Coal Authority plan for a treatment scheme on the South Esk

Tuesday January 18th 2022


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

As part of its work to make a better future for people and the environment in mining areas, the Coal Authority is inviting residents to an online information event about plans to help improve the South Esk River.

The Coal Authority has been developing proposals for a treatment scheme in Dalkeith to remove metals from the mine water flowing from a historical drainage tunnel adjacent to Newmills Road, (known locally as ‘Junkies Adit’) which is linked to the underground mine workings in the area.

Over recent years the amount of mine water discharging from Junkies Adit has been increasing, and the water quality has been deteriorating.

The water affected is visibly orange. This discolouration is a result of naturally occurring iron dissolving in the mine water underground which then becomes solid as it mixes with air and settles out of the water. Over recent years the discolouration has become more visible further downstream and could affect the river’s ecology if left untreated.

The Coal Authority has been working with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and other partners to monitor the problem and develop a solution.

Based on the investigations carried out, the Coal Authority is now designing a permanent solution to treat the mine water prior to discharge into the river.

Ongoing concerns around Covid 19 prevent the authority from holding events in person, so instead a virtual event is due to take place on Monday 31 January with the option of two time slots; 2-3pm and 6-7pm. These will be held on Zoom.

During the events, which will also be attended by key partners, there will be a presentation explaining more about the proposals and showcasing the preliminary designs, along with a chance to ask any questions.

To register an interest, contact the Coal Authority’s customer service team by calling 0345 762 6848 or emailing and telling them which session you’d like to attend.

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