Blocked culvert to blame for Coastal Path flooding

The flooded section of the path
The flooded section of the path

Recent high tides washing up stones, pebbles and debris from the beach and blocking a culvert have caused flooding on the Fife Coastal Path near to Seafield Tower.

But Fife Council is taking action to rectify the situation which has eased since the weekend.

Erosion at the side of the coastal path

Erosion at the side of the coastal path

Walkers on the popular Coastal Path between Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn reported an area of flooding at the old sea wall on several occasions over the past month, but last week the situation was worse than ever.

Alex Lees (63), who lives at Seafield and walks his dog Ruby there at least once a day, says he has noticed much more flooding recently.

He said: “The most recent incident last week covered an area of 20 to 30 feet right across the path and down to the beach where it was pouring out over the wall.

‘‘You couldn’t walk through it without getting your feet soaked – or wearing your wellies,” he said.

The blocked culvert which caused the flooding

The blocked culvert which caused the flooding

“It was the worst I had ever seen it in all my time living here and the water is eroding the path which is not good for walkers.

“However, it seems to have cleared over the weekend and was just a puddle on Monday.

“My concerns were, and are, that I have never seen this degree of flooding in my 13 years of living in Seafield and regularly walking the Coastal Path.

‘‘There is now obvious erosion by the torrent of water on the sides of the path.

“Has the water route from outside Seafield been altered? Has recent digging work and alteration to a garden of one of the houses immediately over this water route, effected a change? Is this a cause for concern and will more erosion follow?”

Another resident who is a member of several walking clubs said she had noticed the flooding last Friday.

“We were out for a walk and had to go down on the beach to avoid getting our feet wet,” she said.

“I have never seen it that bad before and there hadn’t even been a lot of rain.”

Ross Speirs, lead professional, harbours, flood and coast with Fife Council, said the council regularly carried out inspections in the area.

“Over the last few months, due to the tides, a large volume of shingle and cobbles have been washed into the culvert which carries the water from the Tyrie burn to the Forth Estuary.

“This has meant that the water has been backing up to a manhole beside the coastal path, causing it to overflow.

“We are aware of the situation are working on proposals to remove the shingle and cobbles from this difficult to access section of the culvert.

“There’s never been a problem here before so it’s not easy to put in preventative measures until we know for sure whether this is going to be an ongoing issue being caused by the same problem.

‘‘Obviously should it happen again the team would look into whether a cost effective solution can be provided.”

A Scottish Water spokesman added: “Staff attended the area after reports of surface water.

‘‘The culvert was found not to be a Scottish Water asset.”

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