An unsavoury pong which wafted across the city was caused by muck and a lack of wind, say the Environment Agency.

Over the past few weeks residents reported smelling the disgusting odour which drifted throughout Chester, Blacon and Hoole – and was smelt outside the Countess of Chester hospital  and Chester Business Park.

Concerned residents raised questions about the state of the city’s drains and the sewage works as the pong lingered around businesses and houses last week.

But now, after days of trying to get to the bottom of the cause of the undesirable stink, the Environment Agency has claimed that the smell was caused by nothing more than muck spreading in fields combined with a lack of wind.

This time last year homes and businesses across Chester and Deeside were plagued by the pong, which was believed to be caused by the spreading of chicken manure on fields surrounding Sealand Road.

This time the smell is thought to have come from fields in Christleton where farmers were spreading muck to fertilise the land, but because of a lack of wind the smell lingered around for longer than it would normally have done.

But despite residents taking to social media to express their disgust at the smell, saying they have been unable to sleep due to the pong coming into their homes, the Environment Agency say they have only had one formal complaint of an odour in the city.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We received an odour report from a resident in the Christleton area, in the south east of the city.

“An environment officer investigated and we suspect the smell is coming from muck spreading on agricultural land, which farmers undertake at this time of year to fertilise the land. Because there is not much wind at the moment, the smell has lingered.”

Farmers do not require a permit to spread slurry or farmyard manure on their land.

Last week Welsh Water revealed that work to finally banish the ‘Sealand Stink’, which has plagued residents and businesses along Sealand Road for years, was behind schedule after delays due to ‘design’ problems on works at Chester Wastewater Treatment Works.

The treatment works on Sealand Road
 

But Welsh Water insisted that works at the site, which are now due to cost £1M and be completed in November, were not to blame for the odour.

A spokesperson for Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “We have been advised by the Environment Agency that there are permitted contractors in the area who may be spreading sludge water, which we believe is the source of the odour.”

Residents can report incidents of agricultural odours to the Environment Agency incident line on 0800 807060 or to the CPI Environmental Health on 0300 123 7038.