Glasgow fined for river pollution

Glasgow City Council has been fined for polluting a major river after landfill leachate leaked into the watercourse.

Following a prosecution brought by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) the local authority was fined £2,000 for allowing the putrid pollution to reach the River Kelvin.

SEPA officers discovered the pollution during routine inspections of the Summerston site back in the summer of 2004.

Samples of the liquid discharge and of the River Kelvin were analysed and both showed high levels of pollution.

“It’s incredibly nasty stuff and was getting into the river,” a SEPA spokesperson told edie.

“This was an older landfill which wasn’t lined and it looks like the controls they had to contain the leachate weren’t working.

“It should have been contained, collected and treated on site but that wasn’t happening.”

The noxious liquid appeared to have escaped from the leachate settlement lagoons and into a surface water drain which emptied into the river.

Simon Pattullo, investigating officer for SEPA, said: “The River Kelvin is a well known fishing river, with increasingly good water quality.

“It is unacceptable that contaminated discharge from the landfill site found its way into this well known stretch of water.”

The collection and treatment of liquid from landfill sites is just one of the reasons that landfill is becoming an unsustainable way of waste disposal.

“There is a massive drive to reduce, reuse and recycle going on throughout Scotland at the moment” said Al Dewart, South West area manager for SEPA.

“The Councils in Scotland are currently investigating the options available to them for continuing the reduction of waste going to landfill.

“Until we have a full range of disposal methods developed and in use, the type of pollution incident witnessed at Summerston landfill in 2004 will always be a risk.”

Sam Bond

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