Scottish Water hit with £2,000 fine for Innerwick pollution

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Scottish Water was fined £2,000 at Haddington Sheriff Court last Wednesday after the Innerwick Burn was polluted with discharge from a broken sewer pipe.

Scottish Water pled guilty to a charge of carrying out an activity liable to cause pollution of the water environment after untreated sewage discharged into the Innerwick Burn near Innerwick village in East Lothian in October 2010.

The matter was investigated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and then reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Scottish Water notified SEPA on October 13 of a problem with operations at Innerwick Sewage Treatment Works (STW).

SEPA officers carried out an inspection of the site and observed that the pipe which takes untreated sewage from the village of Innerwick to Innerwick STW was broken resulting in a discharge to the Innerwick Burn, causing the watercourse to turn brown/grey in colour with thick sewage fungus.

Scottish Water subsequently carried out repairs to the broken pipe, which stopped the discharge.

Karen Simpson, one of SEPA’s investigating officers, said: “The broken pipe caused untreated sewage to enter the Innerwick Burn, which had a detrimental impact on the ecology of the watercourse.

“We observed that upstream of the sewer burst the water in the stream was clear with no evidence of pollution, whereas downstream the water was cloudy with visible discolouration seen over 500 metres, and there was thick and extensive growths of sewage fungus.”