Raw sewage washed up on Ganavan Sands, one of Scotland’s most popular beaches, at Oban in Argyll. Pictures by Bill Heaney
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has written to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to ask what action the Scottish Government is taking to stop the release of untreated human waste into Scotland’s waters.
An investigation by The Ferret revealed that in 2021, untreated human waste was dumped into Scotland’s waters more than 10,000 times. This amounted to sewage being dumped thirty times a day.
It has since also revealed that 49 of 87 designated bathing waters recorded levels of faecal bacteria over summer that could endanger health.
After first raising the issue at FMQs, Mr Cole-Hamilton has written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to ask:
- What steps have you and your government taken since May to ensure that untreated human waste is not dumped into Scotland’s rivers?
- Have you and your government now set targets to end the release of untreated human waste into Scotland’s waters?
- Will you and your government commit to speeding up the installation of spill monitors on all sewer overflows that are discharged into designated bathing areas?
Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “Dumping raw sewage into Scotland’s waters jeopardizes public health and endangers lives. Raw sewage is being routinely dumped into our rivers every day, and it’s the government’s own water company that’s behind it.
“Scottish Water is only required to monitor three percent of sewage release points, so the true figure will be far worse than 10,000 releases a year.
“The SNP/Green Coalition have an astonishing amount of brass neck to masquerade as champions of the environment. Their own Environment Minister described the dumping of sewage as vital.
“That’s why I have written to the First Minister to ask what the government is doing to stop the routine dumping of sewage into Scottish waters, if they have set targets for it to end and whether it will accelerate measures to achieve this objective.”
Picture: Wild flowers growing at Havoc Shore in Dumbarton, where raw sewage is regularly dumped in the River Clyde and is a favourite playing spot for children.