FEARS of a sewage leak at a picturesque county beach have been attributed to an algal bloom.

Scottish Water, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and East Lothian Council were alerted to possible pollution at Belhaven Bay on March 4.

The three agencies carried out an investigation to determine if there was a leak and, if so, where it came from.

A spokesperson for SEPA told the Courier: “There were no signs of sewage or sewage-related debris, but the officer did see discolouration in the sea caused by an algal bloom.

“These blooms occur when conditions for algal growth are ideal, often in spring and summertime, and are commonly mistaken for sewage pollution due to the brown, frothy scum they form along coastlines.

“Scottish Water has been informed of our findings.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank those members of the public who contacted us, and encourage anyone who is concerned about potential pollution to contact SEPA via the Pollution Hotline 0800 80 70 60 or online at sepa.org.uk/report