People in Flintshire say a 'damp mop'-like smell is making their life 'miserable'

  • Video report by ITV Wales' Ian Lang

On certain days it wafts across an area from Sandy Croft to Queensferry and Connah's Quay and sometimes further, blown by the wind.

It's known as the Flintshire smell – described as "smelling like a damp mop".Exactly where it's coming from is puzzling locals, but when it does arrive, windows have to be closed.

It's an area with industrial estates, a water treatment plant and a river, so there seems to be a range of potential culprits.

Residents rush to close their windows when the smell wafts in the area. Credit: ITV Wales

Last year Flintshire Council even appointed specialists to track down the source, but it still hasn't worked it out.

Local councillor Paula Titley, who lives in Sandycroft, says it's making life miserable.She said: "We're entitled to fresh air. I mean, as soon as I get up in the morning, I come to get the milk off the doorstep.

"And if you can smell, it isn't going to be one of them kind of days, you know, where you can't open your windows, you can't put your washing out. It's just it's just awful for everybody."But it comes in waves depending on which way the wind's blowing, you know? I just sat in the barn the other day and cried because I just didn't want to open the front door, you know, knowing that's what I've got to come home to."

Paula, along with others who aren't happy with the smell, have set up a Facebook page to monitor when and where the smell is wafting.

A big concern is that when the warmer weather arrives and people spend more time outdoors, things will get unpleasant.

The topic has become a major talking point for residents. Credit: ITV Wales

"Sometimes it's stronger than others. But it's just there all the time", said Pat Leach, who lives in Mancot.

She added: "You know, you can't open your doors, your windows. So we're all suffering and we don't know what long term would be health wise, do we? We don't know what we're breathing in."

Resident Gareth Gealy is also fed up.

He said: "You go into your bedroom and the smell has crept into the air through the windows, and it's in your bedroom windows. It's in your bathroom.

"You can't sit in your garden and enjoy a cup of coffee or something in your garden in the daytime. Or in the evenings even. So it's all invasive."

Inevitably, the smell continues to be a major talking point.

Flintshire Council have carried out extensive investigations and have said they've been doing all they can to track down the source of the smell.

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