Company fined £4,000 for discharging run-off contaminated with suspended solids into the Bothlin Burn

date24 November 2016

A construction company was fined £4,000 yesterday (Wednesday 23 November) at Glasgow Sheriff Court for discharging surface water run-off contaminated with suspended solids into the Bothlin Burn in Kirkintilloch on various dates between 26 June 2012 and 4 July 2013.

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Allma Construction Limited pled guilty to:

  • Discharging surface water run-off which was (a) discoloured and (b) contaminated with suspended solids into the Bothlin Burn;
  • carrying out earthworks at a construction site exposing the water environment to the risk of pollution by discharge from surface water run-off;
  • failing to provide adequate and effective surface water run-off drainage/control;

without the authority of an authorisation.

Officers from SEPA received complaints from members of the public about the Bothlin Burn and Luggie Water being full of sediment and running brown in colour.

Following these complaints SEPA officers attended the Woodilee construction site regularly between 26 June 2012 and 4 July 2013 to investigate the matter and speak to the company about measures to be taken to stop the discharge.

In order to try to prevent further discharge of surface water run-off into the water environment occurring SEPA issued warning letters and a statutory enforcement notice to Allma Construction Limited in addition to carrying out regular site visits and offering advice and guidance.

However, despite SEPA’s efforts, the company continued to discharge surface water run-off contaminated with suspended solids into the Bothlin Burn and as a result SEPA submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal recommending prosecution.

David Wallace, Reporting Officer from SEPA, said:

Construction sites involving earthworks pose an inherent pollution risk to the water environment. When ground exposed by these earthworks comes into contact with surface water and rainfall then the run-off can result in silt pollution of nearby watercourses.

“Allma Construction Limited continually breached the regulations which are in place to protect the water environment during the Woodilee construction site works. The company should have been able to install effective surface water run-off measures without any involvement from SEPA. However, SEPA has had to invest a significant amount of time and effort attempting to prevent any further discharges from the site.

“The silt pollution which resulted in the discolouration of the Bothlin Burn and detracted from local people’s enjoyment of the area, could have easily been avoided. If the company had put an effective sustainable urban drainage scheme in place at the site, and had implemented an effective inspection and monitoring regime, then this silt pollution would not have happened.

“All construction sites must ensure that appropriate treatment measures are in place, and maintained, to protect the water environment.  Full assessment and planning for site drainage in advance of any earthworks/site clearance and construction is essential if the water environment is to be fully protected and SEPA intervention avoided.”

Ends

Notes to editors

The exact charge Allma Construction Limited pled guilty to was:

Between 26th June 2012 and 4th July 2013 both dates inclusive at the Woodilee Construction sites consisting of two areas of ground in Kirkintilloch, these areas are more particularly described as follows; 1) an area of land bounded generally on the east by Market Road, Kirkintilloch, on the north and west sides by Calfmuir Road, Kirkintilloch and on the south by Blairhill Avenue, Kirkintilloch; 2) an area of land situated approximately 150 metres south of the confluence of the Bothlin Burn and Luggie Water, both Kirkintilloch, which area of ground is bounded generally on the west and north by the Bothlin Burn, Kirkintilloch and sits to the west of Orchard Place, Mill Way and Duntiblae Road, all Kirkintilloch, both areas of ground are shown coloured red on the plan annexed as relative hereto you did carry on a controlled activity liable to cause pollution of the water environment in that 1) on 20 September 2012, 2 October 2012, 16 October 2012, 5 November 2012, 24 April 2013, 4 July 2013 you did discharge surface water run-off which was (a) discoloured and (b) contaminated with suspended solids into the Bothlin Burn and (2) did carry out earthworks at a construction site exposing the water environment to the risk of pollution by discharge from surface water run-off and fail to provide adequate and effective surface water run-off drainage/control without the authority of an authorisation under the aftermentioned Regulations; CONTRARY to the Water Environment (Controlled Activities)(Scotland) Regulations 2011 Regulation 4 and 44(1)(a) and the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 Section 20(3)(a).