Lack of rain causes sewage stench


By Cara Sulieman

RESIDENTS kicking up a stink over the worsening pong from a city sewage works have been told it’s because there hasn’t been enough rain.

Locals have been cursed by the smell from the Seafield treatment plant in Edinburgh for years even giving its own name – the Seafield Stench.

The warmer than average summer has made it intolerable for the complaining community as the stink has gotten worse in recent weeks.

But all Scottish Water who own the site have been able to tell them is that it has been made worse because of a lack of rain to dilute the sewage.

Open tanks

And while they say plans are on stream for a solution with work scheduled to begin on an odour abatement plant later in the year, the complaints are flooding in, with some worried the problems still won’t be solved.

Mark Lazarowicz, a local MP, fears the suggested improvement works won’t be enough and said the open tanks should be covered as well.

He said: “There is a very real fear that if these tanks are not covered, the current proposals will not ensure that the smell is removed once and for all.

“Over the last few weeks, the stench appears to have become stronger, and can now be smelt in large parts of my constituency on frequent occasions.

“I have been inundated with complaints.

“The situation appears now to be worse than ever.”

Get a grip

Kenny MacAskill MSP and his colleagues have also been inundated with moans from residents about the smell – saying it is worse than it usually is.

And Mr MacAskill said that he was speaking to Scottish Water, the operators Veolia Water and the council to try and get a grip on the problem.

He said: “We need to make sure everyone is playing their part.

“In the current weather we like to bask in the heat, but the smell is frankly appalling.

“If you are unable to sit in the garden and enjoy the weather there is something wrong.”


But Scottish Water has said that it is a temporary problem caused by a lack of rain and delay in clearing out the tanks.

They said that they waited for the wind to be in a favourable direction before they cleaned out the storm tanks, but that this had now been done and the smell should subside.

Scottish Water’s John Telfer said: “Veolia and Scottish Water have been fully aware of the problems these recent issues have caused and Veolia have taken steps to address the issue.

“Every effort will be made to try and minimise odour issues in accordance with the site’s odour management plan.”

“Agreed time frame”

The local authority said it would be monitoring the works.

A spokesman for City of Edinburgh Council said: “The council regulates the site at Seafield and will ensure the odour improvement plan is implemented within the agreed time frame.”