Company hit with fine for polluting Kirkintilloch burn

River pollution
River pollution

A construction company has been slapped with a £4,000 fine for polluting the Bothlin Burn in Kirkintilloch.

Allma Construction Limited received the fine on Wednesday (November 23) at Glasgow Sheriff Court for “discharging surface water run-off contaminated with suspended solids into the Bothlin Burn in Kirkintilloch on various dates between 26 June 2012 and 4 July 2013”.

The offence happened when the company was carrying out earthworks at a site in nearby Woodilee.

Officers from SEPA received complaints from members of the public about the Bothlin Burn and Luggie Water being full of sediment and running brown in colour.

SEPA officers investigated, visiting the site and speaking to the company about measures to be taken to stop the discharge.

In order to try to prevent further pollution SEPA issued warning letters and a statutory enforcement notice to the company, in addition to carrying out regular site visits and offering advice and guidance.

However, despite SEPA’s efforts, the company continued to “discharge surface water run-off contaminated with suspended solids” into the Bothlin Burn and as a result SEPA submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal recommending prosecution.

David Wallace, Reporting Officer from SEPA, said: “Construction sites involving earthworks pose an inherent pollution risk to the water environment. When ground exposed by these earthworks comes into contact with surface water and rainfall then the run-off can result in silt pollution of nearby watercourses.

“Allma Construction Limited continually breached the regulations which are in place to protect the water environment during the Woodilee construction site works. The company should have been able to install effective surface water run-off measures without any involvement from SEPA. However, SEPA has had to invest a significant amount of time and effort attempting to prevent any further discharges from the site.

“The silt pollution which resulted in the discolouration of the Bothlin Burn and detracted from local people’s enjoyment of the area, could have easily been avoided. If the company had put an effective sustainable urban drainage scheme in place at the site, and had implemented an effective inspection and monitoring regime, then this silt pollution would not have happened.

“All construction sites must ensure that appropriate treatment measures are in place, and maintained, to protect the water environment. Full assessment and planning for site drainage in advance of any earthworks/site clearance and construction is essential if the water environment is to be fully protected and SEPA intervention avoided.”