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Scottish Water Promises Sewage Without Bits

Spurtle investigates Scottish Water's plan to upgrade combined sewage outfalls in Leith

Scottish Water plans to upgrade 51 combined sewage outfalls (CSOs) along the Water of Leith. It will position 27 screens to reduce visible sewage-related debris in the river and position 34 ‘event monitors on assets’.

Scottish Water will implement these solutions to ‘unacceptable visual impacts’ (and another 108 such instances across Scotland) by 2027.

In or just upstream of Spurtleshire, upgraded CSO sites will be at Saunders St, Arboretum Ave, Eyre Pl, Warriston Recreation Ground and St Mark’s Park.

How often the screens will be cleared is unclear. In any case, such ‘aesthetic’ improvements won’t stop sewage, bacteria and other pollutants entering the water from CSOs.

A motion by Councillor Jack Caldwell last year prompted Transport & Environment Committee convener Councillor Scott Arthur to contact Scottish Water. The details above emerged in a written response last month. Replying to him, Scottish Water said a recent review had identified 600 CSOs across the country which are unacceptable due to the impact of sewage-related debris.

It then patted itself on the back by noting that ‘there are no requirements for CSO upgrades in your area from a water quality perspective alone’.

Spurtle isn’t impressed.

For previous coverage of this topic, see our more in depth analysis of Pollution in the Water of Leith .