Folk living on the edge of the city have slammed the "disgusting" smell coming from a nearby sewage facility - which has been labelled 'The Great Stink' of Norwich. 

Locals in Thorpe St Andrew say they have been avoiding sitting in their own gardens due to the pong drifting over from Anglian Water's Whitlingham Sewage Treatment Works.

Norwich Evening News: Evening News' Phoebe Ozanne experiences the 'stink' herselfEvening News' Phoebe Ozanne experiences the 'stink' herself (Image: William Warnes)

"It's awful," said Paul Macardle, a homeowner in St Andrew's Park.

"We had it for quite a few years and then it seemed to stop for a while.

"But it's come back in the last few weeks and it's affecting us all quite a lot."

Anglian Water says it is aware of the smell and its teams are working to reduce the odour, which drivers on the A47 have also complained about.

Norwich Evening News: Folk living in St Andrews Park have complained about the smellFolk living in St Andrews Park have complained about the smell (Image: Google Maps)

However, the company did not clarify why it had got worse in recent weeks.

Anne Roderick, who lives off Yarmouth Road, joked it is like London's Great Stink of 1858.

"When is Anglian Water going to stop polluting our nostrils?" she said.

"I have lived in Thorpe St Andrew for eight years now and this summer has been the worst one so far for foul-smelling odours.

"How much longer will we have to deal with this stink?"

Norwich Evening News: Whitlingham Sewage Treatment Works at Kirby BedonWhitlingham Sewage Treatment Works at Kirby Bedon

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"For the last 10 years we haven't had any issues," said another St Andrew's Park local - who wished to remain anonymous.

"But the last two weeks have been really bad and I can't sit in the garden because of it.

"It is truly disgusting."

It is understood folk living in the area will be meeting with Anglian Water bosses soon to discuss solutions to the problem.

Norwich Evening News: Anglian Water bosses will be meeting with concerned locals on Friday. Photo: Anglian Water chief Peter SimpsonAnglian Water bosses will be meeting with concerned locals on Friday. Photo: Anglian Water chief Peter Simpson (Image: Suffolk Chamber of Commerce)

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But the company says it cannot guarantee that the odour will be "fully eliminated".

An Anglian Water spokesman said: "We use special equipment and chemicals to stop unpleasant smells escaping into the air as much as possible.

"The nature of site, and the job it’s there to do means there will inevitably be some smells from time to time.

"We want to be the best neighbours we can and if customers notice a spike in odours they can contact us through Facebook, Twitter or through our customer services number 03457 145 145."

Regulator calls for improvements

Anglian Water has retained its two-star rating in its latest annual report from the Environment Agency.

With the highest rating being four stars, two represent a company requiring improvement, with the report also showing Anglian Water is the UK's worst water company for self-reporting pollution incidents.

Its rating was due, in part, to it being fined £5.5m in 2022 having been responsible for 33 sewage pollution incidents per 10,000km.

It also caused 255 incidents in 2022, 11 of which were considered serious.