Scottish Water respond to complaints of excessive noise from Seafield

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;

I thought I’d provide a brief update on the noise complaints that have been raised in the last couple of days.
On Thursday evening around 10.30pm I contacted Seafield Control to alert them of a few complaints that had been received in short order.  From 11.30pm onwards overnight they carried out a detailed and methodical investigation which entailed assessments on and off site with items of equipment being switched on and off in a logical way.

Despite other local noises being evident (such as the warning sounders you would hear on lorries or construction plant), Veolia also confirmed that in their opinion there was noise associated with the operation of the primary settlement tank closest to the site boundary.

The short term action is to take this tank out of service and use another tank which is further away from the site boundary (the investigation I referred to above indicate that this should be effective). This will mean though, that the tank being taken out of service will have to be drained and cleaned – we will have to issue a community notification once the odour risk assessment has been completed.

Whilst this is a short term response, from a lookahead point of view, Veolia have engaged with acoustic engineers and they will visit the site to carry out a full acoustic assessment before the end of June.  They have also identified that the primary settlement tank compressors (which operate intermittently)be delivering too much air, which could be impacting on the noise. To deal with this they are purchasing a variable speed drive motor which will allow air flow rates to be adjusted rather than be 100% when called into operation.  This will be supplemented with an in line silencer. These units will initially be installed on one tank (it will have to be a rolling programme) and be functional in July.

I hope the above provides reassurance that complaints are being investigated and addressed in a way that seeks to improve site operations.

Finally, I would like to reinforce the feedback from the investigations that there were other sources of noise in the community so I would suggest that the Council should be the main route for anyone wishing to make noise complaints.

Commenting on the Scottish Water response, Community Councillor Jim Scanlon who represents Leith Links Community Council on the Seafield Stakeholders Group said;

Since the end of May the Community Council have received 5 complaints relating specifically to noise coming from the Seafield plant.

Community Councillor Jim Scanlon

On this occasion the CC welcome the prompt action taken by Scottish Water who after contacting the plant operators, Veolia quickly identified the source of the problem and what action will be taken.

But surely Veolia must have been aware that there was a noise issue but only reacted when Scottish Water contacted them.
There seems to be a continuing issue with management and maintenance of the plant which either leads to noise or odour complaints.
The issues will be raised again at the next stakeholder online meeting planned for later this month.

Members of our community are assured that Community Councillors Jim Scanlon & Eilieen Simpson continue to challenge authorities on the ongoing odour issues and encourage people to continue reporting any odour occurrences via the Leith Links Community Council website.

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