Smells and Odour Complaints
Most foul smells are a symptom of an activity or a defect such as a bonfire or a blocked drain and tackling these issues often resolves the problem. It is therefore very useful to identify where the odours are coming from and then finding the correct department to investigate and take action.
Below is a list of common sources of foul smells and organisations that are best placed to investigate.
East Sussex County Council (ESCC) are responsible for the maintenance of the roadside gullies through their Highways department. If you are affected by bad smells from a roadside gully you can contact them online.
Sewerage and Foul Water Pipes
Southern Water has responsibility for most foul water pipes in the borough except for pipes serving a single property which are within the property boundaries.
See our Drainage page for more details.
If you are affected by smells and odours from blockages or defects in foul water/sewer pipes you can report this to Southern Water by calling them on 0330 303 0368.
If you smell gas you should call the free 24 hour Gas Emergency line on 0800 111 999 and take the following steps to reduce the likelihood of an incident:
- Turn the gas supply off at the meter
- Open doors and windows to get rid of the gas
- Check appliances - cookers, fires etc. for unlit gas, or if the pilot light has gone out
- Keep people away from the affected area
- Do not turn any electrical switches on or off
- Do not smoke, strike matches or use naked flames
Anti-Social Behaviour or Criminal Activity
If you believe the smell is as a result of deliberate anti-social behaviour or you suspect it to be from a criminal activity you can report this to Sussex Police by email or by dialling 101.
Food Outlets or Industrial/Commercial Units
Our Environmental Health team will investigate reports about smells and odours from trade or commercial premises. To take action we must be satisfied that the smell or odour is a statutory nuisance.
You can report this odour complaint using our online form.
Our Environmental Health team has only limited powers to investigate domestic properties for smell or odour nuisance. We are unable to investigate cooking smells or smoke from cigarettes.
If your complaint is about an accumulation of rubbish or faecal build up in a front or rear garden visit Rubbish Accumulation on Private Land.
If you are being affected by persistent bonfires visit our Bonfires information page.
Where Southern Water has advised a drain is privately owned you can report this to us using our Blocked Drains online form.
For further information on smells and odours you can contact us on 01424 451079.
- Report asbestos
- Make a noise complaint
- Report rubbish accumulation on private land
- Report a blocked drain (below ground)
- Report Pollution - Bonfire Odour Lighting or Dust
Got a question about environmental health?01424 451079
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