Enormous waste water whirlpool forms off Scottish coast

Enormous whirlpool forms off Scottish coast as waste water is pumped into the sea from landfill site

  • Accountant Paul Young captured the pictures using his drone yesterday evening on the South Ayrshire coast
  • 46-year-old was stumped by the strange sightwhich was caused by outflows from a nearby landfill site
  • Likely this flow hit the tide going in opposite direction, and that this contact led to the whirlpool’s formation
  • Astonishing drone photographs show an enormous whirlpool off the Scottish coast after waste water was pumped into the sea from a landfill site.

    Accountant Paul Young, 46, captured the pictures using his drone yesterday evening near the small, rural village of Lendalfoot in South Ayrshire, but was stumped by what caused the phenomenon.

    The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has now confirmed the water is rainwater that has come into contact with wastewater at a nearby landfill site and is pumped out to sea.

    Whirlpools appear when two different flowing currents meet and start to spiral downwards. In this case it is likely the wastewater flowing away from the coast came into contact with the tide flowing towards it.

    Accountant Paul Young captured the pictures using his drone yesterday evening near the small, rural village of Lendalfoot in South Ayrshire

    Accountant Paul Young captured the pictures using his drone yesterday evening near the small, rural village of Lendalfoot in South Ayrshire

    The Scottish Environment Protection Agency confirmed the water is rainwater that has come into contact with wastewater at a nearby landfill site and is pumped out to sea

    The Scottish Environment Protection Agency confirmed the water is rainwater that has come into contact with wastewater at a nearby landfill site and is pumped out to sea

    How are whirlpools formed and can they be dangerous?

    Whirlpool’s appear when two different flowing currents meet and may then start to spiral downwards.

    If they become larger and more violent, a maelstrom forms which in some cases can be highly dangerous.

    There are several maelstroms around Europe including the Saltstraumen near Norway that is so strong ships can only pass through it during certain times of the day.

    It is highly unlikely the whirlpool spotted yesterday in South Ayrshire would have been strong enough to cause any significant disturbance to passing ships.

    There have been cases of swimmers drowning in whirlpools off the coast of the UK after being sucked into the vortex.

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    Mr Young said: ‘I had assumed it was a riptide and it looked a bit like a whirlpool. I posted it on social media to see if anyone knew.

    ‘I’ve had loads of folk saying things from herring spawning to effluent, burst pipes, to methane leaks to possible explosives.

    A SEPA spokesman said: ‘We are aware of reports of a visible upwelling off the coast at Lendalfoot, South Ayrshire, on Sunday October 31.

    ‘This is a routine permitted discharge of treated landfill leachate from Straid Farm Landfill. Leachate is rainwater which has come in to contact with waste within a landfill.

    ‘It is collected within lined containment cells and then treated prior to discharge to the environment.

    SEPA said the water would have been tested to ensure it passed environmental standards and did not have an ‘adverse impacton the ecosystem.

    ‘Given the heavy and sustained rainfall over the last couple of weeks there has been an increased volume of leachate needing to be treated and discharged,’ ha detto il portavoce.

    ‘This will have resulted in a prolonged discharge and more noticeable visual impact than normal. SEPA will continue to monitor compliance with the operator’s permit.

    Whirlpools appear when two different flowing currents meet and start to spiral downwards. In this case it is likely the wastewater flowing away from the coast came into contact with the tide flowing towards it

    Whirlpools appear when two different flowing currents meet and start to spiral downwards. In this case it is likely the wastewater flowing away from the coast came into contact with the tide flowing towards it

    The UK government recently announced water companies will be forced to slash the amount of sewage they pump into rivers and seas following a U-turn by ministers.

    Peers had proposed an amendment to the Environment Bill last month in an attempt to cut pollution. But a subsequent Commons vote saw Tory MPs vote down the new law, sparking a backlash from eco-campaigners.

    The House of Lords was expected to reinstate its amendment to the Bill last night – forcing ministers to backtrack.

    The Lendalfoot whirlpool did not contain any sewage outflows.

    Scottish Water confirmed: ‘We are not aware of any reported issues on our sewer network in this postcode area.

    ‘Scottish Water has no sewers or infrastructure near or in Lendalfoot, where properties a served by septic tanks.

    Mr Young said: 'I had assumed it was a riptide and it looked a bit like a whirlpool. I posted it on social media to see if anyone knew. 'I've had loads of folk saying things from herring spawning to effluent, burst pipes, to methane leaks to possible explosives'

    Mr Young said: ‘I had assumed it was a riptide and it looked a bit like a whirlpool. I posted it on social media to see if anyone knew. ‘I’ve had loads of folk saying things from herring spawning to effluent, burst pipes, to methane leaks to possible explosives