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Major improvement in Solway waters

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By Newsdesk
Major improvement in Solway waters

EFFORTS to improve water quality at a local bathing spot have resulted in its environmental water standards being upgraded from ‘Poor’ to ‘Excellent’.

Rockcliffe on the Solway coast, had been classified as poor since 2017, but has now seen a ‘step change’ after the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, which rates water quality, authorised temporary treatment operated by Scottish Water at nearby Kippford for the 2021 season.

The success this year is ahead of a permanent solution for sewage treatment which will sustain this improved ‘excellent’ status for the longer term, SEPA said.

Along the Solway one bathing beach was classed as excellent, three as good, two as sufficient and one as poor.

Mossyard, Sandyhills and Southerness were classed as good, Brighouse Bay and Carrick were categorised as sufficient, while the water quality at Dhoon was categorised as poor.

To improve water quality at Rockcliffe, over the last year Scottish Water installed chemical dosing as a temporary measure at the septic tank at Kippford at a cost of around £220,000.

Dosing is proposed to continue until a new wastewater treatment works is constructed, along with a new discharge point, by 2024.

Meanwhile, SEPA has been working alongside the National Union of Farmers Scotland to help farmers and land managers reduce diffuse pollution affecting the water catchment.

Better practices can include improving slurry storage, fencing off water courses and installing alternative water supplies for livestock.

SEPA chief executive Terry A’Hearn said: “Improving Scotland’s water environment is a key priority for SEPA, and that includes the bathing waters so many of us enjoy.

“Across Scotland, we work to protect watercourses through licensing, inspection and regulation of discharges, and pollution incident response. In addition, we provide advice and guidance to the public, industry, developers, and local authorities.

“The successes at Ayr (South Beach) and Rockcliffe demonstrate the bold and timely action that can come from partnership working.”


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