A call for urgent action has been made after sewage was found to be seeping into a stream at a Motherwell beauty spot.
The “appalling” situation arose in Dalzell Estate because of a mix-up in pipes at homes. Scottish Water insisted this week that it’s up to householders to fix the mess but Motherwell councillor Paul Kelly said responsibility can be sorted out later and the important thing is to get the problem resolved.
A dog walker was shocked to find sewage running from a pipe into Dalzell Burn. She told the Times: ”You couldn’t miss the stench. This is a popular area for walking and I contacted the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. They described it as a ‘known issue’.”
A spokesman for SEPA confirmed it was aware of the problem, adding: “We will continue to monitor the environmental impact of discharges.”
Scottish Water said it was aware of three cases of ‘cross -connections’ where the foul pipe from a house is connected to the wrong drain.
A spokesman said: “When the foul pipe has been wrongly connected to the surface water sewer rather than the foul, waste from the home ends up in the burn rather than the waste water treatment works.
“These cross-connections are private matters and not Scottish Water’s responsibility. However, we have provided assistance to establish the source of the problems and guidance to help the householders involved.
“Scottish Water believes one of the cross-connections is being resolved and that the other two will be in due course.”
Councillor Kelly said the response was not good enough and he will be asking North Lanarkshire Council’s chief executive to demand more from Scottish Water.
He said: “This is appalling. We are talking about public safety in one of the most beautiful parts of Motherwell.
“The first thing to be done is to stop this discharge and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I wouldn’t expect householders to be aware of what’s going on in the pipes under their homes.”