Pledge to detect source of Methil stench

The Levenmouth treatment plant.
The Levenmouth treatment plant.

FOLLOWING a visit to the Levenmouth Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) MP Lindsay Roy said he was “encouraged” by owner Scottish Water’s commitment to resolving the problem of the ‘Methil Ming’.

Mr Roy was given a tour of the site, which is operated by Caledonian Environmental Levenmouth Treatment Services, alongside members of the newly formed Fix Levenmouth Action Group (FLAG).

Speaking afterwards, Mr Roy however warned, although it was positive Scottish Water was now acknowledging there is an issue, it would only be when words were translated into successful action that local people would be happy.

He promised, in the meantime, that he and FLAG, which has been recognised by Scottish Water as a public action group, would continue to keep up the pressure, until the utility company lives up to its responsibilities.

Mr Roy – who has written to Alex Rowley, the leader of Fife Council, asking him to clarify the local authority’s role in monitoring odours from the plant – added he welcomed that all parties had been invited to a stakeholders’ meeting next month.

He said: “At that meeting, the question of providing a freephone telephone number for people to make complaints will be decided and an email facility is also being considered.

“Such steps are necessary to ensure residents have access to easy – and free – means of complaining when they need to.”

Anne Marie Dewar, Scottish Water’s regional community manager for Fife, told the Mail it was expected that a chemical dosing unit, which acts to neutralise odours in the incoming wastewater, will be installed within the next few weeks, connecting to a new automatic monitoring system to be fitted by early September.

She said Mr Roy and FLAG had been invited to the WWTW to allow them to view the current odour management arrangements.

She added: “We are continuing our investment at Levenmouth at a pace, and we remain committed to identifying any potential sources of odour within the Levenmouth WWTW and the surrounding area.

“We will continue to update all elected members and key stakeholders on our progress, and plan to hold a further meeting with all of them in August.”

A spokesperson for FLAG echoed Mr Roy’s view saying it too wanted “concrete actions, not good intent”.

She added, during the tour, one of the driers was identified as being the possible cause of the Ming, as the smell coming from it was the same “disgusting stench that blights our local air”.

With regards to complaint handling the spokesperson questioned Scottish Water’s figures and called for an independent body to collate future records, deeming it “unjust and unfair for a company to sustain its own record of complaints against it”.

Meanwhile FLAG is running a competition to design a logo for its group with a prize of a £50 high street voucher on offer.

If you are interested in taking part, or wish to find out more information about the group, email flagfife@live.co.uk.