Hammersmith & Fulham Council is threatening to take Thames Water to court if it does not immediately deal with the noise and smell caused by a pumping station.
Neighbours say between 400 to 500 people are affected and council officers have received more than 50 complaints from people living near the Acton Pumping Station in Warple Way, East Acton. It holds storm water after heavy rain once sewers have reached maximum capacity.
The smell of sewage building up at the bottom of the tanks and the noise of pumps sending water back into the sewers after heavy rain has been leaving residents unable to open their windows.
Councillor Wesley Harcourt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services, said: “The noise and smell from Acton Pumping Station is stopping residents enjoying their homes and that is simply unacceptable.
“Thames Water has had plenty of warning about this problem and residents have had enough. The company has until September 6 to take effective action or face the consequences.”
Mark Danks of Warple Way works from home and lives opposite the tanks. He estimates about 1,000 local people are affected by the tanks.
He said: “Our building is very energy efficient; it feels like summer 10 months a year. It’s horrible living in a place where you can’t open your windows or doors, it’s like being in a sweat box. If I had known I never would have moved here.
“I can’t have people over, it’s embarrassing. If you open your windows or doors, you feel nauseous. Many neighbours with weaker stomachs than me can’t eat in their own homes.”
After earlier intervention from H&F Council, which is leading the action backed by Ealing Council, Thames Water installed an automated cleaning system and a bigger, more powerful pump. But these still failed to drain the tanks properly, leaving a foul-smelling sludge at the bottom of the tanks.
H&F Council has now served the company with a legal notice giving Thames Water until 6 September to solve the problem or potentially face court action.
Anyone concerned about the smell or noise coming from Acton Pumping Station should contact the H&F Noise and Nuisance Service on 020 8753 1081 during office hours and 020 8748 8588 outside office hours.