Slurry state

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EARLIER this year, wondering what was happening to Edinburgh sewage, I asked Scottish Water, which operates the treatment plant at Seafield. It was five weeks before I was sent a PDF showing a slide presentation, originally I think in Powerpoint format. This shows that, after several treatments, liquid waste is discharged “to the north sea [sic] about a mile from the shore”.

However, further inquiry revealed that in fact it is discharged only half that distance (800m) into the Firth of Forth (i.e. just off Seafield).

During the “bathing season” this effluent is given extra treatment to kill bacteria.

Solid waste is dried and turned into a “cake”, which is then loaded into lorries and taken away to landfill sites and forestry land. It can also be taken to certain farms, where it is used as fertiliser for industrial crops.

Every day, about 150 tonnes of cake are removed from Seafield.

Am I alone in thinking that these methods of disposal are not sufficiently safe?

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan

Edinburgh