Consultants hired to deal with ‘ming’

David Torrance
David Torrance

AN independent consultancy has been brought in by Scottish Water as its efforts to resolve the infamous Methil Ming continue.

Stakeholders were told at a meeting, held at Bayview Stadium on Friday, of the move which will see the James Hutton Institute invited to the Levenmouth waste water treatment site to investigate the stench.

The institute is a Heriot Watt University group of environmental and bio-chemical specialists who will be carrying out further studies, both within the works and the wider community.

Amongst those at Friday’s meeting was area MSP Dave Torrance, who welcomed the involvement of the institute.

Mr Torrance told the Mail: “I am pleased with the progress Scottish Water is making in dealing with this issue and also with the progress made through working in partnership with SEPA and Fife Council environmental health department which is evident by the recording of information and maintaining open lines of communication.

“It is good to see that Scottish Water has brought in an independent consultant in the James Hutton Institute which brings with it not only a good reputation, but a wealth of knowledge.

“Over the next six months it will be looking in to all avenues concerning the waste treatment plant and its impact on the surrounding areas.”

It is expected that phases one and two of this consultation process will be completed by March 2013.

In 2010, Scottish Water agreed to follow the recommendations of an independent review of the ‘ming’ carried out by Professor Robert Jackson.

However, the problem has remained and the report’s author came in for some criticism from local people after suggesting the River Leven and sewerage infrastructure could also be to blame.

Since then regular meetings have been held between Scottish Water, politicians and the community.

A separate pressure group has been set up by locals affected by the stench and a 1000-name petition was collected by area MP Lindsay Roy calling for action to be taken.

Following the stakeholder’s meeting, Mr Roy said he welcomed the steps taken by Scottish Water.

He added: “I look forward to hearing what progress has been made at the next stakeholder meeting in January and I remain committed to ensuring that there is an appropriate and lasting outcome for my constituents.”

It is expected that the study will begin in the new year with the Heriot Watt specialists sifting through existing reports and records of customer contacts.