Sunday, 29 May 2022

Sturgeon savaged over claims raw sewage ‘dumped’ in Scottish rivers 30 times a day

Sturgeon grilled on raw sewage in Scottish rivers

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The First Minister came under fire from the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader for allowing Scotland’s waterways to be polluted by sewage.

Mr Cole-Hamilton suggested the pollution endangered wildlife, young children and the environmental safety of his nation.

He claimed: “Raw sewage is released into our rivers every day, it is routinely dumped by Scotland’s government-owned water company.

“Thanks to investigations by The Ferret, we now know this happened more than 10,000 times last year, that’s 30 times a day.”

He continued his accusations against Ms Sturgeon: “Scottish Water is only required to monitor three precent of sewage release points, so the true figure will be much much worse.

“Scotland is way behind England on this, this is an SNP-Green coalition that claims to champion the environment.

“The Environment Minister herself described the routine dumping of waste in our rivers as vital. 

“This shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”

Mr Cole-Hamilton detailed the dangers of water pollution: “We’re talking about excrement, wet-wipes, sanitary towels – in west Edinburgh right now there are otters, children, fish and dogs playing in the River Almond where sewage has been dumped hundreds of times.

“Can I ask the First Minister why aren’t there targets to end the release of sewage into our rivers and how long does she plan to allow this to continue?”

The First Minister responded: “This is an important issue that Alex Cole-Hamilton has raised, the cleanliness of our rivers and seas is of paramount importance.

“How we deal with waste of all forms in our country, of course, is a big issue, a big challenge for governments everywhere.”

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The Scottish Lib Dem leader frowned and shook his head as Ms Sturgeon continued.

“I have not, my apologies to Alex Cole-Hamilton, seen the investigation by The Ferret.

“I will take steps to ensure I do see that and I will come back to him with more detail about what the Government is doing and what more the Government needs to do, like all governments across the world, to tackle what is a serious issue.”

The Ferret, an investigative journalism platform based in Scotland, has uncovered serious areas of concern in the treatment of Scottish water.

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In a July report, The Ferret revealed sewage had been directed into Scotland’s rivers, lochs and seas at least 12,000 times in a one year period.

The release warned the areas affected included “habits for rare and important species and others used by swimmers, surfers and anglers.”

Scottish Water argued the reported releases of sewage were necessary during periods of heavy rainfall to avoid the water system becoming overwhelmed.

However, The Ferret argued the pollution of Scottish waterways could pose significant threats to human health.

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