Quality in towns is best in years
The quality of water in the River Clyde at Rutherglen and Cambuslang has improved over the past decade.
But tributary burns like Cityford and Malls Mire continue to be blighted by dirty water.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), which monitors the water quality in Scotland’s lochs and rivers, reported last week that the Clyde is in significantly better health than expected thanks to investment by Scottish Water, SEPA, farmers and local authorities.
Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham revealed the news at Holyrood last week.
Although the full report has not yet been published, the Reformer can reveal that the stretch of water between the North Calder in Uddingston and the tidal weir in Glasgow has “improved significantly” from bad water quality in 2007 to moderate water quality in 2015. It is hoped a level of good will be achieved by 2027. The report adds: “In contrast, the Malls Mire, Polmadie and Cityford Burns are currently still at bad water quality, but actions are planned to improve them as well in the long term.”
Between 2010 and 2021, Scottish Water will have invested more than £600 million in wastewater treatment works and sewerage systems in the area.
The Scottish Government’s Water Environment Fund (WEF) which is administered by SEPA, has also invested £3.1m in river restoration projects.
Ms Cunningham said: “The Clyde flows through the very heart of Glasgow and for centuries the river has provided our largest city with a gateway to the world and a source of prosperity.
“However, since industrialisation in the early 1800s, we’ve abused this river, tipping our waste into it without a second thought for the impact it has on the communities living along the banks, water quality or the wider environment.
“That’s why I am delighted to see further evidence that we have secured a lasting change in the Clyde’s fortunes.
“These improvements are down to the hard work of SEPA and its partners and are the result of Scottish Water’s investment of more than £600m, much of which has already been delivered or is being delivered as we speak.”
Bob Downes, SEPA chairman added: “Rivers are an essential natural resource and it’s important for us to recognise that it’s not just a river’s cleanliness that makes it healthy, but also the life it sustains.
“The work we have completed so far with our many partners has made a significant difference to the Clyde, not only through improvements to water quality, but also by opening up stretches of rivers that migratory fish have been unable to access for decades.
“Having a healthier River Clyde system is a real benefit to people living in Glasgow.”
The Clyde flows through the vary heart of Glasgow