Over the past few weeks there has been an increase in odour emissions from Seafield. It’s disgusting and ruins local residents’ enjoyment of this good spell of weather. I’m disappointed to report that Veolia have been slow to react to public concerns and if SEPA and City of Edinburgh Council have taken any action they haven’t communicated that to the community council or local residents association who have been working hard on your behalf for many years. Rob Kirkwood from Leith Links Residents Association and I will be meeting with Ben MacPherson MSP on Monday evening to raise our concerns. I will then give you a full update on where we go from here.
The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 30th April
at 7pm, in the Shore Room, Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirkgate.
Visiting Speakers on update of Leith Links Playpark
After the Community Council was contacted by local residents about a burning smell coming from Seafield I contacted Scottish Water and received the following response.
“Veolia have confirmed that at around 18:00 on Sunday, a blockage was detected within part of the sludge treatment process. This unexpected issue meant that one stream within the process had to be taken offline so that the problem could be quickly resolved. A short controlled release of air from the thermal hydrolysis plant was required so that personnel could safely gain access to carry out the repair. This release of air lasted for around 30 minutes. This early intervention to fix the issue minimised the impact on operations and any longer term potential impact on the community.
This short release of air briefly caused an odour that was detected in localised areas within the community. Veolia apologise for the impact this had on the local community but would like to reassure you that this is not a routine event, and that there were no other equipment problems at the time, including the siloxane filter.
In assessing and responding to the query, Veolia have been undertaking spot checks out in the community at various times today and feel that the issue described above has been addressed.”
Veolia and Scottish Water want to be good neighbours so I’ve asked them to review their communication system with the public. As Scottish Water have said the incident was unexpected and dealt with quickly but they have to keep the public informed.
Both Scottish Water and Veolia who operate the plant have websites to make the public aware and I have also suggested they contact me so that the CC can post on this site to make the locals who suffer the most aware of what’s going on.
Last month, independent consultants commissioned by Scottish Government published their draft review of Seafield Wastewater treatment works. The full draft report is 100+ pages but there is a readable summary, with short, medium and long term recommendations.
Leith Links Community Council, in partnership with Leith Links Residents Association, is submitting a Community Response to that draft report. You can read this response here LLRA-LLCC VERSION 2 Response to Seafield Strategic Odour Review Final Version (1)
As the joys of Christmas recede and while those of Hogmanay are still to come – let’s all think about sewage! And odour nuisance from Seafield.
Last month, consultants commissioned by Scottish Government published their draft review of Seafield Wastewater treatment works. The full draft report is 100+ pages but there is a readable summary, with short, medium and long term recommendations.
Click here to read: Seafield summary
(The full Draft Report is available on the Scottish Water website, accessible here: www.scottishwater.co.uk/seafield)
Leith Links Community Council, in partnership with Leith Links Residents Association, is preparing to submit a Community Response to this draft report. This is a major opportunity for the local community, who have been suffering from these dreadful smells for years, to have a say directly into shaping the future policies and actions of government and city council.
Leith Links Community Council would greatly welcome YOUR views and comments on the draft review and its recommendations. You can use the Comments form on this website, or drop us an email (Feedback), or comment via the LLCC Facebook Page or Twitter (@LeithLinks_CC), and we will incorporate your views into the Community Response (anonymous unless you specifically ask to be named).
Time is very short!
Indirect comments, via LLCC, should reach us if possible by Monday 8th January, 2018.
Members of the public can make their thoughts known directly to the consultants by e:mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Direct comments to the consultants should be submitted by Friday, January 12, 2018.
Last week we attended a meeting with the consultants, amec foster wheeler and Cranfield University who had been appointed to carry out the strategic odour review of Seafield Wastewater treatment works. The community now have until 12th January to make comments. LLCC will be meeting with Leith Links Residents Association and elected City councillors to formulate our response. Members of the public can also make their thoughts known directly to the consultants but the CC would welcome any comments to be included in our submission and these would be treated in confidence
The full draft report has over 100 pages but the consultants also prepared a summary which I’ve also attached. Seafield summary
The summary includes short, medium and long term recommendations which we will be commenting about after discussion with LLRA.
The Draft Report is available on the Scottish Water website, accessible here: www.scottishwater.co.uk/seafield
Comments should be submitted by e:mail to email@example.com no later than Friday, January 12, 2018.
On behalf of the community council I attended a meeting at Scottish Government with members of Leith Links Residents Association. The statement below was released by Ben MacPherson MSP as Chair of the stakeholders group.
We, the Seafield Stakeholders Group, welcome the Strategic Review into the operation, physical infrastructure and overall performance of the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works, commissioned by the Scottish Government and being undertaken independently by Amec Foster Wheeler and Cranfield University.
“Today, Friday 29 September, we welcomed the opportunity to hear first-hand about the comprehensive investigative work being undertaken by consultants Amec Foster Wheeler and Cranfield University into odour-related issues at Seafield and the surrounding network, including consultation with a large number of individuals and residents from the local community. The Group also welcomes the approach that the independent consultants are engaged in and acknowledges that a thorough investigation is being undertaken.
“We were able to question and comment on the methodology and process of the Strategic Review, to ensure it is robust and appropriate, and look forward to analysing the independent report when it is due to be published on 27 October.
“The Stakeholder Group also looks forward to working collaboratively upon the findings of the Review, to address and prevent odour nuisances emanating from the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works.”
On behalf of the CC I attended a meeting at the Scottish Government at Victoria Quay on 1st August. Also in attendance were Ben MacPherson MSP, Rob Kirkwood from Leith Links Residents Association (LLRA), Prof R Jackson and SG civil servants.
Scottish Water have appointed consultancy firm, Amec, Foster Wheeler to carry out the strategic review of Seafield Waste Water Treatment Plant and the sewage network which supplies Seafield. The firm have been chosen to give an independent evaluation and have no financial connection to the plant and would not benefit financially from their report by awards of contracts if work was required.
Our meeting was to agree the terms of reference so that the consultants can gather information on the state of Seafield and we hope that they will be able to present their findings within 6 months but will also be in the position to give an interim report on progress to the Seafield steering group in October. The CC and Residents Association have asked to meet separately with the consultants in late September so that we can voice any concerns.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Roseanna Cunningham has ordered this review and at the meeting our local MSP Ben emphasised again that odour issues at Seafield have become a priority for the government.
The terms of reference instruct the consultants to undertake a detailed evidence based review of the operation, design and maintenance of the plant with a direct focus on the way odour is managed and to reduce as far as practicable odour nuisance under all operating and weather conditions .Using analysis of appropriate odour generation and dispersion statistics.
They will consult with community groups and relevant stakeholders (Scottish Water, SEPA, City Council) to gather information on our perspectives and what we want to achieve. The consultants have already met with LLRA and I plan to meet with them next week. They will also want to speak to members of the public about how odour nuisance from Seafield impacts on their lives.
When the review is completed the consultants will provide recommendations on improvements to infrastructure, repair, replacement or enhancement on the site.
In plain language this means that if capital investment is required the consultants will identify the areas where work could be carried out and how much each option may cost.
Reviews have been carried out at Seafield in the past but nuisance odours have continued because of lack of investment. Both Leith Links CC and LLRA have agreed the terms of reference for this latest review with some changes in wording.
We also gave our support to the review with some reservations and concerns that as in the past only the cheapest options will be considered. Over the following months I will keep you updated on progress as the consultation continues. Jim
This week, representatives from both the Leith Links Community Council and the Leith Links Residents Association met with Scottish Government to discuss and finalise the Terms of Reference for the forthcoming independent review of the Seafield Sewage plant. Consultants are already gathering data from all Seafield stakeholders, including members of the community. As a next step, they will set out and cost all possible ways of minimising the odour nuisance from Seafield, and Scottish Government will eventually make decisions about which they will fund and implement. We welcome the fact that for the first time there appears to be political will at government level (and hopefully some funding, attached to it) to make something happen to improve the situation.
We will keep you posted, as the review proceeds.
by Jim Scanlon
On Tuesday, 20th June, as Chair of Leith Links Community Council, I attended a meeting with Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, regarding the ongoing odour emissions at Seafield Sewage Plant.
Also attending the meeting were Rob Kirkwood, Chair of the Leith Links Residents Association (LLRA), Ben Macpherson MSP, Professor Rob Jackson, a scientific expert who advises LLRA, Rob Munn, advisor to Ben MacPherson, and Scottish Government Civil Servants and special advisors.
The Cabinet Secretary was questioned about the CREW (Centre of expertise for waters) report on Odour Management and monitoring in Scottish wastewater treatment plants that was commissioned by Scottish Government. The report said that odours are rare, sites are managed effectively, local councils and SEPA enforce regulations and that legislation governing sewage works is fit for purpose and doesn’t need changed.
We disagreed profoundly and suggested that the minister had been poorly briefed about Scotland’s sewage works.
Professor Jackson, appointed by Scottish Water to work with the community, said that in terms of academic research, the report was deeply flawed and the conclusions of the report were unsound: information had been gathered only by sending questionnaires to a small sample of sewage work managers, council employees and SEPA. There had been no independent enquiries, no site visits and no consultation with the local populations. Some technical information was incorrect.
The Minister seemed sympathetic and after further discussion over the odour nuisance, possible causes, and the future effects of climate change, Ms. Cunningham has ordered a strategic review of Seafield, and of the existing Code of Practice and legislation governing odour emissions..
Terms of Reference for this review have been drawn up but we feel they have not gone far enough so we have since written to Scottish Government with our concerns (also raised by Leith Links Residents Association).
We feel that the review should not just focus on Seafield as the Code of Practice covers the whole of Scotland, and there are known problems in other plants. Also, the proposed Terms of Reference specify looking at the operation, design and management of Seafield i.e. focusing on how they ‘manage’ odours. But at the last stakeholder meeting both Veolia, who operate Seafield, and City of Edinburgh Council Public Health officials acknowledged that not only management improvements but also investment and changes in infrastructure are needed. The terms of reference should therefore include assessing the costs of covering the sewage tanks at Seafield and similar plants throughout Scotland to eliminate odours for good, rather than just to ‘minimize’ them.
Once the Terms of Reference for the review are agreed, a tender will be put out for an independent firm of constructional engineering consultants, to look at the plant procedures and equipment and to estimate the capital investment required.
Leith Links Community Council will continue to represent the community, working with LLRA, to monitor events closely, make sure the review is done quickly but professionally and that conclusions are acted on.