A new survey has revealed Scots’ fears over sewage pollution after untreated human waste was dumped in waterways 10,000 times in a year, a report in the Daily Record states.
The research, conducted by Scottish Environment LINK, found litter pollution also high up the list of concerns. A total of 91 per cent of people polled said it was important to them personally that Scotland’s waters are in a healthy state.
Clare Cavers, Senior Projects Manager at Fidra, said: “Evidence of pollution in our rivers and seas from invisible chemicals and tiny plastic particles is growing all the time, and a lot is known to come from sewage.
“There needs to be an urgent increase in monitoring sewage from storm overflows in Scotland, so that we can understand exactly what is coming through the sewers and where it is coming from.”
Campaigners are calling for the Scottish Government to implement electronic monitoring of all the country’s sewage overflows by 2024.
Scottish Water monitors only nine per cent of overflows, and is required to monitor just three per cent – while in England and Wales, 80 per cent are monitored, with plans to ramp up to 100 per cent by the end of next year.
Storm overflows, which release untreated sewage into rivers and coastal waters, are only intended to operate during extreme weather events. It came as figures previously revealed by The Ferret website showed 49 of 87 designated bathing waters in Scotland – including some of the country’s most popular beaches – recorded levels of faecal bacteria over the summer that could endanger health.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We take the matter of sewage pollution very seriously and work closely with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Water to reduce its impacts on the water environment.”
There have been a growing number of incidents of toxic algal blooms recorded in the Kinross-shire fresh water loch. They are caused by phosphorous coming from agricultural run-off and also from two waste water treatment plants which handle the sewage from Milnathort and Kinross.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency suggested the pollution was the result of “periods of heavy rainfall” leading to “the amount of effluent in the sewer exceeding the capacity of the sewer”. They added: “Until the entire historic sewer network is replaced, separating out the foul water from the surface water, the only other alternative is discharge to the environment during periods of heavy rainfall.” The full story can be read here.