DON’T DIVE IN: LibDem plea to accelerate measures to clean up sewage

By Bill Heaney

Going “roon the shore” for a dook or a paddle was the thing to do in Dumbarton in the past when the sun put its hat on for the summer holidays.

Now, however, people are more circumspect then ever given the huge problem that is caused by sewage dumping in local lochs and rivers.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, pictured left,  has today urged the Scottish Government to accelerate measures to clean up sewage from the country’s waterways after polling by his party found that 3 in 4 adults across the UK are less likely to wild swim due to sewage.   

A poll commissioned by the Liberal Democrats interviewed 2,275 adults between 31st March and 3rd April 2023. It found that around 3 in 4 (77%) of UK adults who swim in rivers, lakes or seas are less likely to continue wild swimming due to the discharge of untreated sewage into British rivers, lakes and coastlines.

Sunshine or snow, these hardy wild swimmers are often out doing their think on Loch Lomond. And top picture is of swimmers diving into the local at Balmaha Pier.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:  “Unrivaled waters and stunning coastlines are some of the most enjoyable things about living in Scotland, but that source of pleasure is coming under increasing threat.  

“There were more than 14,000 sewage overflows in Scotland last year alone and the true figure is likely to be much higher given only 1 in 20 dumping pipes are actually monitored.

“No wonder people are thinking twice before dipping their toes in.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats are leading the calls for legally-binding targets to reduce sewage dumping, a complete ban on the practice around Scotland’s best beaches, comprehensive monitoring and faster upgrades to our Victorian sewage network.

“Whether it’s a loch, a river or a beach, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaigners will continue to press SNP and Green ministers to clean up our communities and restore national pride in our waterways.”

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