River Esk pollution signs

Thursday August 13th 2020


The River Esk as it passes by Newbattle Abbey College.

Written by Midlothian View Editor, Phil Bowen

There is a real issue with pollution in the River Esk which flows through Midlothian.

The North Esk is polluted with water from former mines carrying minerals and in recent months the water has been a bright orange colour. Whereas the South Esk’s pollution is as a result of sewage spilling into the river after periods of heavy rain or by unsuitable items being put into the sewage system.

Despite the pollution there are currently no signs to alert people to the dangers. During the summer months groups of young people are often seen playing in the river. Dogs also enter the waters all year round. Given the level of pollution there is a real prospect of people or dogs becoming ill.

Midlothian View asked the Midlothian Council if they now planned putting signs up. They replied to say:

“We are organising signs that advise the river may be subject to sewer overflows so while it won’t say ‘no swimming’ the signs will alert everyone using the river to the likelihood of pollution. The signs will be informative and advisory as opposed to being a warning.”

The council said they currently have no plans to erect signs on the North Esk to advise about mining pollution.

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