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Scottish Water extends water pollution prevention scheme

Scottish Water has expanded its initiative to protect key drinking water supply zones from diffuse pollution.The company's Sustainable Land Management Incentive Scheme was launched in April last year to help prevent substances such as pesticides from entering certain lochs and rivers that feed water treatment works.

Unpolluted water is easier to treat and since the scheme’s launch, Scottish Water has agreed to provide financial assistance to many farms across the River Ugie and River Deveron catchments.

The funding helps farmers use alternative pesticides, construct pesticide sprayer loading areas and install livestock fencing and watering.

Peter Brown, Scottish Water's water quality regulation manager, explained how the company has doubled the number of possible measures supported by the scheme, which now includes items such as cultivation and drilling along the contour of the slopes, the creation of in-ditch seepage barriers and cross drains under farm tracks.

"The vast majority of water in Scotland's environment is unpolluted and, with treatment by Scottish Water, fit for customer consumption. Drinking water quality in Scotland is tested to ensure all customers enjoy its look and taste, and is at its highest ever level of quality,” he said.

The extension of the scheme comes after Scottish Water also began a project to install additional treatment processes at its Forehill water treatment works, Aberdeenshire, in a bid to help better manage external impacts on the water supply.

Brown added: "Drinking water is easier to treat if it arrives at our works in the best possible condition. That's why, working together with land managers, owners and tenants, we launched the Sustainable Land Management Incentive Scheme last April to support innovative and sustainable approaches to prevent diffuse pollution from entering our water supply system, helping to protect this vital resource.”

"This scheme, combined with improvements to our treatment works at Forehill in Aberdeenshire, can make a real and positive difference for the benefit of our customers in Scotland."

Author: Conor McGlone, Reporter, water and environment division
Topic: Policy & Regulation , Water Quality , Water Resource Management

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