Freedom of Information requests reveal Fisherrow failures

Papers uncovered by the Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland have revealed a series of failures by Scottish Water to take measures to protect the beach and coastal waters in Fisherrow.

Fisherrow Sands lost its status as a designated bathing water at the end of 2019, following several years of water quality test results which showed that the water contained unsafe levels of E.Coli or Intestinal Enterococci. 

Sewage discharges are one of the sources of pollution affecting water quality at Fisherrow. Eastfield sewage pumping station (ESPS) is operated by Scottish Water and discharges close to Fisherrow.

Ben Christman a solicitor at Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland said: 

Through FOI, Scottish Water told us that in November 2019 they established that Eastfield Pumping Station was operating in breach of a condition of their licence. Emails we obtained showed that SEPA became aware of this issue around the same date… The illegal operation of ESPS by Scottish Water appears to have occurred for almost three years.

Green councillor Shona McIntosh commented:

Enforcement against polluters is simply not strong enough and the current system causes unnecessary delays in cases where the responsibility is not immediately clear - as happened in January 2022 with a petrochemical spill for which no criminal charges have yet been brought.

SEPA told The Ferret that investment in the pumping station means it is now operating as it should be.