Sewage Incident on the Red Burn (Torrance)

Below is an update from SEPA regarding the large piles of sewage on Red Burn Farm NE of Torrance, and the resulting problems with discharge entering the burn. Thank you to those members that brought it to our attention

As discussed earlier a Paragraph 8(1) Waste Management Licence exemption was in place for the storage of sewage sludge at Red Burn Farm in Torrance. During the storage period the operator breached the relevant objectives of the exemption by not providing secure storage of the material. They also breached GBR 18 of the Controlled Activities Regulations as contaminated effluent discharged to the Red Burn.

Over the period SEPA officers attended on numerous occasions to respond to complaints, inspect operations, mitigate/reduce risk of further pollution and sample/survey to provide evidence for enforcement action.

Our sampling and ecology survey of the burn indicated that in periods of heavy rainfall, intermittently contaminated effluent discharged to the burn. As this discharge occurred during heavy rainfall then pollution was mitigated by dilution from high flows and well aerated cold water which maintained oxygen levels. The discharge however was recorded as having a negative impact on the burn and the health of some invertebrates had been affected. Localised sewage fungus near the discharge point was also noted but not noted downstream. Mitigation measures were then carried out to reduce the risk of further pollution with material taken off-site.

SEPA management decided that due to the non-compliance of the legislation discussed that the exemption would be removed. This does not allow the operator to store material at Red Burn Farm. All material was removed from the site on the 17th of April.