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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Update: At 11:54 on Friday 24/4/20 Scottish Water informed Leith Links Community Council that the planned works have now been completed.
Scottish Water have today given our community notice of their intention to carry out cleaning works at Seafield on Thursday 22 April 2020. The planned works have the potential to cause nuisance & intrusive odours to affect air quality in our community.
The advance warning has been given following the recent apology issued to our community by Scottish Water & Veolia following a spike in complaints of odour nuisances from local residents.
Bill Elliot, Scottish Waters Stakeholder Development Manager (Scotland) today released the following email:
At the end of March I updated you on tank cleaning activities at Seafield. Work within the storm tanks was called to a halt after two of the four tanks had been drained and cleaned. The residual material was left insitu and covered with treated final effluent. Following a reassessment of the plant operating conditions and associated mitigation measures, the storm tank cleaning will recommence on Thursday 23rd April. 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 so that we can ensure as wide a reach as possible.Note: A copy of this communication can also be found on our website – https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/seafield
Leith Links Community Council has received 37 reports relating to odours from Seafield since 1 April 2020.
The community in the Leith Links area has been plagued for years by nuisance & intrusive foul odours from Seafield however, earlier this year it was announced that a multi million pound investment in the Seafield site would likely lead to a reduction in the amount of foul odours affecting our community.
Members of our community have been using our website to tell us, local politicians and the authorities how their quality of life has been impacted, some examples are;
It made it difficult to breathe and I felt nauseous. Had to close our windows.
Had to come in from garden, one of few pleasures in lockdown.
Couldn’t exercise and ruined our only time outdoors during the lockdown had to close windows and couldn’t even stand to be in our own garden.
It made me feel sick.
In response to recent complaints, followed up by Leith Links Community Council, an apology was issued by Bill Elliot, Stakeholder Development Manager (Scotland), Scottish Water on 15 April 2020.
Dear Seafield Stakeholders,
We have received an increase in odour complaints in the Seafield area recently and Scottish Water and Veolia apologise for this.
Veolia began essential maintenance of the storm tanks at Seafield WWTW at the start of the current lockdown period. This work was paused as a result of a change in weather conditions and, in consultation with regulators, it was agreed that it would be sensible to complete the remaining essential maintenance at the earliest opportunity.
In order to mitigate the odour risk that continues until this maintenance is complete, we will take further operational measures over the coming days – including using chemical dosing – in order to help minimise the issue.
Please be assured we will have this resolved as quickly as possible and we will update stakeholders when this work will be carried out and completed.
We thank our customers for their patience.
Scottish Water have today announced a multi million pound improvement programme at Seafield.
Leith Links Community Council for a number of years has been working hard to represent the views & concerns of our local community as a solution was sought to ongoing odour nuisance from the site.
The press release from Scottish Water is copied below:
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There has been a spike in complaints relating to Seafield over recent days. Since Friday 20 September 2019 we have received over forty complaints relating to odour.
Click on the image to complete our web form.
Reporting odour from Seafield supports us and others to campaign for an effective long term solution to the issue by building a catalogue of incidents, it also allows us to challenge the responsible bodies about specific incidents to see what happened and how it can be avoided in the future.
When you report any odour issues via our website the simple web form is sent to a number of people & organisations:
- Councillors Booth, McVey & Munro
- Ben MacPherson MSP
- Roseanna Cunningham MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform)
- City of Edinburgh Council
- Scottish Water
- Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
Click on the image for more information.
Scottish Water have issued an update to our community in advance of some works on the site.
Also, please remember that each time you are affected by nuisance, intrusive or offensive odours or noise from Seafield to report it via our web form.
A number of months ago we introduced one handy web from on our website which allowed members of our community to report nuisance & intrusive odours from Seafield Waste Water Treatment Plan to City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Water, Veolia, Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.
As we have recently received a significant number of complaints relating to nuisance noise from the plant, we have updated our form, allowing you to report smell and / or noise from the plant.
The form can be accessed by clicking here, and can be used any time, any day.