A foul smell has plagued one part of Wirral for three decades, according to a local garage owner.
Stuart Montador, 52, runs Montador Motors on Argyle Street in Birkenhead, just around the corner from United Utilities Waste Water Treatment Works on Shore Lane, which is understood to be the source of the problem.
Mr Montador said the smell was embarrassing and that some thought it was coming from his business.
Speaking to the ECHO, Mr Montador said: “It smells like raw sewage, if you lift up a sewage cover that’s the smell that comes out.
“Staff members often moan that it’s unfair to have to put up with that.”
The Birkenhead businessman said it was not a new problem.
He added: “It’s something we’ve had to endure for the last 30 years on and off.
“We go through months where it happens very little and other months where it is almost a daily event.
“Sometimes the smell disappears, but within 30 minutes it comes back again.
“It can be extremely strong. It’s unpleasant and embarrassing. Some people assume it is us that's making the smell.
“Having tried and tried over the years I have kind of given up, it seems like we’re fighting a losing battle.”
Mr Montador, whose business has been operating on the Argyle Street site for 20 years, said he thought the issue was getting more severe.
He added: “I have certainly noticed it has gotten worse since the initial lockdown, over the last 12 months.
“This area is supposed to be under regeneration and it definitely needs it. I just think that one thing [the smell] desperately needs to be sorted out if we are ever going to rejuvenate the area.
“People live in this area and they must suffer really badly.”
Residents in the area noticed the smell was particularly strong last month.
The Liverpool Echo sends newsletters on a wide range of topics - including our daily news bulletin, now going out three times a day.
There are others on what's on, politics, court news, Knowsley, Wirral, and arts & culture, as well as both Liverpool FC and Everton FC.
Signing up is free and it only takes a minute for you to get the biggest stories, sent straight to your inbox.
How to sign up for an Echo Email Update
1) Go to our dedicated newsletter page at this link.
2) Put your email in the box where indicated
3) Tick as many boxes as you like, for each newsletter you want.
4) Press Save changes and that's it!
Posting in the Facebook group Friends of Hamilton Square Conservation Area in March, one person spoke of an “unbearable smell around the square”.
They added: “This problem with [the treatment works] has been ongoing for 12 months or more.
“I know covid has affected all our businesses but this is unacceptable now. I had a roofer walk off site a few days ago as he could not work with the smell.
“How bad do things have to get and for how long before United Utilities are forced to act?”
Responding to such concerns last month, Cllr Pat Cleary, who represents Birkenhead and Tranmere for the Green Party on Wirral Council, said the problem is hitting companies in the area and called on United Utilities to solve it.
Got a Wirral story? Email me at [email protected]
Today, a spokesperson for United Utilities said: “We apologise to customers living close to our wastewater treatment works at Birkenhead who have been affected by an increase in odours emanating from the site.
“We’re doing everything we can to minimise odours while we refurbish the works’ odour control unit to ensure it continues to work effectively for many years to come. We expect to complete this essential work at the end of this month.”