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Simple steps to help water quality

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Simple steps to help water quality

FARMERS near Dumfries and Galloway’s bathing water catchments are being asked to follow simple steps during this year’s bathing water season.

SEPA is appealing to those in the Southerness, Sandyhills, Rockcliffe, Dhoon Bay, Brighouse Bay, Carrick and Mossyard areas to reduce their potential impact on water quality over the summer months, up to September 15.

The environmental experts say the faecal bacteria found in cattle slurry has the potential to impact water quality.

But farmers can help by adhering to good practice, including:

  • Ensuring no slurry is spread within 10 m of any river, burn or open ditch
  • Before applying slurry, check the forecast for predicted heavy rain within 48hrs of proposed spreading. If heavy rain is forecast, delay slurry spreading
  • Checking livestock fences and boundaries along ditches, burns and rivers in grazing fields to ensure they are fully maintained.
  • Repairing any openings stock could access. This minimises the potential of livestock poaching within 5m of the ditch, burn or river and reduces the risk of polluting run-off getting to the water.
  • Checking contaminated drainage (slurry) can’t access surface water drains around the steading.
  • Ensuring clean roof and yard water are kept separate from dirty yards.

With Covid-19 restrictions now easing, SEPA staff are being deployed back out into the field to engage face-to-face with farmers especially around areas of non-compliance on their units.

Contact [email protected] for further advice or guidance.