THE putrid pong that greets visitors on the Fife side of the Forth has got so bad, folk in cars are starting to look each other and saying, “It wisnae me!"

That’s the claim made by Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley, who’s calling for action to stop the stench of sewage once and for all so West Fifers can finally breathe easy.

The Press has reported for years on the waste water whiff wafting from the Dunfermline Waste Water Treatment Works, located on the B981 between Inverkeithing and North Queensferry, with the stink often noticeable when entering and leaving the Kingdom via the Forth Road Bridge.

In June 2014, following an investigation, Fife Council sent an ‘odour management plan’ to Scottish Water, but Mr Rowley said that he continues to get complaints from Inverkeithing residents.

He told the Press, “I did street surgeries in Inverkeithing last week and I was surprised by the number of people who raised the matter.

“People are very proud to be Fifers, and many pointed out that the first thing that hits you when you come over the bridge, depending on which way the wind blows, is this terrible stench.

“It’s got the point where people in cars look at each other and say, ‘It wisnae me!’ “Part of the point people are making is that we’ve got this new bridge, and they’re proud to promote Fife for tourism, so we need to address this.

“I took the issue up last year with Fife Council and there were all these different steps being taken to address the issue but from the feedback I got from the surgeries, the problem is still ongoing.” In the odour management plan sent to Scottish Water, Fife Council identified the principal sources of odour, including the release of sulphide and other smells from septic sludges; the release of ammonia from the addition of lime to sludge cake; the transfer and storage of lime-treated sludge to open bays; the transfer of lime-treated sludge by diggers to lorries; and the movement of lime-treated sludge across and away from the site.

The plan also included mitigation measures, including building over inlet coarse screens; screened sludge reception tanks; covered holding tanks; and covering lime-dosed sludge cake lorries with a tarpaulin before leaving the site.

Mr Rowley has now written to Scottish Water and said, “I want to follow up to see what has and what hasn’t been addressed. We’ve complained about this for years and there’s a mitigation plan, but I need to know if all those steps have been taken since last June – if not, why not, and if yes, then something else needs to be done because the smell is still there.” The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said it had not received any recent odour complaints associated with the waste water treatment works, but advised residents to contact its pollution hotline on 0800 807060 to report any potential pollution incidents.

A Scottish Water spokesperson said, “We are constantly working with SEPA and Fife Council to manage odours from Dunfermline Waste Water Treatment Works and to comply with our regulatory requirements.

“We have not yet received the latest letter from Alex Rowley MSP. When it arrives we shall ensure any concerns raised are fully investigated by the local waste water operations team and a response will go back to the MSP.”