Combined Sewar Overflow (CSO) works update from Scottish Water

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Work on Scottish Water’s investment to improve the environment around the Water of Leith has been progressing despite the ongoing challenges of COVID and lockdown as well as a difficult start to the year with bad weather taking its toll.However, we have been told that they are on track to complete work around June at Kingsknowe site which will mean that the diversions currently in place at Baberton Loan will be lifted.  We are aware that there have been issues with anti-social behaviour around the area and we are still getting cyclist going too fast and not dismounting through the diversion. We would appreciate it if people would be considerate of all path users and take care when going past the site.Work also started at Currie Bowling Club at in January and is likely to continue for a year. Other projets due to start include major works in Balerno starting on the 10th May constructing a new CSO at Malleny Garden along with a new outfall and associated pipework. Overpumping will also be required. We will be liaising with the rugby club and Balerno High School to help minimise disruption. This project is expected to take around 8 months to complete. Construction is also expected to start at Gyle Park in Corstophine around mid-April. This is expected to take around 32 weeks to complete.Scottish Water would like thank the community again for their patience and cooperation while we carry out these essential works. Visit for more information.

To understand why this work if so important here is a update from Project Officer Johnny and the work he and volunteers have been conducting lately dealing with issues from CSO’s;Over the last fortnight we’ve pretty much just been in waders constantly working along the banks removing wet wipes, sanitary towels, plastic bags and everything else that gets flushed down the toilet or blown into the river. A lot of the focus has been in the downstream half of the river at Leith, Gorgie, Saughton, Murrayfield, and Coates due to the way gravity works in taking the worst downstream The reason for so many wet wipes is from discharges out of the combined sewer systems (CSO). CSO’s are designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater all in the same pipe. Most of the time, CSO’s transport all of their wastewater to a sewage treatment plant, where it is treated and then discharged. During periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt, however, the wastewater volume in a CSO can exceed the capacity of the sewer system. For this reason, CSO’s are designed to overflow occasionally and discharge excess wastewater directly to nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies. These overflows contain not only storm water but also untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and debris. Having had a Google question moment whilst pulling my 999th wet wipe from a bramble, google reckons it can take up to 100yrs for a wet wipe to decompose in a landfill and even compostable ones take at least 6 weeks to break down in a compost bin, let alone air drying on the side of a riverside branch. Thus if you notice any by the side of someone’s toilet feel free to remind them to bin them instead of flushing and stick to the three P’s only. Pee. Poo and Paper – our river depends on it 

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