QUEENSFERRY became the scene of a major incident alert earlier this week when a pipe leak was linked to Hound Point terminal.
Emergency services rushed to the town on Monday afternoon, including up to 50 firefighters, after a sizeable amount of liquid was discovered in a field, near to the Hawes Brae. The liquid, said to be highly coloured, was seen seeping into the Forth.
A precautionary exclusion zone was set up and road barriers were put up on the B924 at the Hawes Brae, Chapelgate and Bankhead Road near Dalmeny. The road to Longcraig Pier was also sealed off.
It was later found that the leak was from an effluent pipe, situated in a field at Longcraig Rigg on the Dalmeny Estate. The pipe runs from Hound Point to the Dalmeny Tank Farm oil storage facility but contained only rainwater, seawater and some impurities, according to environmental protection agency SEPA. The smell emanating from the leak was similar to a stink bomb.
Residents noticed the smell from early on Monday morning but it took until 1.30pm for the actual leak to be discovered. A major clean-up got underway soon after with police, fire services and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency all involved.
The strong odour lingered in the Hawes and High Street areas of the town on Tuesday despite the overnight clean-up operation.
A BP spokesman played down concerns saying: “This is effluent water, not an oil or chemical spill. The source of the leak has been identified and every effort is being made to contain and stop it.”
A SEPA spokesman said the odour was due to the release of very low levels of hydrogen sulphide into the air.
After analysis of air samples they were able to confirm that while levels were enough to cause an odour, they were below levels that would be a risk to human health. SEPA continued to monitor air and water sampless.
Keith Giblett, chairman of Queensferry and District Community Council, said: “The Almond neighbourhood partnership team kept us up to date and gave assurances that there was no risk to humans at any time.
‘‘We did receive a few comments on our Facebook page but more were curious as to what had happened as to being concerned.”