Smells and Flooding – Last Week’s Rawreth Parish Council




Last Wednesday’s meeting of Rawreth Parish Council was quite a good one. First of all, Richard Evans, the no. 1 Environmental Health man at Rochford District Council, came along to discuss the situation at West Rayleigh Sewage Works. And because Mr Evans came along. the reporter John Georghan from the Echo came as well (which caused a laugh – more on that later).

The current situation with the sewage works is that Anglian Water have made the following promises:
They may not solve the whole problem, but they are a start.

1. Lorries would only be allowed to enter and leave the site 7:45 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday. No weekends, no bank holidays, no night-time!
2. Anglian Water agreed to purchase new sheets to cover the lorries. The sheets would be of a material that would ensure no leakage or spillage of cake and that would also minimise any smell from the loads.
3. All lorries entering and leaving the site would be sheeted.
4. Spot checks will take place when lorries enter and leave the site, with the new opening hours staff will always be on site to do the checks! Also new signs would be placed at the exit of the site stating that all vehicles leaving the site should be covered.

Any lorries seen operating outside of the agreed hours, or any lorries un-sheeted, or any complaints of smell should be reported to Anglian Water Control Centre on 0800 145 145,
Ask for your complaint to be logged, make sure that they know the complaint is about West Rayleigh and for your complaint to be passed to the designated person, Mr John David.

The Parish Clerk, Hayley Bloomfield, mentioned that the smell had been particularly strong in Sweyne Park during the previous week and she had seen parents wrinkling their noses and clearly wondering where the semll was coming from. It was particularly useful having Richard Evans present to help the discussion , and it was noticeable that he didn’t leave as soon as the ‘sewage’ item was over, he stayed on to the end.

The other main item was the risk of flooding in Church Road, Rawreth. The danger point is where the brook crosses under Church Road:

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When there is heavy rain at Rayleigh and North Benfleet, the surface water drains off towards Rawreth through this brook. Several residents from Church Road came along to the meeting because they were so concerned – one couple had had their septic tank flooded recently, another man had been flooded out in the past.

The danger of flooding is being increased by three things:

  • New housing developements, which are mostly buildings and hard surfaces, with little open ground left for water to soak away naturally. If developers can get the Environment Agency to say they are OK, District Councils can’t refuse them for drainage reasons. But the Environment Agency don’t take any responsibility if things go wrong.
  • The brook is silting up and becoming more overgrown, but the Environment Agency don’t come to clear it out.
  • If there any obstructions on the Crouch at Battlesbridge , this can cause a build-up of water uprstream. So it’s important to avoid any obstruction to the flow when flooding is a possibility.
  • There was a plea ffrom one resident to get as much help as we could on this – “We need to contact our MP” he said “We need to contact the Echo” Nobody in the audience realised until then that the quiet man scribbling away was indeed from the Echo, and that caused a laugh. Well done, Mr Georghan, for coming.

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