Councillor Blasts Authorities for Failing to Clear Up 'Horrifying' Sewage Swamp at City Park

A local councillor has spoken of the “horrifying” stench of overflowing sewage at a city park and has blasted the council and Scottish Water for failing to deal with the issue - more than a week after it was first reported.

Councillor Ashley Graczyk, who serves the Sighthill and Gorgie ward, says she went along to inspect the flooding at Redhall Park on August 14 after receiving numerous complaints from residents in Longstone and Redhall of burst sewage and water mains pipes in the area.

Now, more than a week on after she first raised the matter, Cllr Graczyk has criticised Edinburgh Council and Scottish Water for failing to resolve the matter in a timely fashion and has accused both bodies of shirking responsibility for the mess, which is a clear public health hazard.

Speaking to the Evening News, Cllr Graczyk said she was “absolutely horrified” by what she saw and was “literally gagging” at the awful stench that she encountered.

She said: “I went to Redhall Park to see for myself and was absolutely horrified at what I saw. Half of our well-loved park is flooded with very large and dark swampy patches from months of water and sewage gushing out of the drain into our park grounds.

"The stench was absolutely awful, I was literally gagging."

It is understood a local football team has been forced to relocate their training sessions elsewhere due to the hazardous flooding.

Cllr Graczyk added: "Many local residents have told me they have reported repeatedly to Scottish Water and to the City of Edinburgh Council who then claimed it was the other’s responsibility. Unfortunately, I experienced the exact same thing.

"Half of the park is so flooded that I’m already aware of a local football club forced to move from the pitch area they regularly train at to ensure that they will not be in the mess. There were also dog walkers avoiding this area.

"The Council is responsible for the gullies while Scottish Water is responsible for sewage drains and water mains pipes. It appears neither of these two public organisations wants to take responsibility and I refuse to stand by and watch this ridiculous “Pass the Buck” behaviour continue while our well-loved park is being ruined.

“What concerns me is, when you see the site and experience the absolutely awful stench, how on earth is this flooding not considered an emergency by Scottish Water or the Council? It is utterly unacceptable that the flooding has been allowed to continue for so long.

“Immediate action must be taken to address the months of water which has been allowed to pump into our public park ground, and is turning our well-loved and well-used park into a massive swampy ground before it is potentially rendered inaccessible to the public and a potential public health risk.”

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Council said many of the city’s parks were flooded following torrential rain earlier in the month and pledged to work with Scottish Water to resolve outstanding issues.

They said: “The amount of torrential rain Edinburgh experienced unfortunately caused water logging in a number of our parks.

"Our greenspace team has been hard at work addressing the impact right across the city and they continue to work with partners like Scottish Water to resolve outstanding issues.”

The Evening News has contacted Scottish Water for comment.

Published in the Edinburgh News | 22nd August 2020