AN obnoxious smell is making a town’s residents feel ‘physically ill’.

The offensive odour first began turning people’s stomachs in Westhoughton on Thursday.

There have been reports of the stink as far as Horwich, Middlebrook and Aspull.

Town councillor David Wilkinson believes the smell is ‘sewerage slurry’ which has been spread as a fertiliser on fields on the Hart Common side of the town.

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He told The Bolton News he had received numerous complaints via the My Westhougton Facebook page, which is run by the town’s Liberal Democrat group.

He said: “It isn’t just bad, it’s pretty obnoxious to say the least.

“I believe it’s sewerage slurry, because 10 years ago we had a similar incident in the Blackrod area and the smell is quite unmistakeable.

“It’s not ordinary muck spreading, ordinary animal waste or anything like that. Westhoughton has a lot of farms and I’m well aware of what ordinary muck smells like – this is sewerage slurry.”

And he added that the smell was so bad it was making people feel unwell.

“It’s pretty pong," he said. "I’ve had a number of comments from people who’ve been physically ill with it , because it’s extremely strong out there now.

“It does turn your stomach over a little bit. We have had people comment that they have been physically ill with the level of the smell.

I have a feeling it’s being spread at night, because even more people were going mad when they got up in the morning over the last couple of days.”

Councillor Wilkinson said that sewerage slurry can be used, subject to certain regulations, but it should have been ploughed into the fields immediately.

He said: “People can put up with normal muck, but sewerage slurry is a very, very powerful smell and has got a lot of people aggravated by it, to say the least.

“My view is that it should be ploughed in straight away, I can only assume not been ploughed in because the amount of smell we’re still getting indicates it has not been ploughed in.

He continued: “When we had this 10 years ago according to regulations they need the ground tested for chemical traces in the soil, because it can contain certain chemicals phosphorous, sulphur or heavy metals because it’s come straight from human waste.”

“As far as I know the regulations are that it should be ploughed in within a specific time, that doesn’t appear to have happened or more sewerage slurry is being spread.”

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But Cllr Wilkinson was keen to stress that he supports farmers , but that more consideration was needed when using sewerage slurry.

“I have no problem with farmers – we do need to protect farmers," he said.

"However, sewerage slurry is an inappropriate use given the location.

"Ordinary animal waste is no problem, but sewerage slurry should be ploughed in straight away to minimise the smell . It’s day three of it now, and it’s still quite pongy. It’s not pleasant.”

Cllr Wilkinson and Westhoughton South borough councillor David Chadwick have both reported the problem to the council’s environmental health team.

Cllr Chadwick said: “I have had two or three complaints, nobody seems to be able to identify where this smell is coming from. I’m not sure if the farmer is muck-spreading or what, but I’m told that is what it is.

“I have asked the head of the environmental health department to give me their opinion on the situation and what can be done about it.”

A petition to ban the spreading of sewerage slurry near residential areas has been launched.

It can be found at