Scottish Water and the Water of Leith

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Scottish Water works have been underway in Slateford by Sainsbury’s over the past few weeks and many folks have been asking what this work is for and why, so we asked to meet Catherine and Adam from Scottish Water to understand the works and its impact on the river. They will be delivering a talk to our members in November but in the meantime they have shared this with us:

In 2021, Scottish Water launched its Improving Urban Water’s Routemap which sets to significantly reduce sewer related debris and improve water quality in Scotland’s rivers and burns by increasing monitoring and reducing overflows.

£2.7bn has been spent on improving the waste water system over the past decade and an additional £500m has been committed to reducing discharges into the environment.

In the Water of Leith, 10 projects to upgrade CSOs in the upper reaches of the river have been delivered over the past three years. The Routemap highlights a further 24 ‘high priority’ CSOs for potential investment.

Catherine Henderson, Corporate Affairs, Scottish Water said;

“We are committed to improving Scotland’s aquatic environment, however, we cannot do this alone. Achieving these outcomes will also require support from the public, community groups and regulators.”

“Upgrading CSOs can be very disruptive as many of these assets are in difficult to reach places. We need the support of everyone in order to implement the most sustainable options at an affordable price for the Scottish public.”

Every year, Scottish Water teams attend over 36,000 blockages in drains and sewers, which could cause flooding in homes and neighbourhoods, pollute rivers, burns and coastal waters. 80% of these blockages are caused by people flushing the wrong items down the toilet, or pouring fats, oil and grease down the sink.

Scottish Water’s Nature Calls campaign calls for a ban on wipes that contain plastic and asks customers to only flush (toilet) paper, pee and poo while disposing of all other items in the bin.

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