Eyemouth pong gets the fresh air treatment

SEVEN years ago a bad smell got under the noses of everyone in Eyemouth and after making their voices heard back then, residents and councillors have welcomed a long term investment to the tune of £694,000 from Scottish Water in the town's Waste Water Treatment Works.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 7th October 2010, 5:20 pm

Work was due to begin on Monday, and commenting on the commitment to Eyemouth, a spokesperson said: "Scottish Water will be investing a further 694K at Eyemouth Waste Water Treatment Works.

"This includes capital maintenance and upgrades to plant and equipment to increase the capability of the works to treat to a standard which meets the requirements laid out by SEPA.

"The upgrades and maintenance includes work on the inlet screen, electrical controls, refurbishment of aeration equipment and grit removal technology. This work will also include maintenance to the odour control units."

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The state of the art sewage works were completed in the autumn of 2002 and fully commissioned in January 2003. The project was a major part of a 10 million upgrade of the waste water systems around Eyemouth which was instigated in 2001 by Scottish Water's predecessor, East of Scotland Water.

But within a few months of them being up and running the smell wafting from the treatment works got so bad that many residents chose not to open their windows despite being in the middle of a particularly hot summer and after many complaints from constituents, the then Berwickshire MSP Euan Robson and local councillors Michael Cook and George Russell presented a petition to the Scottish Parliament.

News spread as fast as the stench itself and the story made BBC News.

Seven years on, the latest improvements, being carried out by Scottish Water Solutions and their contactor Jacobs LES, have been welcomed by Eyemouth Town Council who have been monitoring the situation since 2003.

And chair of the Town Council and Honorary Provost of Eyemouth, Douglas Younger said he was pleased Scottish Water were making a firm commitment to the town.

Speaking to 'The Berwickshire News' earlier this week, he said; "The Town Council are really pleased that Scottish Water have invested this money in Eyemouth- 694,000 is a lot of money during these hard economic times.

"We've really pushed for something to be done for the past few years and it's great that it's finally happening.

"The smell was so bad in 2003 that we started a petition to get something done and it made the news.

"We were concerned that as well as being a nuisance to people living in the town, the awful smell would put people off visiting Eyemouth.

"To be fair to Scottish Water, things haven't been anywhere near as bad since they carried out work back then but the new investment should help improve things in the long term. It goes to show that Eyemouth is a priority for them and all credit to them for making such a big commitment to hopefully secure things for years to come."

Councillor Michael Cook said the investment showed just how much Scottish Water had listened to the people of Eyemouth and steadily improved matters since "the big stink of 2003."

He commented: "I think the announcement is a testament not only to the people in Eyemouth who rattled a few cages by making their voices heard in 2003 but also to Scottish Water who have been much more pro-active and engaged more effectively with the community ever since.

"I'm sure Scottish Water have found Eyemouth something of a learning experience and as ever the obligation is on us all to monitor the situation and be willing to pursue any problems in the future."