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If you suspect a gas leak, contact Transco immediately free of charge - telephone 0800 111999.

Smells and odours can come from either inside or outside your property. It may be easy to identify the source but odours can be carried for long distances in the wind, which makes it less easy to identify.

If the odour is inside your home then you should check the possible sources, such as blocked drains and hot light fittings.

If you can't identify the cause, we may be able to help and offer advice on possible sources.

If the odour comes from other premises and is found to be causing a nuisance, we can seek a remedy in law.

Collecting evidence is crucial to success in solving problems, especially if legal action has to be taken. You can obtain a log sheet if you wish to start logging incidents of odours that you wish us to investigate.

You can contact us on 01744 676789 or email

Agricultural odours

A common cause of complaints is agricultural odours. The process of muck spreading is a key factor in successful farming, which is part and parcel of living in a semi-rural area. The activity is often dictated by the weather, and positions of crops and can coincide with warmer days when people may have windows open or may be enjoying their gardens.

Complaints are usually associated with normal farming activities, such as the spreading of manure on farmland. Muck spreading is recognised as standard agricultural practice and odour can be expected from time to time. The smell usually lasts for a short period of time, and farmers are encouraged to use best practice whilst spreading muck in their fields.

Read the Code of Good Agricultural Practice for farmers, growers and land managers for more information.

We are unlikely to investigate odour complaints about the spreading of manure on land unless the smell is excessive or prolonged.

Recycled sewage sludge (bio solids) from sewage treatment works

The spreading of recycled sewage sludge (bio solids) is a perfectly lawful activity and considered the best environmental option for managing treated sewage sludge arising from sewage treatment works. There may be an odour, for short periods of time, while the bio solids are moved, stockpiled or ploughed into fields.

While it is agreed that the presence of odour from application of treated sewage sludge can be offensive, it is our opinion that the temporary and occasional nature of such exposures when undertaken in accordance with the legislation does not constitute a statutory odour nuisance when balanced against all the other factors that have to be considered for making a determination in this respect.

United Utilities have produced a briefing around the use of sewage cake.