Minutes of Meeting

Subject:           Scottish Water Waste Treatment Plant – Consultation

Date & Time:   21 January 2020, 2pm

Location:         Solway Yacht Club, Kippford


  • David Jamieson, Kippford Association
  • Alan Dingle, Kippford Association
  • Tom Millar, Merse Way
  • John Opray, Merse Way
  • John Withers, Merse Way
  • David Butler, Rough Firth
  • Val Bradbury, Jubilee Path
  • Robert Kennedy, Riverview
  • Alastair McLellan, Kippford Village
  • Simon Pain, Colvend Community Council
  • Adam Warner – Corporate Affairs Scottish Water
  • Jim Tudhope – Intervention Manager Scottish Water
  • Graeme Hamilton – Amey, Black and Veatch (ABV)
  • Kirsty McColl – ESD; responsible for site design & construction

Distribution:  All noted above

  • Colvend Community Council
  • Kippford Villagers


Why the need for a treatment plant?

Rockcliffe’s bathing water standards are currently ‘Poor’.  There have been several years of poor, with 2016 being ‘Sufficient’.

If the ‘poor’ standards continue for 5 years, the bathing area will be de-designated and signs erected recommending people do not bathe.

This is detrimental to tourism in the area.

The existing solution in Kippford was built in 1967 and consists of large septic tanks.  Effluent from these tanks are discharged into Urr Water, but are also regularly emptied of solid matter.  There is no disinfection process.  It is not capable of handling the volumes during peak periods in Kippford.

The existing septic tank solution would need to be approximately five times larger based on design population.


Using computer modelling and analysis of water samples, 69% of the bacteria in the bathing area comes from Kippford


Temporary Solution

Scottish Water are proposing the installation of equipment during the Summer period of 2020 and 2021 to disinfect and then neutralise the effluent from the septic tanks prior to discharge into the Urr Water. SEPA are not keen on chemical treatment but Scottish Water believe they will accept it as a temporary solution.

The planning application submitted in December consisted of four structures up to 3.5 Metres high.  The solution would be removed after the summer season (May through September)  in 2020 & 2021.

Permanent Solution

Scottish Water considered upgrading the existing service, however there is limited space and it already sits on reclaimed land.

Transferring the waste to Rockcliffe treatment or to Dalbeattie both required significant upgrades to the treatment plants and infrastructure

The preferred solution consists of two buried septic tanks, a copa sack (this is a sock like filter to capture carry over of rags/large solids), two submerged aerated filters, a hummus tank (final settlement tank), and a new outfall to take the final treated effluent out to sea.

Their preferred solution is currently to the North of Merse Way (see ‘A’ on map below).  This was chosen based on accessibly, and the visual impact on the surroundings as it is in a natural dip.  It is outside the floodplain and not too far up the hill.


The various Kippford representatives raised a number of concerns:

Temporary Solution:

  • The temporary solution – on Rough Firth – will result in a large, intrusive, and potentially noisy structure.  The area is a central part of the village amenities and tourist walks.  The fencing at 2M high seems unnecessary and excessive.
  • Scottish Water agreed to review and resubmit an application to the Planning departmen


Proposed new Treatment Facility

  • Everyone accepted the need for a new, future-proof solution for the village.
  • We all felt that the road-side location (‘B’ on the Map) had been too quickly discounted by Scottish Water.  It was far enough away from the population of the village; could be easily screened by trees; was accessible as it is roadside; appeared to have ample footprint for the proposed treatment plant (50x70M)
  • Scottish Water’s proposal allows for a new pipe to move all the wastewater from the existing tanks in Rough Firth back up to Merse Way.  Kippford representatives asked if it made more sense to capture waste as it came down the main road pipe and divert that into the new treatment, therefore reducing the water to be pumped up from the original site.
  • Scottish Water agreed to investigate the new site (at the telephone exchange) and undertake groundwork tests.
  • There was concerned raised that farmers’ slurry is being pumped or draining too quickly from fields into the estuary.  Scottish Water noted that SEPA take responsibility for monitoring this.  They also added that their DNA testing of water in the estuary confirmed it was predominantly human in origin.


All visited the site of ‘A’ and ‘B’ on the map to review collective thoughts.

For our next meeting Scottish Water will ask SEPA to attend. Next meeting to be confirmed.

Map of Locations

Map of Locations