Thousands of litres of whisky flushed down drain in Dumbarton

Chivas Brothers aged Scotch whisky range The mistake happened at a Chivas Brothers bottling plant

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Thousands of litres of whisky have been flushed down the drain by accident at a bottling plant in Dumbarton.

It is understood the mix-up happened at Chivas Brothers during the night shift on Tuesday while equipment was being cleaned.

Instead of draining away waste water, the workers on duty somehow flushed out thousands of litres of bulk whisky.

The smell was so strong that sewage workers reported it.

Chivas Brothers - which employs 600 workers at the plant and produces the world's second biggest-selling brand, Ballantine's - said it was investigating an accidental release of spirit.

A statement said: "We are currently investigating an accidental loss on the 26th of February at our Dumbarton site, where some spirit was released to the local water treatment plant.

"There has been no release of spirit to the River Leven or any other local water course. We have informed Scottish Water and all other relevant authorities."

'Adverse impact'

A Scottish Water spokesman said: "Staff at our waste water treatment works were already aware of a problem and were working to identify the source when contacted by Chivas Brothers.

"Our trade effluent team have now visited the company to get an oversight into its failure investigation so that we can ensure all possible precautions are being taken to prevent a repeat.

"Discharging large volumes of alcohol into the sewer network can have an adverse impact on waste water treatment processes, particularly during dry, cold weather.

"We are continuing to closely monitor our Dumbarton waste water treatment works to ensure treatment has not been compromised."

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