Foul odours from Seafield having an impact on community wellbeing as Scottish Water issue yet another apology

This week we have received eighty reports of foul odour emissions from Seafield in yet another spike in complaints.

Despite a previous stream of apology’s from Scottish Water staff, local residents are regularly affected by foul odour emissions from the site drifting amongst local homes.

Local residents have been telling us about the impact the foul odour emissions has been having on them & how they have been made to feel;

It affects everything. You do not want to leave your house because it is that revolting. This will impact everyone’s mental health in this weather and unable to go outside with lock down.

 

Felt sick. Kids commented on how bad it was.

 

I’m currently shielding due to severe asthma and can’t go out to exercise as I can’t wear a face mask.  So my garden is the only place I can sit. This was the hottest day of the year so far. I wanted to sit out in the evening and eat my dinner.  I couldn’t sit outside, never mind eat.  I had to close windows etc due to this disgusting stench.  I tried to eat my salad inside the house but was so nauseated I couldn’t eat.  This smell was still there the next morning.  It was so warm I had to open my bedroom windows and the odour was still strong.  I have lived in Leith for years and experienced this noctious smell many times but this episode really upset me. having to stay indoors and being unable to eat my evening meal.

 

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City of Edinburgh Council responds to complaints of foul odour emissions in Leith Links area

Earlier this week we responded to the massive number of foul odour emissions complaints we were receiving, as of 7pm this evening we have received 188 such complaints.

On the 18th June Scottish Water responded by attributing odour complaints to another nearby site, and not making any mention of odours associated with Seafield.

Earlier today, a City of Edinburgh Council spokesman issued an email in relation to recent complaint/s. They correctly advise that Scottish Water did put our community on notice of a possible increase in foul odour emissions due to storm tank cleaning from 17th June, but this doesn’t account for smells of human sewage reported prior to that.

A Council spokesperson said;

Good afternoon,

Thank you for your recent report regarding odour in the Seafield area. An odour issue has been identified which is associated with activities at another business on Albert Road which is creating odours described as burning rubber, gaseous, or eggy. As this site has a Waste Management Licence, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) are currently investigating.Unit Warden (Temporary Accommodation Service) - | City of ...

With regards to Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works; on Wednesday and Thursday this week the storm tanks were being cleaned out, which may have resulted in an increase in sewage type odours in the community..

We are continuing to work with Scottish Water and Veolia (the plant operators) to investigate further and implement mitigation measures to minimise odour.

Scottish Water have advised of the storm tank cleaning in a communication to local community groups and representatives. Their communications in relation to Seafield can be found at: https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/in-your-area/investments-in-your-area/seafield.

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.

 

Local MSP responds to latest 188 complaints of foul odour emissions

Earlier this week we responded to the massive number of foul odour emissions complaints we were receiving, as of 7pm this evening we have received 188 such complaints.

On the 18th June Scottish Water responded by attributing odour complaints to another nearby site, and not making any mention of odours associated with Seafield.

Earlier today the office of Ben MacPherson MSP offered comment on this weeks severe foul odour issue.  A spokesman said;

Thank you for reporting odour in the community using the Leith Links Community Council (LCCC) reporting form. Your complaint is copied to Ben Macpherson MSP as part of that process. Ben wanted me to respond to you on his behalf to outline the action that his office takes when there are reports of odour from Seafield.Ben Macpherson MSP

This week there has been a very high number of complaints seen by Ben’s office and we have been in contact daily with Scottish Water, regularly with City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) as the primary regulator and we have also been in touch with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). I understand that CEC will respond to the recent complaints once

As the local constituency MSP Ben chairs the Seafield Stakeholders Group which brings together Scottish Water, the plant’s operators Veolia, CEC, SEPA, community representatives from the LCCC and the Leith Links Residents Association (LLRC) along with local councillors and representatives from the offices of Deidre Brock MP, Tommy Sheppard MP and Ash Denham MSP. This group allows a forum for discussion about the operation of the plant, odour incidences, improvements in and future investment in the plant. Information on the Stakeholders Group and the Strategic Review is available here.

As local MSP and chair of the Stakeholder Group Ben has raised the issues of ongoing odour complaints and future investment in the plant with the Cabinet Secretary for Environment  Roseanna Cunningham MSP and as a result of his intervention a Strategic Review was carried out into the plant and the wider network to establish steps that can be taken operationally and through future investment to improve the performance of the works and in particular the odour impact on the local community.

Ben shares your concerns over the recent odour incidences and had written to the Cabinet Secretary following odour complaints in April – her response is attached to this email. Ben’s office will continue to engage with Scottish Water, the Council, SEPA and the community representatives over this issue to seek answers and solutions. There is investment coming which should improve matters and reduce odour problems but until then Ben will push for operational improvements to mitigate odour.

In closing Ben takes the issue of odour from the Seafield WWTW very seriously and will continue to make a strong case on behalf of his constituents when issues arise and also to ensure that the plant gets the investment it needs for the future and to minimise odour issues.

Thank you again for reporting this odour occurrence.

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.

Scottish Water issue Seafield update following massive spike in odour complaints

All this week we have received a massive number of complaints of foul odour emissions in  the Leith area, believed to be from Seafield. Over 150 complaints have been recorded on our website and notified to Scottish Water, City of Edinburgh Council officers, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Veolia UK, Ben MacPhersons MSP, Roseanna Cunningham MSP and Councillors Booth, McVey & Munro for their attention & action.

A Scottish Water spokesperson has today published an update on Seafield.

Strangely, the public statement distances Seafield from the burning rubber / gas / sulphur type smell. Instead insisting that those odours are related to another (as yet unnamed) site in Leith, as confirmed by City of Edinburgh Council. However, at this stage the Community Council has not received any such confirmation of this from any body independent of Scottish Water / Veolia.

What’s even more strange is that the spokesman fails to address or even mention the foul odour of human sewage which has been sweeping across large swathes of our community.

A Scottish Water spokesperson said;

Following on from our community notification issued on Monday, we wanted to provide you with an update.Scottish Water logo

The storm tank cleaning that was scheduled for Wednesday 17th – 18th June was completed on schedule.

We are aware of a significant increase of odour complaints over the past few days, a number of which have detailed a burning rubber, sulphur and gas type smell.  As these type of odours do not necessarily correlate with the type of odour that is associated with wastewater treatment, we carried out an investigation of the whole site including the sludge processes and the surrounding area which identified a moderate to strong odour being generated at an industrial site near the docks, and is unrelated to Seafield wastewater operations.

 

This was confirmed by Environmental Health officials at City of Edinburgh Council and is currently being investigated by SEPA.

 

Looking ahead, there is some work required to the Intermediate Pumping Station. Any potential odours associated with this task have been assessed as low. This work will commence on Friday and should be completed same day. This is essential planned maintenance to limit the amount of grit that can pass through into the treatment process which can cause significant issues to site operations.

We will provide an update once this work is complete

 

I would be grateful if elected members and the Community Council could help and share this message on their Social Media channels.

 

Note: A copy of this communication will be posted on our website  – https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/seafield

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.

Massive spike in complaints amidst ongoing foul odour emissions from Seafield

As of lunchtime today, our Community Council has received 102 reports of foul odour emissions from Seafield this week, submitted by 92 members of our community.

We have now received 492 reports since our first one at 16:08 on 24 April 2019.

We felt it was really important to let you all know that Leith Links Community Councillor Chairman Jim Scanlon & fellow Community Councillor Eileen Simpson are following up these reports with the authorities with our usual vigour & determination.

Our community has received many apologies for the impact of foul odour emissions from Seafield. most recently on 3 June 2020. Despite, the numerous apologies over recent years foul odours have continued to negatively impact upon the quality of life for many of those in our community.

On 15 June 2020 Scottish Water put our community on notice that there could be an increase in foul odour emissions starting from 17 June 2020 (we blogged about it here) but actually, foul odours have massively increased since 15 June 2020.

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Scottish Water put community on notice for possible increase in foul odour emissions

Scottish Water have today let the Community Council know about planned works this week which could result in an increase in foul odour emissions from their site.

 

 

 

 

Scottish Water spokesperson Natalie Walker (Corporate Affairs) said today;

As part of our commitment to keep the community informed I want to make you aware of a planned maintenance activity this week at Seafield.

Site operators Veolia will start storm tank cleaning on Wednesday (17/06/2020) with work due to finish the following day.  The tanks are being cleaned at the first available opportunity which follows a reduction in flows since recent rainfall in the catchment.Scottish Water logo

Every effort will be made to complete this work as quickly as possible and to minimise odour – with odour reducing additives being deployed as necessary.

I would be grateful if elected members and the Community Council could help and share this message locally to help us ensure as wide a reach as possible.

An update will be provided upon completion of the works

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Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary responds to foul odour emission complaints

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.

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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;

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Scottish Water notifies community of increased risk of foul odour emissions

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.Scottish Water logo

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.

 

 

 

Scottish Water issue [another] apology for ongoing Seafield stench

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;

Community Councillor Sally Millar

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.

 

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