Campaigner insists outflow pipe a ‘danger to boats’

Section of pipe reported to have broken away on Lossie beach
Section of pipe reported to have broken away on Lossie beach

AN INVESTIGATION IS under way into who is responsible for a length of underwater piping that it is claimed has broken free on a Moray beach.

Environmental campaigner Pete Miners has been highlighting what he says is a potentially serious issue just off Lossiemouth’s West Beach spotted during one of his regular walks in the area.

Mr Miners has over the last week been attempting to identify who is responsible for the 15-foot length of piping that appears to have broken free from its mooring under the sand and is now posing a possible threat to small boats in the area.

After informing the police and local coastguard, Mr Miners was informed that the pipe was “secure and not a problem” – a judgement he strongly disputes. The determined campaigner sought assistance from Scottish Water who sent one of their engineers to have a look – and he has concluded the pipe belonged to the nearby RAF base.

“I was told by the engineer that it is basically it is part of a system that traps oils and chemicals from the runway at the base that is cleaned up in a tank,” Mr Miners said, adding: “It is then partially cleaned and flows out to sea via this pipeline.

“The engineer seems to think the pipe rests on a bit of sand, but I assured him I have seen it floating on the surface just before high tide.”

Mr Miners has contact RAF Lossiemouth but his initial attempts to inform the base met with positive denials from reception staff.

In an email to RAF Lossiemouth, Mr Miners expressed surprise that there was no monitoring mechanisms in place to check the condition of the pipeline.

A spokesman for the Lossiemouth Community Council commented last night: “We have been made aware of this issue by Mr Miners and it will be discussed at our meeting next week.

“We understand that Councillor John Cowe is also aware of the problem and is currently seeking further information on the ownership and management of the pipe as well as its current condition and if it poses a threat.”