[Page] 22

mainly goes into streams in any quantity when
they are in flood, and the impurities are at once
largely diluted. This cannot be said of bing soakage,
which might, by the way, be drained to catch pits, and
pumped to the dirty water tank. But bing soakage
need not pollute to any great extent, if dirty water
be not pumped on to the bings, as at some works.

The degree of pollution of the water of any stream
by a paraffin oil work varies according to the size of
the stream, but mainly, of course, to the method in
use in disposing of the dirty water and tarry refuse.
At one small crude work which I examined, the dirty
water pond contents were supposed to be pumped on
to the refuse bing, but at the time of my visit the
pumping gear was all out of order, and apparently
had not been used for some time, and evidence was
clear to me that the contents were let off by a pipe
leading into a ditch, which showed unequivocal signs
of such method having been adopted.

Now, can this pollution of the Almond and its
tributaries by paraffin oil works be completely pre-
vented, or can it, at all events, be minimised at com-
paratively little cost to such an extent as to allow of
the streams to remain so pure that no offensive smell
or taste is perceptible in their waters? I think both
questions can be answered in the affirmative, for we
at least have examples pointing so far to both being

If it were not for the bing drainage and the surface
drainage (entering, as a rule, when streams are in
flood, and therefore less harmful), such a work as
Champfleurie, near Linlithgow (which, by the way, is
out of the district of the present inquiry), shows us
there is no need to pass dirty water from a work.

[Page] 23

Again, we have in Addiewell an example of what
can be done by care, watchfulness, and a sufficient
number of good separators, in keeping a large effluent
from appreciably polluting the streams into which it
flows. The effluent from Addiewell Works, by an
order of the Court of Session made some fourteen
years ago, must be of a certain standard of purity.
This standard, which has been kindly forwarded me
by Mr. Fyfe, managing director, is as follows:-

'The discharge into the Breich Water and the Longhill Burn
shall, on analysis and calculation, to the imperial gallon not exceed
the following proportions:-
-- Discharge into Breich Water. -- Discharge into Longhill Burn.
Matter in solution, -- 25 grains. -- 100 grains.
Matter in suspension, -- 10 grains. -- 25 grains,
The discharge to be neutral, or, if
acid, then the acidity is not to
exceed, when reckoned as sul-
phuric anhydride, -- 5 grains. -- 5 grains.
Paraffin products as determined -
(1) From discharge alone,
(2) From the residue of 1 with
soda, -- Distillate added to fifty
(3) From the residue of 2 with -- ounces of ordinary Edinburgh
sulphuric acid by distil- -- water shall not render the
lation of one ounce by -- latter unpalatable or unfit for
measure in each trial, -- primary purposes.'
from twenty ounces by
measure of original dis-

I drank the water of Longhill Burn, into which
Addiewell effluent flows, and failed to find any smell
with it, or unpalatable taste. What is done in this
respect at Addiewell can undoubtedly be done at
other works.

I am therefore of opinion that, if the 'best practi-
cable and reasonably available means' be employed
to prevent pollution from paraffin oil works, they shall
prove successful.

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