Midlothian MSP praises river and burn clean-up

Wet wipes removed from the River South Esk by Scottish Water.
Wet wipes removed from the River South Esk by Scottish Water.

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie has praised Scottish Water for its quick action to clean-up the sewage that has polluted the Mary Burn and River South Esk.

As previously reported in the Advertiser a fortnight ago, Mr Beattie demanded action be taken after he was alerted to the issue near Easthouses by constituents.

The debris that had made its way to the burn included wet wipes and sanitary items. These items have polluted and affected wildlife as well as risked the public health of both people and animals.

After writing to Scottish Water and meeting with representatives from the utility at the Mary Burn recently Mr Beattie asked Scottish Water to take immediate measures to remove the pollution, protect local residents and wildlife from the effects of it.

Mr Beattie is now pleased to see action has finally been taken to fix the problems coming from the sewer and into the River Esk and Mary Burn.

He said: “I am delighted that Scottish Water has begun the process of cleaning up the Mary Burn and River Esk.

“Ensuring that the area is clean and unpolluted is a top priority for me and I have been in regular contact with Scottish Water to make sure that action was taken quickly which it has been.

“I am in discussion at the moment also with SEPA and Midlothian Council about any further precautions if they will be required.

“I will also continue to liaise with Scottish Water.

“I also urge all of my constituents to follow the ongoing advice given from Scottish Water – to only flush the three P’s down the toilet pee, poo and toilet paper. Make sure that all other personal items go into the bin. Also never pour oil, milk, soup or sauces down the drain as they clog up the drainage pipes also.”

A Scottish Water spokeswoman said: “Scottish Water is committed to developing long-term solutions to reduce its impact on the environment. In the River Esk and Mary Burn area we are currently undertaking a clean-up operation to remove debris from the area, which has been spilled following a blockage and storm conditions.

“To try and avoid further pollution we are carrying out network adjustments, undertaking localised cleaning of our network and monitoring it more closely.

“We are working with the community and local stakeholders to help promote our cycle campaign to urge people to only flush pee, poo and toilet paper down the loo.”