CAMPAIGNERS against the Mogden stink are flexing their muscles as complaints against the pong continue to grow.
Vince Cable, MP for Twickenham, joins Brentford councillor, Andrew Dakers, in pressing for a tighter programme to cover the storm tanks at Isleworth's Mogden Sewage Works.
Mr Cable said: "Following the campaign in which I and others were involved several years ago, Thames
Water covered two of the storm tanks and the main areas of the works which generate odour, with a £50million investment programme.
"This has undoubtedly improved matters but there are still problems with the uncovered tanks when there are unpredictable weather patterns.
"These problems could get worse when the plant expands in the next few years, unless there is a tighter timetable for covering the storm tanks."
In June, Hounslow Council's sustainable development committee gave the green light to a controversial scheme to increase the Isleworth
plant's size by half.
Although Thames Water say its plans will reduce the need to use the storm tanks and therefore hopefully the smell, campaigners are concerned that the previous multi-million pound works to control the odour seemingly had little effect.
Mr Dakers is asking Thames Water to begin planning the investment immediately to cover the remaining storm tanks and not rely on a contribution by OFWAT.
He suggests that Thames Water focuses on covering an additional three storm tanks by the end of March 2010, and if the odour has not reduced substantially during next summer, the final three should be covered by the end of the year.
"Mogden has for too long blighted the lives of many in our local community," he said.
"Only two of eight storm tanks are currently covered. Waiting another four or five years until the current expansion programme is completed to discover whether use of the storm tanks has lessened and the odour abated is not good enough.
"If your child cannot concentrate
on their homework because of the odour, as many residents have complained to me, then you have good reason for continued concern."
A spokeswoman for Thames Water said: "The high rainfall and groundwater levels have meant a much greater volume than normal has been entering the works - more than it can cope with - leading to
almost continual use of the storm tanks. It has been difficult and sometimes impossible to get the storm tanks empty and cleaned before they have been required again.
"This is why we are extending the site. The extension will increase treatment capacity by 40 per cent, which will greatly reduce the need for the storm tanks to be used."