Letter: Fears about sludge lagoons unfounded

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The Independent Online
Sir: I refer to the article on the proposed lagoon at Iken, Suffolk ('Lagoons darken village horizon', 22 September).

The objectors to the sludge lagoons accept them as part of an environmentally friendly activity. The issue is that they want them located elsewhere - yet another case of Nimby. One of our challenges is to persuade the objectors that their fears are groundless and that their sympathy for our agricultural service can be extended reasonably to local activities.

We do not believe we have contravened any UK or European regulations and have followed established guidelines at all times, in preparing the plans and in contemplating the proposed method of operation. We have met the objectors on several occasions and they have yet to substantiate their claim that we are contravening the law and neither we nor the Department of the Environment have heard anything from the EC.

Sludge lagoons are an essential feature in providing a service to agriculture that helps to reduce the need for artificial fertilisers. Indeed, their use was foreseen in the formulation of the current regulations.

The lagoons are low profile, earth-embanked features that quickly blend into the landscape. We could not be in breach of regulations concerning pollution because the lagoons are designed to be non-polluting, being lined to prevent leakage.

We successfully operate sludge lagoons in all parts of the Anglian Region without complaint from local people and there is no doubt that use of sewage sludge on agricultural land is sensible and environmentally friendly.

While the views of the residents in Iken are respected and have influenced our plans for execution of the project, they will only be satisfied if we move the lagoons.

Yours faithfully,


Divisional Manager

Anglian Water Services Limited

Colchester, Essex

24 September