Edinburgh news: Raw sewage spotted flowing into Water of Leith by disgusted onlookers
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Concerned onlookers filmed the brown substance pouring into the river beneath the bridge in Leith’s Coalie Park on Saturday, May 6. Sharing the video on Twitter, Water of Leith silt documenting group River Silty said: “Raw sewage flowing into the Water of Leith from the Combined Sewage Overflow by Junction Bridge opp. Coalie Park right now. Disgusting.”
It comes just days after Edinburgh council was warned of a ‘scandal’ of unfiltered human waste being poured into the city’s waterways in what was compared to ‘re-legalising gardyloo’. Environmental groups said there has been an ‘obvious increase’ in incidents – but it was acknowledged at a full council meeting this week the true scale of the issue ‘remains unknown’
Responding to the video, Edinburgh council said the issue had been previously reported to be rectified. And a spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said: “A SEPA officer has already been in contact with Scottish Water to ensure they are aware and dealing. SEPA will continue to monitor the situation until it is resolved.”
At the full council meeting on Thursday, May 4, environment convener Councillor Scott Arthur said: “The council’s major concern is that no-one knows how much sewage is being dumped in Edinburgh’s biodiverse waterways.” Lib Dem Councillor Jack Caldwell pointed out there are a “large number of Combined Sewer Overflow (CSOs) outputs in Edinburgh’s waterways”, such as along the Water of Leith, the River Almond and the Figgate Burn.
He said: “I’m angry for the 11 species of fish, the dozens of species of birds, the thousands of species of plant life and hundreds of thousands of residents that we represent that live near or around our rivers. Can you imagine, council, if we legalised gardyloo back on the High Street? Without any hyperbole, this is the same thing.”