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Environment / Discoloured water in loch came from roadside ditch

Discoloured water in the loch was reported to SEPA on 24 October. Photo: Sustainable Shetland.

AN INVESTIGATION into possible sediment entering Sand Water as a result of Viking Energy construction works has confirmed that “silty water” was coming from an existing fracture in rock in a roadside ditch.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) looked into the matter after concerns were raised on 24 October.

Photos showed discoloured water in the loch, which is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

A spokesperson for SEPA said that investigations “found that silty water was coming through a previously unidentified existing fracture in the rock on the bed of a roadside ditch”.

“Mitigation measures now include diverting the flow from the fracture to the settlement ponds, with a bypass pipe installed to allow clean surface water drainage to be maintained,” they added.

“Members of the public can report potential pollution incidents to SEPA at www.sepa.org.uk/report.”

Run-offs previously entered the loch in September following heavy rain, leading to mitigation measures being imposed to better the water management on site.

The work ongoing includes the construction of a new road at Sand Water and a nearby compound.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021