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Alarm sounded over unexplained influxes of chemicals at the Waste Water Treatment Works that serve Kemnay, Oldmeldrum and Daviot


By David Porter



Scottish Water is appealing to communities on Donside in Aberdeenshire to be alert to any potential unauthorised use of the public sewer network for large-scale waste disposal. The publicly-owned water company has experienced unexplained influxes of chemicals on several occasions, particularly at the Waste Water Treatment Works that serve Kemnay, Oldmeldrum and Daviot.

As a result, local operational teams have been faced with a race against time to stabilise and restore the treatment process which plays an essential role in protecting the local environment.

The impact of unexplained variations in the incoming waste water at Kemnay’s Waste Water Treatment Works. With a healthy treatment process, the final settlement tank shown would be expected to have clear water at its surface.
The impact of unexplained variations in the incoming waste water at Kemnay’s Waste Water Treatment Works. With a healthy treatment process, the final settlement tank shown would be expected to have clear water at its surface.

A specialist Scottish Water team is engaging with large commercial customers in the area to make sure there are no problems with the waste they are licensed to discharge to the sewer. The pattern and nature of the problem suggests the possibility of waste being dumped in significant quantities by tanker which could originate from a much wider area.

Scottish Water’s regional Waste Water Operations Manager Craig Low said:“Each of our Waste Water Treatment Works across Scotland is designed to meet the needs of homes and businesses within its area, while protecting the local environment. The population of ‘good bacteria’ which plays a crucial role in cleaning the water thrives in stable conditions. Any sudden and significant change in the strength and composition of waste water has potential to disrupt the treatment process and harm the natural environment that it works to protect. Following several events which our teams have had to respond to in Kemnay, Oldmeldrum and Daviot, we are investigating all potential causes. We are seeking the help of local communities in being alert to any unusual activity by tankers in the area which could be linked to the problems we’ve been experiencing.

“Scottish Water and many businesses use tankers in the area legitimately, but it is unusual for tankers to be discharging anything to the sewer network. Tankers will normally operate within our fenced Waste Water Treatment Works or other sites that are designed to receive them. We would ask anyone who sees unexplained activity by tankers to note the details without approaching the operator and report them to us as quickly as possible on 0800 077 8778.”




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