Smelly sewers spark gas leak alarm in Waterside

The smell of waste emanating from the sewers under Spencer Road was so bad on Wednesday that some residents feared there was about to be an explosion resulting from a gas leak.

Two fire appliances and an ambulance were called out to investigate the suspicious odour in the vicinity of Barnewall Place and Spencer Road just before 2pm on October 7.

But after readings were taken by fire officers in attendance, it was concluded that the odour was not the result of a potentially explosive gas leak, rather it was ‘natural’ gas rising from the underground sewers.

One officer, in attendance, suggested the spell of unusually dry weather, may have resulted in smellier than would have been expected, sewers for the time of year.

But the fire service said the call-out had been in good faith.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said: “There was a report of a smell of gas in the area.

“We attended the area and a number of readings were taken. There was no indication of carbon monoxide gas. It was determined that the smell was coming from the sewers.

“The incident is being treated as a false alarm and no dangerous gases have been detected.”