Scottish Water say an overflow near Newbattle late last week happened during heavy rainfall.

Locals had earlier complained on social media and one wrote that the smell was the “unmistakable stench of human waste.”

The incident happened on the South Esk and a Scottish Water spokeswoman said: “We are aware of an overflow from the sewer network near Newbattle late last week which happened during heavy rainfall.

“Combine Sewer Overflows (CSOs) act as a relief point on the sewer network and are vital to avoid internal and external sewer flooding.

“CSOs are licensed and regulated by SEPA and are allowed to spill into watercourses under certain conditions. The levels of untreated sewage in storm water discharged is very dilute and it is uncommon for this to generate any odour.

“Scottish Water urges people not to put items like wet wipes and sanitary products down loos or to put fats and grease down sinks to help prevent blockages in the sewer system and protect the environment.”

One local wrote on the River Esk, Musselburgh and District Angling Association (MDAA), Facebook site: “Unmistakable stench of human waste coming from the south Esk this afternoon (June 27).

“It seemed to be entering the river somewhere upstream of The Sun Inn. That’s as far as I got looking for the source.”

He added: “Yet another incident report heading to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). Just horrible.

“Particulates in the water were visible. I think the smell emptied the woods of people today. Our house stinks of it.”