Last Friday, there was a Seafield ‘Stakeholders’ meeting. The meeting brought together representatives from Leith Links Community Council, Leith Links Residents Association, local councillors, local MSP’s and staff from the various companies involved to get an update on efforts to fix the infamous Seafield Stench.
Unfortunately for the hosts, at the start of the meeting, there was certainly something unpleasant in the air. Indeed, the smell was described as ‘vomit inducing’ by Rob Kirkwood, from the Leith Links Residents Assocation. However, the source of the smell was identified as a temporary occurance linked to two lorries taking waste away from the site – and the smell did seem to subside by the time the meeting ended.
We learned in some detail about the progress that the operators were making towards implementing the odour improvement plan on the site, and we had a chance to get a brief interview with Alex McTear from Stirling Water after the Stakeholder meeting on this subject. You can listen to it here:
A key issue that arose at the meeting was one of ‘defining success’. Even though the works associated with the current odour improvement plan are due to be completed by May 2010 and seem to be progressing well, Rob Kirkwood raised the question that many residents would like to ask, “What happens if it doesn’t work?”
Of course, whilst the operators would like local people to withhold judgement on the success or failure of the the odour improvement works until they are completed, the fact that the site is still generating smells gives some people a cause for alarm.
Kenny MacAskill, the chair of the stakeholder group agreed to convene a seperate meeting later in the year, without the operating companies present, to enable people to speak to the various enforcement agencies about their concerns – and work out exactly what combination of frequency, duration and intensity of smell constitues a legal ‘odour nuisance’.
In the meantime, if you get a whiff of something unpleasant from Seafield, you should still report it to Scottish Water on 0845 601 8855, or you can email them on [email protected]
Interesting Seafield Facts:
- Seafield deals with the waste water produced by 850,000 people in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
- After treatment, the water is discharged 2.5 miles out into the Firth of Forth.
- Bio-gas produced by the sewerage is used to generate electricity to power the plant. For the first time this year, it exported energy to the national grid.
- During the bathing season the waste gets an extra UV light treatment to make sure the waste is completely sterile.