Tip-offs lead to double fine for Scottish Water

Two sewage pollution offences cost Scottish Water £8,000 in July.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) was alerted to the first incident on 1 March last year. A member of the public reported that sewage was being discharged into the Board Burn at Twechar in East Dunbartonshire, about ten miles north-west of Glasgow.

A SEPA officer found the burn was brown and cloudy downstream of a discharge from a combined sewer overflow. The banks were also littered with sewage debris.

On 14 November, the agency was again contacted by someone who had seen sewage in the same stretch of river. Officers found black mud and thick growths of sewage fungus, showing the discharge had been continuing for some time. Sewage solids had again been deposited and the water was cloudy with solids.

"That this happened twice in one year is very disappointing," said SEPA’s unit manager Les Watson.

Scottish Water appeared at Glasgow sheriff court on 17 July to plead guilty to two changes of contravening its discharge licence, contrary to the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 and the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003.