Aberdeen residents raise flooding fears over blocked barrier

Debris blocking the Denburn hake
Debris blocking the Denburn hake

Residents in a scenic city centre community have raised fears that debris, including abandoned Christmas trees, is leaving an Aberdeen waterway at risk of flooding.

People living around the Denburn area have expressed concerns about the situation and one couple claimed to have had private testing done in 2013 which confirmed the presence of sewage.

The burn flows past the city’s Mackie Place before entering a hake – a small metal barrier designed to catch debris and send it underground.

But now, residents claim that so much waste is entering the water system it is blocking the hake – potentially leading to flooding.

Last night, the city council said the barrier was cleared “regularly”.

After persistent concerns, councillors unanimously backed a new flood prevention system for the Denburn in January, 2014.

Yesterday the hake was seen to be clogged by litter, trees and a wooden pallet.

One resident said: “We had the water tested before and found a large amount of faeces in it. The council are responsible for the cleaning of the hake, but they say they don’t have the money to do it regularly anymore.

“We have seen Christmas trees, wooden pallets and all sorts of waste clogging up the hake. Sometimes we have tried to remove the stuff ourselves.”

Another angry resident said: “When the level rises, it can spill into our garden, which is disgusting as there is raw sewage in it. I’m worried there could be further flooding.”

Midstocket and Rosemount councillor Bill Cormie said: “I’m disappointed that residents are once again experiencing problems with the cleaning of the hake.

“I know that a lot of garden waste, including trees, is dumped into the Denburn and residents shouldn’t have to be going there to clean it out themselves.

“If any of this waste was to make it underground and block the system, it could cause huge problems and would be liable to flood.”

A spokesman for the authority said: “The Denburn hake is cleared regularly by Aberdeen City Council.

“At times of prolonged heavy rain, Scottish Water is required to attend to clean the hake as there is a sewer overflow just upstream of the hake.

“We have installed measures to mitigate flooding at Jack’s Brae/Mackie Gardens. These include an overflow and CCTV at the hake itself and detention basins at Stronsay Park and Maidencraig to hold back water on the Denburn at times of heavy rain. “