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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Sewage spill shoreline deserted
By Angie Brown
Edinburgh and East reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Portobello Beach
A pensioner surveys an empty Portobello Beach on Monday
Edinburgh's Forth shoreline became deserted after warnings finally started to reach beach-goers and dog-walkers to avoid the sewage-contaminated area.

There were complaints that warning messages to avoid beaches in the area were barely visible after the Seafield plant in Leith developed pump problems.

However, Edinburgh Council doubled its patrols in nearby Portobello Beach by Monday to four wardens.

Parents out for a walk were keeping their children away from the beach.

Julie Degaetano, 33, who was out for a walk with her 18-month-old son Euan, said she usually enjoyed strolling on Portobello Beach.

She said: "I heard about the sewage today so I'm keeping my son away from the sea and sand.

Take advantage

"I'm amazed how quiet the beach is, there is nobody here. Usually there are a lot of people on the beach.

"We won't be going on the beach for a while."

John Cropley, 40, owner of Forthview Bar on Portobello Beach promenade, said he had decided to take advantage of the empty beach to play golf.

He said: "I was swimming in the sea here at Portobello on Sunday afternoon and will be going in again on Tuesday.

John Cropley on Portobello Beach
John Cropley takes advantage of a desolate Portobello Beach

"I'm not worried because years ago they didn't treat the sewage and it used to pour in here so I'm sure I will be fine."

However, Billy Ross, 40, cafe owner of Renrock in Montgomery Street, said he was annoyed passing officials had failed to warn him about the sewage leak when his dog ran into the sea on Monday.

He said: "My dog, Luke, is smelling now and I'm worried he is going to be sick.

"There should be big boards on the beach with warnings and as for these officials walking up and down, they seem more interested in chatting to each other than telling people about the problem. It is very annoying."

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