MYSTERY pollution that is 'poisoning' a burn in West Kilbride is causing a stink among villagers.

In recent weeks, residents have complained of a pungent odour and grey water coming from a pipe that flows into the Kilbride Burn on the path through the glen from the town.

Resident Jeni Lennox says the pollution comes from a stream that emerges from underground on the East side of the railway line on Nethermiln Road - and fears it is poisoning the water.

She said: “Sewage in the water cannot be good in any circumstance, but this is a great space where the village traditionally walk their dogs.

“Parents use the space to take their kids out for much-needed exercise. We are creating a hazard for both when we need the space most.

“This burn flows down to the sea, we should not be leaking our waste into the sea, the burn or any of our fields or public places in the 21st century.”

Despite the best efforts of teams from a number of agencies, the definitive source of the pollution remains a mystery.

She said: “We are a small village so there will be a limited number of sewers and streams.

“It would make sense to do the work now and sort it properly. Spend now and save our burn from this recurring poisoning”

Teams from Scottish Water, SEPA and North Ayrshire Council have been out and believe that the pollution is coming from a private sewage system, such as a septic tank.

A spokesperson for SEPA said: “SEPA has received a small number of complaints about a grey, smelly water discharge to the Kilbride Burn in West Kilbride.

“Scottish Water has checked sewers, surface water systems and watercourse connections to the east of the railway line and has reported to SEPA that there is no sign of any problems within the network.

“We urge local residents to check their private systems and ensure that maintenance is up to date.”

Jenni says the village’s infrastructure is no longer proportionate to the population - and could be causing problems.

She said: “It is pretty ancient and no longer fit for purpose as the village has grown so much with limited or no upgrading.

“There are problems at the railway bridge on the way out of the village with regular flooding, there are problems opposite the station with flooding, drains regularly block on South Road and in other locations around the town.

“We do need some serious work done."

West Kilbride Councillor Todd Ferguson has been working to get to the bottom of the problem.

He said: “SEPA has informed me that the polluting material is not threatening to the environment or the community and at this stage it does not meet their threshold for a site investigation.

“After calls from the community advising that it had become worse over the weekend a second site visit from NAC Environmental Health team confirmed that there was a malodour emitting from the Burn upon approach and that the grey water discharge, possibly sewage fungi, appeared to have become worse.

“Their response to this issue has been absolutely first class and I have been assured that they will continue to liaise with SEPA and Scottish Water to help them finding the source of the problem.

“It is a far greater concern to me that SEPA and Scottish Water have been unable, or unwilling, to identify where the polluting material is emanating from and seem reluctant to take responsibility for resolving the issues which have been raised by the community.

“West Kilbride Burn and the glen are at the very heart of the community and the relevant authorities responsible should be taking more direct action to resolve the issue.”