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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Leithers in despair as Seafield stench continues

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.

Community Councillor Eileen Simpson

 

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.

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Scottish Water notify community of works which may generate odour

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

Scottish Water & Veolia issue apology for Seafield stench

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.

 

Seafield – Stakeholder Update

Notification from Scottish Water of work being carried out at Seafield. If there are any odour issues please report them through the Community Council website

Further to the update we issued last week this is being sent to confirm cleaning work on the primary settlement tank is ongoing at Seafield WwTW. In addition, given the current dry conditions, a decision has been taken to utilise the contractor and other resources on site to clean the storm tanks. It is vitally important these works are carried out without delay, whilst this contractor has available manpower.

 

Veolia and its contractors are working to complete this work as quickly as possible given the current favourable weather conditions. However, please note onshore winds are forecast for a few days from tomorrow onwards. We would be grateful for continuing community support to share this message locally to provide assurance efforts continue to complete this work as quickly as possible and to minimise odour risk where possible.

Scottish Water announces major improvement works at Seafield

Scottish Water have today announced  a multi million pound improvement programme at Seafield. Scottish Water logo

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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Leith Links Residents Association lodge formal complaint against Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in relation to Seafield odour

Leith Links Residents Association recently undertook a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to pay for a solicitor to represent community complaints regarding odour from Seafield.Image result for seafield odour

Having raised sufficient funds they engaged Ian Cowan to write to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman on their behalf.

 

 

 

 

Feedback – Seafield Complaints

Feedback

Thank you to all you 60+ local people who have used our on-line reporting form to complain about the dreadful series of ‘odour and noise nuisance events’ from Seafield over the past couple of weeks.

The stench recently has indeed been appalling, unusually widespread, and it greatly upset many people in the community who were trying to enjoy the beautiful late summer sunshine at the end of September/early October. The noise must have made the experience doubly unbearable for those who suffered it.

Please rest assured your comments have been noted, both by us and by the various elected and other officials to whom they are forwarded. We are considering what action to take next, but it is really important that you don’t stop reporting the smells and noise whenever they occur. 

It is obvious that, although the numbers are growing, many people still don’t know about our reporting system, or don’t believe it is worthwhile using it, as they may feel that ‘no-one listens’. Please believe that it has already made a difference and will continue to do so, so please encourage neighbours, friends, anyone in Leith who is affected, to get into the habit of always reporting, even if well after the event – it is still recorded.

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