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Scottish Water and Veolia Water UK, the operators of the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works will continue to monitor the facility for any potential odour issues following the completion of the multi-million pounds Odour Improvement Plan.

Construction began in autumn 2009 and was completed in summer 2011. The works is undergoing a strict monitoring regime which is being carried out by a number of environmental regulators.

We have kept the local community and its elected representatives fully informed, and met regularly during the construction programme. We have continued to keep them updated.

The Odour Improvement project involved the installation of two new Odour Treatment Units, ductwork and support bridges, new coarse and fine inlet screens, channel covers, weir covers at Primary Settlement Tanks and improvements to the detritors which are now capable of removing fine particles of grit - reducing the risk of blockage and potential odour generation.

The plant is capable of producing up to 2300 kilowatts of sustainable electricity. Offset, this is enough to power up to 600 homes. This is produced by gas powered generators which use the gas produced in the 6 digesters on site to generate this ‘green’ power.

The facility is managed on our behalf by Veolia Water UK, one of the world’s leading environmental services providers, under a 30 year Private Finance Initiative contract which has been running since 1998.

Latest news

17 April 2014

A number of odour complaints relating to Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works were received by City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) on 15th April. The following is a summary of the background issues which gave rise to these complaints for which we would like to apologise.  

In accordance with the agreed site Odour Management Plan, site operators Veolia were carrying out a planned wash down of the storm water tanks.  This activity, together with the daily weather forecast (which indicated an offshore wind), was advised to Scottish Water and its regulators in advance of this work commencing.  As per the specific standard operating practice for this activity the draining and treatment of the contents of the storm tanks commenced as soon as it became possible to allow these flows to be returned to the inlet for treatment. You may recall this arrangement was changed several years ago, in agreement with  CEC and SEPA, in an effort to ensure that the storm tanks are emptied and cleaned at the first possible opportunity to guard against the contents of the storm tanks turning septic which creates a much greater risk of odour generation. 

Once the emptying and cleaning procedure commenced, and in line with Veolia's procedures, monitoring of the on-site weather station took place and when this showed a change from offshore to onshore wind conditions, the activity was immediately suspended. City of Edinburgh Council officers visited the site and verified the suspension of work.   The work recommenced on the morning of 16th April and has now been completed.  No odour sensitive activities are scheduled for the Easter weekend.

Notwithstanding that all agreed procedures were followed it is regrettable that our customers were undoubtedly exposed to a level of odour emissions and we would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please be assured that as we move into the warmer weather all parties remain committed to ensuring that all reasonable steps are taken such that odour emissions from Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works are minimised in accordance with the agreed operating plans for this site.

October 2013

As part of our ongoing commitment to communicate with stakeholders, on Friday 11th October, Seafield WwTW operators Veolia Water will undertake cleaning work on Detritor No 2 in a planned and controlled operation. This is to allow for the fitting of a new modulating penstock on Monday 14th October. 

Detritor No 2 was routinely cleaned just 2 months ago so we do not envisage there to be much grit to be removed, therefore it is anticipated that today’s operation should be carried out fairly quickly. The plant will operate as normal during this procedure as the flow to Detritor No 2 will be isolated and diverted. 

As is the normal procedure, Veolia has phased the operation to minimise odour risk and, as part of that process, will closely monitor weather and operational conditions throughout this activity. As there is a risk of odour during the procedure, strict odour monitoring will take place and steps taken quickly to deal with any issues. In line with the site Odour Management Plan, Veolia has undertaken an odour risk assessment of this operation and have shared the information with Scottish Water, City of Edinburgh Council and SEPA.

September 2013

In September 2013 we announced that Stirling Water will invest in a new thermal hydrolysis plant (THP) at Seafield. 

This is an innovative way of treating sewage sludge while generating green energy to help power the works. It will produce sludge which can be used as a fertiliser. Less solid matter will be left over after the sludge is treated, meaning around 30% less sludge will need to be transported from Seafield after treatment. For more info see our news release.