Scottish Water fined over Kirkintilloch sewage overflow

Scottish Water has been fined £12,000 after sewage water overflowed into a burn in East Dunbartonshire.

The utility firm admitted allowing the spill into Kirkintilloch’s Purgatory Burn between 6 March and 25 June 2013.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard manholes became blocked and sewage leaked at the burn’s junction with the River Kelvin.

As a result, the water changed colour, there was a strong smell and the burn’s banks were littered with sanitary products and needles.

Procurator fiscal depute Kate Fleming told the court that the pollution was caused by dual manholes, meaning the surface and foul sewers run parallel to each other.

‘Prolonged pollution’
She said: “When there is a blockage in the sewer, the sewer backs up with untreated sewage and overflows into the surface water drainage system, meaning that sewage pollution is sent directly into the water environment.”

The court was told that these manholes have been deemed unfit for purpose and that the “prolonged pollution” was caused by repeated incidents at three manholes on Ailsa Drive and Fellsview Avenue, Kirkintilloch.

Ms Fleming added: “In addition to the illegal discharge of sewage into the burn, there is no evidence of Scottish Water cleaning up the sewage debris left behind as a result of the sewage escaping into the water environment.

“The debris has been left along the Purgatory Burn and been discharged into the River Kelvin.”