Scottish Water spillage in River Eden killed hundreds of fish and caused years of damage to salmon and trout stocks

This is an appalling pollution incident and exacerbated by a lack of understanding from the staff involved. It is hoped that these matters are addressed by Scottish Water.

Scottish Water has admitted killing hundreds of salmon and trout by pouring a toxic chemical into the River Eden and suffocating the fish. The quango was fined £6,700 after pouring around 400 litres of jelly-like polymer Zetag into the river near Cupar.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told a large number of wild salmon, brown trout and sea trout died within hours as the chemical sucked the oxygen out of the river.

Around 500 dead fish were found floating on the surface of the river, but the court was told the number of deaths may have been far higher with many more dead fish under the congealed surface. The court was told the spillage took place when a forklift truck driver accidentally punctured a 1,000 litre container of Zetag, used in the water purification process.

Staff unaware of environmental impact.  Fiscal depute Joe Stewart told the court staff had not realised the material had been washed into the river or the devastating impact it would have on the wildlife. He said: “Around 400 litres leaked out before they turned the container over. “They were unaware it was harmful to aquatic life. It was hosed into the nearest surface drains. “They mistakenly thought it went to the waste water treatment works but it went directly into the River Eden. “It entered the river in at least three locations.”

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