BEACH cleaners were left disgusted last week after they found used sanitary towels and wipes running onto the shore near Troon.

Bundles of items that have been flushed away by some shameless households were found by voluntary beach cleaners at Sanderling/ Pan Rock near Barassie beach.

It’s the latest grim find that Friends of Troon Beaches have made at that particular area of the beach which has been described as a “stomach churning” task to clean.

Joy Melville of the group told the Ayr Advertiser: “We have been picking wipes and sanitary towels from Sanderling/ Pan Rock since we started two years ago. I believe Scottish Water have made attempts to correct the problem. However, it’s just as bad now as it was at the start. We have found thousands of wipes.

“I was further along the beach on Sunday as I was organising some new volunteers. Only the really keen ones to go to Sanderling as it’s a stomach-turning task.”

The team of cleaners, who have made huge progress and helped gain an award for Troon’s beaches were so concerned by the volume of sanitary waste, they sought help from a local MP.

Dr Phillipa Whitford MP for Central Ayrshire was approached by the group who took the case to Scottish Water requesting a prompt investigation.

Dr Whitford told the Ayr Advertiser: “ This has been a long running issue which was raised with me last year after vast amounts of wipes were found by ‘Friends of Troon Beaches’ during their clean-up events.

“I contacted Scottish Water, whose initial investigations were unable to identify the source, but they agreed to extended their investigations and subsequently discovered that four domestic connections had been connected to the wrong pipe. This had resulted in foul waste channelling through a surface water pipe.

“My understanding is that Scottish Water is in the process of repairing all of these connections at their own expense but I don’t think this would have been in time to prevent soiling prior to the latest clean-up.”

Scottish Water confirmed their investigation, with the issue coming from a ‘cross connection’ fault where pipes from local households were running into the direct line to the shore.

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Scottish Water has carried out a full investigation and measures have been taken to rectify any issues which were identified. We have been working with Friends of Troon Beaches to understand the issues and will continue to do so going forward.”

The water quality experts have also pleaded with people to avoid flushing sanitary products down the toilet.

They added: “We’d urge everyone to make sure they know what shouldn’t be flushed down toilets and remember to follow the 3Ps rule - only flush pee, poo and (toilet) paper. That way you’ll help keep the water cycle running smoothly.”

Dr Whitford also stated the “real solution” would be for people to use more environmentally friendly products.

She added: “People should not be flushing wipes of any kind down the toilet as they clog the system and they are not biodegradable.”