Under consideration PE1988: Review the process for disposal of household raw sewage

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to:
- review the process for allowing raw sewage discharge from homes into Scottish coastal waters
- provide additional funding to SEPA for enforcement
- introduce legislation to ban households from discharging raw sewage

Previous action taken

Emails to Jenni Minto MSP (local MSP), and Michael Russell MSP (previous MSP).

Discussions with Scottish Water Directors & staff, and SEPA area manager & staff, there's a desire from them for change but a need for funding from elsewhere. Scottish Water claims not to have budget to connect homes to any local sewage networks and SEPA doesn’t have budget to police the system.

Background information

Rural households have a legal right to discharge raw sewage to the sea; polluting waters and beaches. SEPA controls the approval and policing of the current process for these historic rights. Outfall pipes break and sewage is deposited on beaches at low tides. By SEPA's own admission their budget does not enable effective enforcement action to be taken.

Many of the homes can't afford to connect to any sewer or have space/money for septic tanks/reed beds. Many do not want to change a system that is free waste disposal for them.

The Scottish Government should ban outfall pipes and allocate specific funding for SEPA to identify and enforce shortfall pipe correction. All activity/paralysis is put at the door of funding and only the Scottish Government can break that impasse. Does the Scottish Parliament support this polluting process that is allowed in this day and age? Doing nothing to change it is supporting it.

  • Created by Sue Wallis
  • Considered from 16 November 2022

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

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