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Pollution Monitoring

The RCFMG carries out a frequent Pollution Monitoring Program at over 25 locations on the entire River System including the main river and all its tributaries.

We also conduct a frequent Kick Sampling Program for river invertebrates at over 20 locations on the entire River System. We do this in partnership with SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) to determine where pollution comes from. We also conduct frequent spot checks, water sampling, pollution incident witnessing and photography and ecological impact assessments after pollution incidents.

There are many point source pollution threats on the river system including:

• Sewage Plant Inlet Screen Blockages causing Overflows
• Sewer System Blockages causing Overflows
• Fly Tipping, In-stream debris and litter pollution
• Industrial Pollution
• Agricultural Chemicals
• Farm Effluent
• Landfill and Rubbish Tip Leachate
• Mineral Extraction from Quarries
• Gravel Extraction
• Effluent from Mills and Recycling Plants
• Road and Town Pollution
• Railway Runoff
• Leachate from Wind Farms
• Forestry Acidification

There are many diffuse pollution issues on the river system including:

• Nitrates and Phosphates from Agricultural Fertilisers and Farm Effluents
• Ammonia and other Oxygen reducing compounds from Commercial Enterprises
• Sedimentation from Agricultural Practices e.g. Ploughing, Overgrazing, Lack of Fencing and Buffer Strips
• Carbon input from Peat Erosion and Peat Excavations, e.g. Windfarm Developments (causing CO2 emissions at sea)
• Other diffuse chemical inputs causing very high or very low pH values in watercourses

Other threats include:

• Water Abstraction that reduces dilution of pollution
• Low Reservoir Compensation Flows that reduces dilution of pollution.

If you witness Pollution call the SEPA Pollution Emergency Hotline immediately on 0800 80 70 60 (24 hours).