The sewage was discharged into the stream from a broken sewer pipe, which turned the water brown/grey in colour with thick sewage fungus.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) had been called to the Innerwick Sewage Treatment Works in October last year after the water company reported a problem with operations.

On inspection they found the pipe taking untreated sewage from the village of Innerwick to sewage works was broken.

SEPA’s investigating officers Karen Simpson, said: “The broken pipe caused untreated sewage to enter the Innerwick Burn, which had a detrimental impact on the ecology of the watercourse.

“We observed that upstream of the sewer burst the water in the stream was clear with no evidence of pollution, whereas downstream the water was cloudy with visible discolouration seen over 500 metres, and there was thick and extensive growths of sewage fungus.”

Scottish Water pled guilty to the charge of carrying out an activity liable to cause pollution of the water environment.

The company carried out repairs to the pipe, after the damage was discovered, which stopped the discharge.

Alison Brown

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