A BORDERS MSP has hit out at the Scottish Government after a sewage leak at Eyemouth last week.

Rachael Hamilton MSP, who represents the Conservatives for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, has said the Scottish Government must take responsibility for the "upward trend of water pollution" caused by sewage leaks such as the one reported in Eyemouth last week.

On Tuesday, July 12 Scottish Water informed SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) that a burst pipe was leaking sewage into the water.

The leak saw the beach at Eyemouth shut to public access until Friday (July 15) after SEPA confirmed repair works to the burst pipe had been completed and water samples were returning with excellent results.

Ms Hamilton said: “The upward trend of water pollution as a result of faults like those we saw in Eyemouth on Tuesday must be urgently addressed by the Scottish Government.

“Those responsible need to be held to account for their actions. We rightly expect more from the SNP and Green Party coalition government in this regard. They seem unwilling to take responsibility."

On Friday, a spokesperson from SEPA said: “Following visual checks of the beach and water sampling by our officers at Eyemouth, SEPA has returned the electronic bathing water signage to daily water quality predictions.

“Water sampling will continue to take place throughout the Bathing Season as part of routine testing.

“We would encourage anyone concerned about a potential pollution incident to contact our 24-hour pollution reporting line as soon as possible. This can be done through our online form at www.sepa.org.uk/report."

Ms Hamilton claimed that no action was being taken against those responsible for the leak.

She added: “It is unacceptable that no action is seen to be taken against those responsible for harming our environment in this way. People in Eyemouth deserve to know that these incidences are not repeated, and lessons are learned.

“The SNP and Green Party should be focused on these important issues. But as ever, their priorities lie in tearing apart the union, to the detriment of people like those affected by sewage leaks in Eyemouth.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said, however, that it takes sewage spills "very seriously".

They added: “The Scottish Government takes the matter of sewage spills very seriously and is in discussions with SEPA and Scottish Water to reduce the impacts of sewer spills into the environment.

"Scottish Water has already invested £686 million on improvements to infrastructure and treatment works since 2010 and its Improving Urban Waters Routemap commits to a further £345-470 million during the regulatory period 2021-27.

"The recent incident at Eyemouth was caused by an unforeseeable technical fault during repairs to pipework. Appropriate mitigation measures were immediately put in place to reduce any environmental impact and sampling has confirmed no negative impact on water quality.

“Scotland’s rivers, lochs and coastal waters are world renowned and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) classifies 66 per cent in overall good ecological condition.

"This is compared to England where only 16 per cent are in good condition or the average across Europe at around 45 per cent.

"For water quality alone SEPA classifies 87 per cent of our water environment as having ‘good’ water quality."