We have copied the email below;
We have copied the email below;
Due to ongoing foul odour emissions from Seafield our local MSP Ben MacPherson wrote to the Scottish Governments Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.
The Scottish Governments response has now been shared with Leith Links Community Council and we are sharing it here so that our community to read the Cabinet Secretarys views regarding the ongoing foul odour emissions.
Leith Links Community Council is a member of ‘Community Councils Together on Trams’ alongside Leith Central Community Council, Leith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council and New Town & Broughton Community Council. CCTT is the coalition of Community Councils who meet regularly to discuss, scrutinise and influence the intended continuation of the Edinburgh Tram system to Newhaven.
Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 30 April 2020 are copied below for our communities information.
Odour is by far the biggest nuisance from Seafield which negatively impacts on the quality of life for many local residents however, it is often the case that excessive noise from the site is also problematic.
A recent spike in noise complaints has resulted in one of Scottish Waters Dundee based spokespeople contacting the Community Council to explain the noise. Notably, their explanation does not include an apology, as is often the case when they respond to odour complaints. Their email is copied below;
It was with great fanfare that the Leith Rules Golf Society unveiled their statue of John Rattray on Leith Links, click here to view our blog post from the time. Alongside the statue there are three stone plinths with bronze plaques and sculptured mounds of marram grass which mimic the appearance of the greenspace as it would have appeared in the 1700s when Rattray played golf on the Links.
John Rattray and his golf rules are an important part of Leiths rich history. It is with thanks to the perseverance of the Leith Rules Golf Society, their supporters and their financial donors that their ambition has been realised on behalf of our whole community.
Since the unveiling in Autumn 2019 the site has remained fenced off, much to the frustration and concern of many members of our community who are wondering what is happening with the site.
Many members of our community have had their quality of life negatively impacted during a recent spike in foul odour emissions from Seafield, for which one of Scottish Waters Dundee based managers issued an apology to our community.
However, Leithers have today been given notice by Scottish Water that there may be a further increase in foul odour emissions from the site with measures being put into place to help mitigate the increased odours. In a statement published today, and also emailed to Leith Links Community Council, Scottish Water said:
As part of our commitment to keep the community updated, we would like to advise that there are no planned maintenance activities taking place at Seafield WwTW this weekend.
However, following the recent extended dry spell, we have started to see some heavy rainfall with more forecast over the next couple of days. The change in weather means that solids that have accumulated in the network are now arriving at Seafield. This has entered the treatment process.
The wind is forecast to remain onshore for the majority of the weekend which raises the odour risk for the community.
In order to mitigate against elevated odours, the sludge that is arriving is being dosed to remove some of the compounds which cause odour. With no planned maintenance, all processing equipment and streams are fully operational which will allow for maximum processing throughout today and over the weekend.
While also campaigning for long term solutions, it is vitally important that we keep reporting odour nuisance whenever it occurs, to demonstrate the scale of the problem and the impact on the local community.
Leith Links Community Council continues to encourage any member of our community who is negatively impacted by the release of foul odour emissions from the Seafield site to report such incidents via our website.
Our online reporting tool not only notifies Scottish Water, but simultaneously informs the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Veolia UK, Leith Links Community Council, City of Edinburgh Council (officers and Councillors Booth, Munro & McVey), the Scottish Governments Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and local MSP Ben MacPherson.
Towards the end of last week our Community Council received many reports of foul odour emissions affecting residents quality of life, not just in the Leith Links are but also as far afield as Easter Road stadium and Pilrig. We posted an article about this on our website – Leithers despair as Seafield stench continues.
Over the weekend, in response to these complaints, and upon being challenged by Leith Links Community Council, Scottish Water have issued an apology to our community. In an email to Community Council Chairperson Jim Scanlon on Sunday Scottish Waters PFI Performance Manager (based in Dundee) said –
I apologise to the community for us not being able to counteract the odours witnessed in recent days.
Commenting on the latest apology, Secretary of Leith Links Community Council Sally Millar said;
The local community in the Leith Links area is frustrated, angry and sick –yes, literally, the smell makes people feel sick – of the disgusting odours of sewage emanating from the Seafield sewage plant. There has been a massive spike in complaints in the past two weeks. The weather is hot; we need to open our windows. Due to Covid19 lockdown rules, we are only allowed to go outside to exercise, play or relax near our own homes. Yet our entire area has been suffused with the foul smell of human excrement, for days on end.
These smells have been with us for decades, but none of the agents involved – the City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Water and Veolia and SEPA – seem to be able or willing to deal with this problem effectively. We are told that lots of rain causes the smells. Then we are told that lack of rain causes the smells. We are told that the wind causes the smell problem. Do they take us for idiots?
We have recently received yet another apology from Scottish Water for “not being able to counteract the odours witnessed in recent days”. But this is simply the latest in a very long line of similar apologies (a cut and paste job?). It is an insult to the local community. What we need is action and results, not continual apologies.
As of 7pm this evening Leith Links Community Council has received eleven reports of foul odours from Seafield. Today is the fourth day in a row that we have received odour complaints, with 29 being submitted to us since Wednesday. Complaints have been submited by residents from the Leith Links area extending as far as Easter Road stadium & Pilrig.
Leith Links Community Council established its online reporting tool due to frustrations felt within our community around existing reporting mechanisms. The online reporting tool allows members of our community to fill in one web form which is automatically submitted to Leith Links Community Council and a number interested parties & organisations;
Community Councillor Eileen Simpson, who leads on Seafield related matters alongside Community Councillor Jim Scanlon, continues to press the authorities for action to reduce foul odour emissions. She said today;
This spring, as every year, Seafield Sewage Treatment Works have exposed local Leithers to a series of appalling odour leaks.
But this year it feels much worse, because our time out in the open air is so precious. And as we venture out for our walk, jog or cycle, our lungs are regularly assaulted by the appalling sewage stench we’ve come to know only too well.
The stench from Seafield has been sickening over the last few days. Lockdown is depressing for all, and our daily time in the fresh air is precious, especially in such beautiful weather. It’s dreadful that we are forced inside by this sickening smell. It damages our physical and mental health. Veolia don’t seem to care.
Earlier this month we let you know that concerns were being raised about dangerous motorbike riding in the Leith Links area, you can view the original post here.
Sadly this evening two motorbikes were seen being rode through a packed Leith Links. One of the motorbike riders even doing a wheelie as they traversed the Links between park users at around 9pm this evening.
Leith Links Community Council encourages members of our community to report any incidents to Police Scotland by calling 101 (non emergency) or 999 (emergency). You should do this whilst the incident is in progress, or as soon as possible afterwards. You should also report every incident to the Police. If possible please give the Police a description of the riders such as what they are wearing, what they look like, how old they appear to be, and any registration plates that can be seen.
We have become aware of a few concerns raised by our community about difficulties being encouraged through inconsiderate use of shared spaces such as Leith Links and the Restalrig Railway Path hopefully, this new guidance will support our community to use shared spaces in a way which avoids conflict.