community that their concerns are being taken seriously.
A spokesman said: “Scottish Water and our PFI partner Kelda Water Services, who operate the site on our behalf, take all odour complaints seriously.
“Over the period of the group’s work, members have recognised that a significant improvement has been achieved, with a substantial reduction in complaints.”
A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) also responded to residents’ concerns.
“SEPA continues to work with Scottish Water and Aberdeen City Council to ensure that the risk of odours from Nigg Waste Water Treatment Works are minimised,” a spokesman said.
“The operator has carried out a range of improvement works at the site and there is also a programme of ongoing maintenance to effectively manage odour from the facility.”
In a Scottish Government response to Mr Pushkin’s letter a spokesman said that they recognised that: “engagement with the community can always be improved.”
However, in response to Mr Pushkin’s suggestion that the Sewerage Nuisance Code of Practise needs to be reviewed, the government replied that they had seen no compelling evidence to indicate that a review was necessary.
In the wake of the comments offered by SEPA, Scottish Water and the Scottish Government, Torry community council member David Fryer said it was clear residents were still not being listened to.
He said: “The bland response to our letter shows how we are still being fobbed off. Now, it is a matter of how we respond.”