TOURISTS are being offered a day out with a difference when a sewage works opens up for a rare chance to have a look around.

Organisers Thames Water have promised a 'fascinating although somewhat fragrant' experience at the exclusive tour of Didcot sewage works on Saturday, April, 28.

The facility, in Basil Hill Road, treats waste water from around 37,000 people in and around the town.

During the tour guests will see how solid matter is initially filtered out of waste water.

They’ll also see the other stages of the sewage treatment process before visiting the point where the fully cleaned up water is released into the environment.

Thames Water hope to raise awareness of the problems caused by unflushable items such as wipes, which regularly clog up the machinery at the site as well as blocking the pipes that feed into it.

Its the latest in a series of initiatives run by the water company to help people find out more about the site and the sewage treatment process.

Local schools are also regularly given the chance to visit and peer into the tanks below.

Site Performance Manager Deena McKinney, who will be leading the tour, said they always prove popular because of people's 'fascination' with the sewage system.

She added: “When we hold open days we always find they’re really popular as people are fascinated by what we do with all the waste water that leaves their homes.

"They’re also amazed just how big an impact the things they pour and flush away have on our equipment and the environment.

"Young people in particular love the yuk factor that inevitably is associated with a sewage works, so our open days are designed to be suitable for anyone aged seven and upwards.

"We hope lots of people will come and join us.”

The sewage works is notable as being the first site in the UK to generate gas from human sewage.

When it was launched in 2010, the £2.5million project aimed to eventually supply enough gas to 200 homes.

The gas is produced by warming up “sludge” – the solid part of the sewage – for anaerobic digestion by bacteria, which breaks down any biodegradable material and produces biogas.

In recent years the company has had to expand its provision in the area, with a multi-million pound new sewer opening last year to support the building of 6,000 homes at Great Western Park and Valley Park in the west of the town.

Bookings for the tour are now open. Places are limited so anyone interested should email Additional open days are planned for June 30 and September 15.