Burn at National Trust's Newhailes estate in Musselburgh turns green after Scottish Water called to diesel spill reports

Visitors to a Musselburgh beauty spot have been left baffled this week after a burn appeared to glow bright green.

By Rhoda Morrison
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:55 am

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The water, which runs through the National Trust for Scotland’s (NTS) Newhailes estate, turned an alarming shade of fluorescent green yesterday while investigations into a possible oil spill in the area were carried out.

Engineers from Scottish Water were called to reports of diesel in the river and were asked by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to trace the source of the spill – which is believed to have come from a privately operated culvert.

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The burn at the Newhailes estate was glowing green after engineers from Scottish Water added a dye to test for pollutants.

But when they added a non-toxic green dye to the water, no pollutant was found.

A spokesman from Scottish Water said: “Green tracing dye was used to ensure that there were no issues with the drainage network.

“Tracing dye is non-toxic, does not harm the environment and is commonly used to investigate drainage issues.

“No diesel pollutant was evident in the burn when we visited and it was found to be running clear. We have fed this back to SEPA.”

A spokesman for the NTS added that the green dye is due to ‘dissipate shortly’.

He added: “We are grateful to Scottish Water for their prompt action.”

In September 2018, an Edinburgh river suddenly turned a bright green colour after an investigation by environment protection officers.

The Braid Burn was said to look "like something out of a science fiction movie".

The colour came from a dye which is used for tracing drainage outfalls.

At the time, SEPA insisted that only non-toxic chemicals are allowed to be used.

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