We're being 'gassed out' of our flat because of an atrocious smelly river – the stench gives us a headache

A COUPLE claim they are being "gassed out" of their home thanks to a nearby smelly river.

The "atrocious" stench is giving Tom Roffe and his partner such consistent headaches they are desperate to escape.

The pair moved into the rented flat in Dartford, Kent, hoping for a relaxing life in the "leafy garden suburb".

But instead of the tranquillity they were promised, they have been battling "cracking headaches" and consistent nausea for the last month.

Their block sits opposite Mill Pond, and an oil leak several weeks ago has given residents hell as the pong drifts upwards.

Tom and his partner, who both work from home, now find themselves escaping to the town centre just to get away from the funk.


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Software developer Tom, 37, told KentOnline: "I've more or less been gassed out of my flat because of the fuel vapors evaporating off the warming pond.

"Now the weather is getting warmer we can smell it and it stinks. The smell is atrocious."

Tom first reported the issue to the Environment Agency on March 1.

He was told the smell was due to an "oil bunkering operation" where fuel is transferred for use by ships.

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Clean-up crews visited and started skimming the surface of the water, but Tom reckons the job is nowhere near complete.

"It has improved," he said. "They were pumping all last night but I'm not quite sure what they were pumping."

A spokesperson for Thames Water said it was working to contain the spill, which entered the water through one of its pumping stations.

"We have a large team working to contain the oil pollution and are arranging for any oil on the surface of the pond to be skimmed off," they said.

"We also have a team checking the pipes that carry surface water to the pumping station to try and trace the source of the oil and are keeping the Environment Agency up to date on our investigation."

The Environment Agency confirmed it was also monitoring the situation.

A spokesperson added: "We have acted on reports from members of the public of oil on the River Darent.

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"Oil was found coming from a pumping station on Overy Lane and we have worked with Thames Water to stop the pollutant and reduce any harm to the environment.

"We will continue to work with Thames Water as they work to identify the source of the pollution and stop any further discharges from the site."

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