'It's disgusting': Families in Uckfield say they've been plagued by flies from local sewage works

  • Residents in Uckfield say these flies are making their lives a misery.

People living in a town in Sussex say swarms of flies from sewage works are becoming intolerable.

Southern Water says the flies are harmless but residents in Uckfield fear new homes due to be built nearby could make the problem even worse.

Local resident Joanna Wilson said: "The flies come in and we'll have the kitchen and the ceiling just full of them. It's disgusting and obviously in the kitchen you cook so, when the flies are bad, cooking is a nightmare."

Local resident Kelly Long said: "You could have the window open for a small amount of time with the lamp on and next thing the wall is covered with little black flies.

"It's not hygienic, it's disgusting when they land in anything you drink and eat."

  • Residents say the insects infest homes and gardens in Uckfield.

The water company also says it does what it can to control them, but there are strict regulations on the chemicals it can use.

John Penicud, from Southern Water, said: "The flies are harmless, they're attracted to areas of stagnant water like naturally in the environment.

"At our Uckfield treatment works we have large areas of stagnant water so it's a natural process and the flies are just in their natural habitat.

"Obviously that's not acceptable to the residents locally and that's why we control them with insecticides which are licensed to us by the Environment Agency and we use them under the guidances of industry leading experts that we've engaged to help us manage the problem at Uckfield."

  • Southern Water says the flies are harmless and it does all it can to control them.

Wealden District Council says the land south of the sewage works was given planning permission for new homes eight years ago and it shares the concerns of local residents about the flies.

The council told ITV News Meridian: "It is Southern Water that are responsible to ensure the efficient running of their plant and limiting any flies originating from the works.

"We call on Southern Water to take further action in this regard".Southern Water says the plant has enough capacity to serve more new homes and it wouldn't lead to any increase in the number of flies.

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