VIDEO has emerged of raw sewage seeping into a popular fishing river.
The stomach churning clip shows human waste pouring into the river South Esk in Midlothian.
The video was captured by a local, who wishes to remain anonymous, while he was walking his dog on December 27 near the Lothian Bridge in Newbattle, Midlothian.
The man posted the clip to a local Facebook page later that day saying: “Season’s Greetings to Scottish Water and SEPA, today is by far the worst I’ve smelt the river South Esk.
“On previous ‘bad’ days there’s always been a hint of some sort of chemical in the stench, today it’s pure unadulterated s***!
“Difficult to believe we’re only days away from the year 2020 and still poisoning the ecosystem. Absolutely disgusting.”
The video shows a cloud of murky brown water infiltrating the fast flowing river.
The man then walks towards a large waste pipe which is seeping raw sewage into the river.
The waste pipe has been partially opened due to the volume of debris and has allowed the water to drain into the river.
A pile of debris can also be seen at the base of the outlet as the man turns the camera towards the river once more.
The video has angered many locals in the comments who are demanding for a solution to the pollution.
Liz Campbell said: “The arrival of the flushables has been the biggest problem to our waste water ways, just because it says flushable does not mean that it breaks up like toilet paper. People use their toilets like waste disposals or dust bins. I think this is the biggest problem.”
Keith Miller wrote: “The problem is not the amount of sewage but the amount of surface water that flows into the combined sewer. The new houses don’t flow any surface water into the sewer it now goes to suds.”
Donald Menzies said: “As I have said already it’s been like this for decades, the authorities are completely incapable of sorting anything, roads are crap, rivers polluted, road signs hidden behind muck and plant growth, disgrace.”
MSP for the region, Colin Beattie, also commented on the post saying it is time to take action.
He commented: “With a longer term solution coming for the Mary Burn it is clearly time to pick up on this issue. Any volunteers to take me to the point of pollution so that I can see for myself?”
Beattie today said that he has been in touch with the relevant authorities to come up with a solution to the issue.
He said: “I am in the initial stages of setting up meetings with SEPA and Scottish Water. This issue only came to my attention just prior to Christmas.
“Previously I have just completed engagement in finding a long term solution for a pollution issue around the Mary Burn in Newbattle and it seems this new issue also needs addressed. Hence my involvement.”
The dog walker who filmed the sewage today said that he had been contacted by SEPA about this issue previously.
He said: “Every time it rains reasonably hard the river smells, I posted a similar video over a year ago and was contacted by SEPA then, nothing has changed.”
Concerned local biologist Susan Goldwyre believes the only plausible solution is to upgrade the sewer system said: “I am fascinated by the river Esk and its history. It was polluted by the industry of the past, from the mills to the mining.
“Nowadays the river Esk is quoted as “meeting the standard” but many must wonder what that standard is, if considerable volumes of smelly raw sewage can be permitted to pour into it.
“The suggested solutions include the reduction or elimination of non-flushable material. With time that message will become as embedded as the wet wipes in the Mary Burn.
“But if the capacity of the sewer is breached, and housing continues to meet the Midlothian Plan even with the separation of sewage from rainwater, then the only solution to my mind is an upgrade to the system. Whatever that costs.”
A Scottish Water spokeswoman said: “This is a Combined Sewage Overflow. These act as a relief point on the sewer network to avoid internal and external sewer flooding. CSOs are licensed and regulated by SEPA and allowed to spill under certain conditions. We are aware of this issue at Hardengreen CSO in Midlothian.
“Our contractor has already visited the site and is waiting for the river level to drop to fully investigate, including looking for any blockage which may have caused the network to surcharge, and carry out a clean up.
“We remind people not to put things like wet wipes and sanitary products down loos or to put fats and grease down sinks to prevent blockages in the sewer system.”
SEPA today said they encourage locals with information on the pollution to report i to them so they can investigate.
A spokesman for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said: “On this occasion, we did not receive any reports of sewage entering the River South Esk near Newbattle on 27 December, but anyone with additional information can contact us on our 24-hour Pollution Hotline on 0800 807060.”