Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Scottish Water fined over Loch Ryan pollution

Loch Ryan. Pic by Undiscovered Scotland
Loch Ryan is a designated shellfish water

Scottish Water has been fined £6,000 after sewage from one of its treatment plants polluted Loch Ryan in Stranraer.

The town's sheriff court heard that waste from Stranraer wastewater treatment works was released despite not being adequately treated.

The discovery was made after environmental officers visited the site between January and April 2009.

Loch Ryan, which acts as a gateway for ferry services to Northern Ireland, is also a designated shellfish water.

Scottish Water was fined £2,000 for failing to comply with a condition of its water use licence.

'Undue delay'

The organisation was given an addition £4,000 fine for failing to record the level of waste that had been allowed to enter the water.

John Gorman, investigating officer with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), said: "Since the end of 2005, all towns with populations of between 10,000 and 15,000, such as Stranraer, should have secondary treatment provided to their urban wastewater treatment plants.

"Scottish Water was well aware of the legal requirement to meet European directive conditions and discussions had been taking place between Sepa and Scottish Water since May 2000."

Mr Gorman added: "Loch Ryan has consistently been failing to meet the standards, and Sepa considers that the discharge from Stranraer wastewater treatment plant is contributing to this failure."

Mr Gorman said he expected improvements to the sewage facility at Loch Ryan to be carried out "without undue delay".

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