A MYSTERY foul odour that is forcing families to keep their windows closed has been solved.

The 'putrid pong' has caused revulsion across Stretford and Sale and many people have been left with no option but to shut their windows and stay inside.

People have described the unpleasant aroma as smelling like maggots, old fish and raw human waste.

Donna Griffey, who lives in Dane Road, Sale, said: "It’s nasty, I’m having to shut the windows a lot of the time. Not ideal on a warm day. I can’t even sit out in the back on a warm evening.

"Definitely not nice to hang out your washing on the line with that pong!"

Vivienne Mullen, who lives in the Crossford Bridge area, said: "It's VILE. I put up with it for one or two days thinking it was just temporary but it’s making me feel quite ill now and ruining my summer days and evenings off work.

"Enough is enough now. It really does need something doing about it."

The offensive smell has been reported to Trafford Council, who investigated the matter and discovered the fetid aroma is coming from 'cakes'.

But it's certainly not the kind of cake most people will want the recipe for.

A spokesman for the Council's environmental health team said the source of the putrid odour is emanating from Stretford Wastewater Treatment works.

The spokesman said: "I have investigated the matter and I feel that the source is a process which is currently being carried out at Stretford Water Treatment works on Bradley Lane.

"United Utilities are storing a ‘cake’ material in a compound which is collected and taken away to be spread on land.

"Usually material like this is not stored in the open nor at this site, however, I understand it occurs when there is under capacity at other sites in the North West.

"I have spoken to the manager of the site who has advised that the material is covered over and odour checks have been carried out.

"In view of the complaints sent to the local authority, United Utilities will be investigating this matter further to see what improvements can be made."

The sludge 'cake' is understood to be human waste.

The Council's regulatory services team will now consider the level of odour being generated, how long the storage will last for, and discuss mitigating measures that United Utilities can implement.

An environmental health officer will visit the site again today (Wednesday, August 8), for further discussions with United Utilities.