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Norwich's 'stink pots' mystery solved

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 October 2011

City councillor Bert Bremner with one of the tall rusty pole 'stink pots',  Anglian Water's sewage system vent poles. Picture: Denise Bradley.

City councillor Bert Bremner with one of the tall rusty pole 'stink pots', Anglian Water's sewage system vent poles. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Archant copyright 2011

Poles rather than polls have been occupying one city councillor's attention for more than two years.

Bert Bremner’s detective trail began in North Earlham when he first gave some thought to the rusty poles rising up from the pavement.

Making inquiries at City Hall, he learned that they were venting columns, locally known as “stink pots”, designed to vent sewers and prevent vacuums developing.

However, despite endless email inquiries – and growing frustration at spotting more and more of the poles all over the city – it was only in the past weeks that he established Anglian Water was responsible for them.

An apologetic letter from a representative of the company, which inherited the columns when it took over from the council-run Norwich Water, confirmed its plans to remove some of the rusty ones. However, it confessed to not having a clue as to the number of them across the city.

Mr Bremner said: “Perhaps Evening News readers could help by sending in their own stink pot pictures. I feel they could be painted properly and the moulded City Lion and Castle on the base picked out in colour.”

Sarah D’Arcy, of Anglian Water, said: “These columns provide crucial aeration for the sewage network allowing gases to escape.

“If people have specific concerns we would encourage them to contact us.”

What do you think? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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