The charming images of a Scottish river turned yellow have gone viral, with locals up in arms about the concerning change. Residents have been left horrified after a local river turned bright yellow when chemical waste flooded into the waterway. Shocking images show Polmadie Burn in Glasgow filled with toxic waste from the nearby former Shawfield Chemical Works. The photos, taken on April 22, show bright yellow stagnant water filling the entire width of the waterway as vegatation continues to grow around it.
Some areas surrounding the yellow water have turned green while foam builds up on top.
Clyde Gateway, a regeneration organization, based in Scotland, detected dangerous levels of the toxic chemical chromium VI in the Glasgow waterway.
Repeated exposure to chromium VI can cause inflammation of the lungs, allergic reactions in the skin and throat, kidney damage, and lung cancer.
Today, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said they were aware of the situation and were sending one of their officers to the site.
However, the environmental regulator stated that rectifying the issue may not be complete until 2027.
Colin Harkins shared the concerning images on Facebook on Friday, which prompted hundreds of comments from shocked locals.
“That‘s really not good. The council needs to pull their finger out and get it dealt with immediately,” Kirsty Lyall said.
“As usual, though, it’s been happening for years, and it will take someone to die from it before the panic button is hit, and they do something about it quickly.”
Speaking today, Mr. Harkins said: “I recently saw a post regarding the Burn a few weeks ago and went to see it for myself.
“It appears that some works have taken place in the location; however, I am surprised that no warning signs are in place.
“The Burn is very close to a public park, the Jenny Burn restaurant is just feet away, and there are many newly-built homes nearby.”
Decontamination has been ongoing in the area for years to get rid of potentially hazardous industrial chromium.
The toxic waste was left behind by the former J&J White’s Chemical Works, which closed in 1967.
As part of the long-term redevelopment of the Shawfield area, Clyde Gateway is undertaking remedial works to address the pollution. They are working with Glasgow City Council, South Lanarkshire Council, and SEPA to identify how to fix the issue. The plan is spread over a 15-20 year period, and addressing this issue in full is not expected until 2027.
Some works were carried out in 2019 and 2020.
SEPA claims that Clyde Gateway stated chromium concentrations in the Burn recorded in late 2020 are no higher than previously registered.
A Scottish Environment Protection Agency spokesman said: “SEPA is aware of discoloration in the Polmadie Burn and has deployed an officer to the site.
“We are confident that this is a result of the legacy of chromium contamination in the Burn, an issue which is the subject of significant work and investment to address.
“Anyone concerned about potential pollution incidents should contact us via our 24-hour online form at www.sepa.org.uk/report.”
A spokesman from Clyde Gateway told Sun Online: “Clyde Gateway continues to work in partnership with key stakeholders to address the contamination issues at the Polmadie Burn.
“The remediation strategy for the wider area is also continuing.”
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said it has been working with a range of partners, including Clyde Gateway, to address the “historic ground pollution connected to the former chemical works at Shawfield”.
“Work to divert an underground culvert away from the area of pollution has been undertaken, and ground remediation led by Clyde Gateway is currently underway,” the spokesman said. “However, recent surveys have identified ongoing flow of chromium-affected water into the culverts upstream of the Polmadie Burn.”
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.