Fumes and odours

In residential areas, the most common sources of odour problems include smells from:

  • drains
  • dirty houses
  • dumped rubbish
  • dead animals
  • dog fouling

Any smells of gas should be reported immediately to National Grid Gas Emergencies on 0800 111 999.

Rural and industrial smells and odours

In rural areas, there may be odours produced by farming or agricultural activities. Many industrial processes also have the potential to produce fumes and odours. It can be difficult to identify the source especially on industrial estates where similar industrial processes operate.

Some industrial sites use modern gas cleaning systems and may hold a permit to control their emissions to air. These processes should not, in normal circumstances, cause a nuisance to residents and other businesses in the area.

All complaints will be investigated and, depending on how bad the smell is and how often it affects you, we can take action to stop odours that cause a public health nuisance.

If you wish to refer a fume or odour problem to us or you need advice on any matter relating to fumes or odours, please contact us.

Slurry spreading

Slurry or muck spreading can become an issue when the smells associated with the practice give rise to complaints.

Farmers dispose of accumulations of farm waste as an organic fertiliser and traditionally spread this on agricultural land during the autumn and after harvest. The spreading season might last for up to two months. Some farmers spread at other times of the year to dispose of excess farmyard waste.

A code of practice issued by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) gives advice to farmers on acceptable methods of spreading and good practice for the protection of air.

You can make a complaint to us about agricultural smells and we will investigate, however it’s not possible to avoid all odours from agriculture. If your complaint is proved to be justified, we’ll examine and evaluate the management systems and practices at the farm and make recommendations for improvements. In serious cases, formal abatement action may be taken against the farmer.