Lack of sewage monitoring in Water of Leith a 'scandal'

29 Jun 2024
END THE SEWAGE SCANDAL in large text, with a pipe and a Liberal Democrats logo

Mike Andersen, the Lib Dem candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith, has today called for Scotland’s sewage network to be upgraded and for a blue flag system for Scotland’s rivers to be introduced.

This comes as new analysis by the Liberal Democrats revealed that Edinburgh North and Leith is one of 14 Westminster constituencies in Scotland where there is no monitoring of sewage dumping pipes.

Across Scotland in 2023 sewage was dumped 21,660 times, an increase of 10% on 2022. However, the problem is likely to be far worse because, unlike in England, hardly any dumping pipes are monitored.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have launched plans for a Clean Water Act that would see:

  • Scotland’s Victorian sewage network updated;
  • Every sewage dump monitored and published with binding targets for their reduction;
  • A blue flag system for Scotland’s rivers;
  • A complete ban on the release of sewage in protected areas such as bathing waters.

The proposals for Scotland are part of a UK-wide campaign by the Liberal Democrats to clean up waterways and get governments to take action.

Mike Andersen said: “SNP ministers have become spin doctors for the government-owned water company and outdated standards. Bosses are taking home bumper bonuses while millions of litres of sewage gets dumped into our rivers, lochs and beaches.

“Monitoring of sewage dumping is so lacking that there is no monitoring whatsoever in Edinburgh North and Leith.  In England, at least there is proper monitoring in place so that we know the scale of the problem.

“On Thursday, you can use your vote to end the appalling sewage scandal. Scottish Liberal Democrats want a Clean Water Act for Scotland to update the sewage network, proper monitoring to find all the dumping, and a complete ban on this filthy practice in protected areas such as bathing waters.

“Liberal Democrats up and down the UK have led the campaign to turn the tide on the sewage scandal. If you elect a Liberal Democrat MP in Edinburgh North and Leith you will get a hardworking local champion who is focused on getting the sewage out of our rivers and winning the change our country desperately needs.”

Local Leith Walk ward Liberal Democrat Councillor Jack Caldwell said: "It's shocking that we still don't have any concrete data, especially when you think of the high amount of housing that's gone up along the Water of Leith in Bonnington and Canonmills in recent years. The Edinburgh Liberal Democrat councillors will continue to liase with Scottish Water to get our precious river cleaned up".

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