Government review of farms’ sewage use

Sewage being used as fertiliser on Scottish fields to the dismay of those living nearby
Sewage being used as fertiliser on Scottish fields to the dismay of those living nearby

THE Scottish Government is to review legislation around the use of sewage sludge as fertiliser on farmland, a practice that has caused fury in Clydesdale for years.

The latest outcry has come from Douglas and Glespin, where residents and the local community council raised concerns at the spreading of human waste.

They are concerned about the public health aspect and the environmental impact .

South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish raised their concerns with the Scottish Government and called for a review.

The Cabinet Secretary has acknowledged the public complaints.

“I am pleased that the Scottish Government has accepted the concerns of my constituents and the lack of clarity in the current guidelines,” said Claudia this week.

“I called for a review because the answers I received from Ministers and (environmental agency) SEPA failed to properly address local concerns.

“The review needs to ensure that communities and farmers know where they stand.

“I am now seeking information on what will be included in the review and what the arrangements will be for public consultation.

“The use of treated sewage sludge has potential benefits but we need to know under what circumstances it is allowed and how it will be monitored.

“We need to know how such waste is classified from a safety perspective to make sure that the risks have been properly assessed.

“Given concerns about public health, I’d like to see consideration of how signage and fencing could be made mandatory to alert the public.”

And the MSP added: “I remain deeply concerned about reports that untreated, dried sewage is being used in some cases. This is totally unacceptable and I will be calling for the review to look at how this can be prevented.

“I will be following the progress of the review closely and am continuing to seek a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary following my request in December to discuss this issue.”