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Scottish Water invests in Scotland's largest waste water treatment plant


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Scottish Water
We are a publicly owned company, answerable to the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland. It's our job to provide 1.34 billion litres of drinking water every day and take away 847 million litres of waste water daily.
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Major investment is planned for the country’s biggest waste water treatment works so it can serve the growing needs of Scotland’s capital city.

Scottish Water will carry out improvements to the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) in Edinburgh, which processes 300 million litres of waste water every day, to help improve operational resilience and mitigate potential odours at the facility and support the city’s growing population.

Following an independent review, a number of recommendations were made for the site and these improvements have been delivered.

In addition to measures already taken, Scottish Water’s further investment of about £10 million in improved sludge storage will be delivered during a new investment programme, which starts in 2021.

This follows a review of treatment capacity in the region which has established that Seafield and Newbridge WWTWs can accommodate forecast growth in the region until at least 2029, after which there will need to be a review of further required investment at that time. 

Scottish Water will work with its partners in the Edinburgh and Lothians Drainage Partnership (ELDP) to reduce the amount of surface water entering our sewers and volumes arriving at Seafield WWTW, and to mitigate climate change risks.  

Scottish Water is committed to minimising odour issues in the area of the Seafield WWTW and is working closely with its operating partners, Veolia, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Edinburgh City Council.

Douglas Millican, Scottish Water’s Chief Executive, said: “Scottish Water has already completed a lot of the work that was recommended in the independent review and we are committed to working with the community going forward to ensure that the planned investment and future investment is done in partnership.

“We are bringing forward this investment in extra sludge storage to help with odour risk management and we are confident that, as strategically important sites, Seafield WWTW and Newbridge WWTW can accommodate additional waste water to meet the needs of a growing region.”

He added: “Scottish Water is committed to working with stakeholders on our short-term investment and in developing options for Seafield WWTW in the long-term.”

Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said: “This latest investment from Scottish Water into our biggest waste water treatment works, is an important step in improving operational resilience and ensuring the site continues to serve the growing needs of our capital city.”

Ben Macpherson, constituency MSP and Chair of the Seafield Stakeholder Group also welcomed the planned Scottish Water investment at Seafield WWTW.

He said: “I very much welcome this £10 million of major investment by Scottish Water to upgrade the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works and minimise odour issues in the area.

"I pay tribute to all of the Stakeholder Group for helping to secure this investment, and particularly the local Community Council and Residents’ Association who, along with others including myself, have campaigned for improvements over several years.

“Following the recent independent review of the site and surrounding networks, I’m pleased that Scottish Water is implementing the recommendations and that our Stakeholder Group has made a positive impact.

"This investment should make a meaningful difference towards addressing the odour issues that occur in Leith, and improve the performance of the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works for the benefit of Edinburgh as a whole.”

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