Work to prevent repeat of town stench

ENVIRONMENT chiefs have begun removing silt from a west Suffolk weir to prevent a repeat of unpleasant odours which engulfed a town centre last year.

The month-long Environment Agency operation to remove silt from the Eastgate Weir in Bury St Edmunds began on Monday.

The agency hopes the works, which are costing �66,000, will help reduce the risk of unpleasant smells which are known to occur in periods of warm weather.

Last summer, town residents in the town voiced their concern not only at the smells coming from the River Lark but also at the look of the river, when it turned a dusky pink colour.

Geoff Brighty, the agency’s area manager, said: “I am pleased to announce the start of this desilting work at Eastgate Weir.

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“The build-up of stagnating silt at the weir has created these unpleasant smells and by removing this silt and by improving the efficiency of the weir the odour problems should now be a thing of the past.

“We have worked hard to identify and eliminate possible causes of these unpleasant smells, and we are doing everything possible for the local community to make certain there is no repeat of the odour problem.

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“We are also eager to ensure there is no undesirable run-off from industry or agriculture into the River Lark.”

One of the residents affected by the smells is Pauline Byford, who lives in a cottage just yards from the River Lark.

Speaking about the agency’s clear-up programme, Mrs Byford said: “I am over the moon with this – we all are down here. We’ve waited a very long time for it.”

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