A PUTRID stench is infuriating Cronton villagers.

Residents say an appalling smell has been seeping from Dog Clog Brook that runs beside their homes.

The pollution has been traced to the disused Rainhill sewage works site in Norlands Lane.

Cronton Clr Shaun Cooper said: “Contaminated waste was dumped at the sewage works without the consent of the landowner.

“The landowner is not to blame for this. He is offering a  £50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever was responsible.

“Leachate has entered the brook. It is not a threat to health but is very serious and damaging to the environment.”

The contaminated brook runs alongside the home of Jackie Swain, aged 63, of Smithy Lane.

She said: “It absolutely stunk to high heaven this weekend. It’s like raw sewage effluent. The stench is dreadful.”

Her husband, Eric, aged 74, a retired mechanical engineer, said: “It is awful. We’ve been complaining for months.

“It is very worrying. We want help.”

A spokesperson for Knowsley Council said: “The Environment Agency is carrying out an investigation. The council is currently investigating the reported odour problems near properties on Smithy Lane.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Around September, 2013, the site was subject to illegally disposed contaminated waste material which was covered with clean material. This buried waste has been releasing leachate into the drainage systems that connect to Dog Clog Brook.

“Landowners, The Cronton Land Company is cooperating fully with the investigation and has appointed civil engineers to try to prevent further leachate from escaping.

"We expect a significant improvement in the quality of Dog Clog Brook over the coming weeks. The brook is expected to fully recover naturally once the discharges have been capped and diverted to a foul water sewer.

"However, there is likely to be some continuation from odour from the brook in and around Cronton village, particularly during warmer weather and lower flows in the brook.

"We will continue to monitor the site, gather evidence and continue discussions with teh site owners to ensure the situation is resolved as a matter of urgency."

If you have any information that could help the invesigation, please call a 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060.