Wastewater Incident in Levenmouth Area

Archived news: published on Thursday 13 Sep 2018 by NHS Fife

Households and businesses in the Levenmouth area are being advised of potential health risks in and around the mouth of the River Leven and Leven beaches following a wastewater pollution incident in the area.

Advice has been issued as a precautionary measure by a multi-agency Risk Management Group, chaired by NHS Fife.

The Risk Management Group, which comprises representatives of Scottish Water, SEPA, Fife Council, Health Protection Scotland and Food Standards Scotlandand NHS Fife was convened today following a problem with the sewer network.

This problem is associated with a pump failure due to a power outage, resulting in a sewage leak for a short period overnight.

The Risk Management Group is working to assess the potential impact of the incident.

Advisory signage is being placed in the affected areas.

Where householders and businesses have to visit or work in the affected area they should adhere to the following guidance: -

  • Avoid contact with river / sea water in the affected area. Do not swim or paddle or participate in waterborne activities in the affected area. Do not harvest seafoods (eg fish, shellfish or seaweed) in this area.
  • If you visit a beach in the affected area, stay above the high tide mark to avoid risk of contamination to shoes and clothes.
  • If you visit the river mouth at Leven, try to avoid getting too close to the waterline to avoid risk of contamination to shoes and clothes.
  • Do not remove anything from the affected beach / river mouth.
  • Do not let your pets exercise in the affected area.
  • It is vitally important to observe scrupulous hand hygiene after visiting the river mouth. Wash your hands carefully on return to home, or before you eat, drink or smoke
  • If you become unwell after visiting the beach or river mouth in the affected area, particularly with symptoms such as sickness, diarrhoea, stomach cramps or fever, seek advice from your GP and tell them where you have been

A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland's environment. SEPA is working with members of the multi-agency Risk Management Group following a power failure at Levenmouth Waste Water Treatment Works last night. Scottish Water have advised that they have completed a clean-up operation.

“SEPA is carrying out an investigation into this incident to assess the impact on the water environment. We have updated our bathing water guidance for Leven bathing water to advise against bathing or paddling for the next two to three days. We would advise members of the public to contact our 24-hour Pollution Hotline on 0800807060 to report any potential pollution events.”

Dona Milne, NHS Fife Director of Public Health,said: “We appreciate the inconvenience this advice may cause people and businesses in the affected area, but at all times our priority has to be the protection of the environment and public health.  

“The leak has now been stopped and further sampling will take place. The Risk Management Group is continuing to monitor the situation.  Further updates will be communicated to the public, if required.”

  • Issued by the Wastewater Pollution Incident Risk Management Group.



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