There are calls for urgent action to solve a stink that is tormenting residents of Kilmacrennan.
Home and businesses owner on Lower Main Street and in the Hillhead area of the village have suffered with an overpowering sewage smell coming from toilets.
One resident had to tape off their upstairs bathroom because of fumes coming into their house, the council was told.
Councillor John O’Donnell told the Letterkenny-Milford MD that the “absolutely vile” smell can be smelt in Kilmacrennan at any time of the day. He said people have been kept up in the middle of the night with the smell, which could cause health issues and could also harm businesses when they reopen.
“We have people living in houses and feeling their voices aren’t being heard, they are up in the middle of the night with the smell, it’s no joke, it’s absolutely vile, the smell that’s coming up,” Cllr O’Donnell said.
The issue is believed to be arising from a housing development where a tank is not adequate for the size of the estate.
Cllr O’Donnell’s complaint was sent to Irish Water, who have asked for more information on the matter.
Joe Ferry, A/Senior Executive Chemist of Donegal County Council, confirmed that the main issue is in relation to a private estate and the pumping of sewage from it.
The council environment section has issued a warning letter to the developer of that estate, but they are led to believe the developer is living outside of the jurisdiction.
“We have given them to the end of next week to see if something can be done, look at the frequency of pumping to prevent the sewage going septic,” Mr Ferry said.
If no action is taken, the next step is to issue an enforcement notice under the Public Health Act.
“The difficulty is that if there is nobody on the ground to take action and install some kind of mechanism to pump it more frequently. Another issue is the tank itself is too big and needs to be compartmentalised to some degree,” Mr Ferry said.
It now ‘remains to be seen’ on how or if the developer will respond.