Edinburgh school hit by overflowing sewage

Gracemount Primary. Picture: Jon Savage
Gracemount Primary. Picture: Jon Savage
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PARENTS have sounded a warning over plans to admit dozens more pupils to a primary school whose drains regularly overflow, spilling sewage into the playground and dining hall.

Gracemount Primary has had to shut off areas inside and outside the school at various times because of the problem.

But now its numbers are set to rise thanks to new housing developments in the area.

The city council is to build a new primary school to cater for children from the hundreds of new homes scheduled for the south-east of the Capital, but it will not be ready until 2020.

And the council says in the meantime Gracemount could have to take up to 60 more pupils.

Justine Bradd, of Gracemount Parent Council, said £165,000 worth of improvements to the school had been recommended several years ago, but never carried out.

She said: “The school roll is due to increase with the new houses and we are concerned it won’t cope with current capacity.

“We have made repeated requests for improvements. Drainage and sewage have been a problem in particular.

“The playground regularly floods and repeated requests have been made to upgrade the drains, but to no avail.

“Our children are posed with a serious health risk in that sewage often come into the playground and the dining hall with heavy rain.”

She said the P3 playground had recently been closed for two days due to flooding and internal areas of the school had been affected too.

Ms Bradd said the parents council was calling on the council to invest in Gracemount Primary to “ensure the building is fit for our children to be taught in”.

She said: “We ask that investment is made in drainage upgrades to the school and the nursery as well, because the problems have extended to there as well.”

Ms Bradd also raised concerns about the capacity of the playground.

She said: “We’ve put in a number of request to have playing fields to the back of the school included.”

The new primary will be built at a site in the Broomhills housing development to the south of Frogston Road East and between Burdiehouse Road and Broomhills Road.

Once it opens it will mean changes to the current catchment areas of Gracemount, Gilmerton and Liberton primaries.

The council has said it is currently liaising with Edinburgh Leisure in the hope of securing additional outdoor space for Gracemount.

A spokesman for the council said it was also looking into the parents’ concerns about drainage at the school.

He said: “Last year the drains were blocked, in part due to a broken manhole cover which we fixed, and we will continue to work closely with the school when any issues relating to drainage or flooding are raised.”