Concerns raised about pollution in River Esk

Concerns have been raised about pollution in the River Esk at Rosslyn Castle, with SEPA now investigating the latest incident on the river through Midlothian.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 6:00 am
There is clearly pollution in the River Esk at Rosslyn Castle.

Local resident Mark Turner contacted the Advertiser regarding the issue after spotting that the water was grey, cloudy and smelling on the river through Roslin Glen Country Park.

He said: “The Esk at Roslin Country Park is grey, cloudy and stinking. Is this even safe for people to visit?

“It’s just terrible. It has been a growing problem, and the more houses they build the more sewage seems to be coming into the Esk.

“I think it’s an on-going problem which they have not dealt with and it’s about time they did.

"It must be really hazardous for people to go down to the Esk as it’s so polluted.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said: “SEPA received a report from a local organisation on Friday, July 16 of discolouration of the water in the River Esk.

“Scottish Water is currently assisting with our investigation into the source of this discolouration.“We would ask members of the public to report any concerns to SEPA as soon as possible on 0800 80 70 60 or via SEPA's website.”

A spokesperson for Midlothian Council said: “Matters regards pollution of a water course are regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and now that we have been informed of an issue Midlothian Council will contact SEPA to ascertain the situation.”

Joy Godfrey, who along with Stuart Forbes, is responsible for the ‘I’m Back Caring’ campaign against sewage pollution in the Esk, called for more investment in protecting Scotland’s waterways against pollution such as that found in recent times in the local river.

She said: "We need our Scottish Government to give SEPA longer term secure funding so they can properly commit to and invest in protecting our rivers. Communities cannot stop grey stinking rivers alone."

Joy from Dalkeith, and Stuart from Bilston, were given a People’s Postcode Lottery Earthmovers Award in 2019, in recognition of their tireless campaigning to clean-up the Esk, by environmental campaign charity Friends of the Earth Scotland.