Raw sewage flowing into Forth month after leak reported

Sewage at Port Edgar. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Sewage at Port Edgar. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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RAW sewage has been flowing into the Port Edgar marina for weeks as Scottish Water battles to fix a pipe four metres underground.

A foul, intermittent discharge has been left leaking into the Forth since at least February – with officials blaming the “challenging” nature of the repair.

Residents said they were “disgusted” at the lack of action taken to protect the environment and wildlife while the repairs are ongoing.

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Pictures taken by locals show swans swimming in the raw sewage, which is being pumped into the water just a few hundred yards from where pleasure boats are moored.

David Russell, a retired nurse who lives nearby, said he first contacted Scottish Water and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) about the issue last month.

He was assured a clean-up would be carried out and the situation then briefly improved.

But towards the beginning of this month the problem came back, with raw sewage even appearing above the high tide line, preventing it from being washed away. He reported the issue again on March 12.

The 57-year-old said: “My problem is not really the fact there’s been a sewage leak. You get cracked pipes.

“What they have not been doing is cleaning up the foreshore to take away the untreated sewage. There’s swans there feeding on it, there’s migrating birds feeding on it, there’s rats feeding on it. It’s a viewpoint where people come to look at the new bridge. It’s quite a busy area for tourists and for the sailing community.”

A SEPA spokesman said: “SEPA is aware of concerns regarding the presence of sewage at Port Edgar. We have attended the site to investigate and are in contact with Scottish Water. Scottish Water are currently carrying out works to resolve this.”

A spokesman for Scottish Water insisted it had been carrying out clean-ups “following intermittent discharges” – and was arranging another as repairs are completed.

He said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the damaged sewer at Port Edgar. Protecting the environment is a top priority and we are looking to complete repairs as soon as possible.

“The problematic pipe is four metres below ground, meaning that repair work is complex and relatively slow progress, as we must ensure safety is a top priority. Another complication is the proximity of utilities which crosses directly over the affected pipe.

“The discharge has been intermittent. We have made good progress in recent days and are now in the process of finalising the repair.

“A team will also be carrying out a full clean-up of any debris related to our infrastructure and we will continue to monitor.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com