River Clyde foam pollution caused by illegal detergent discharge

A pollution incident which produced large amounts of foam on the River Clyde on Friday 4th April is thought to have been caused by an illegal discharge of detergent. Foam was also visible on the White Cart and some of its tributaries (Bagabout and Auldhouse Burns). The incident is under investigation by Scottish Water and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and we will pass on further updates as they become available. 

A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:

“In liaising with Scottish Water, the source of pollution on the River Clyde is now believed to be as a result of an illegal discharge of detergent to the sewer network. Scottish Water is currently in the process of carrying out an investigation to trace the origin of the discharge and SEPA will continue to monitor the situation while carrying out analysis of the samples collected on Friday, in order to ascertain the nature of the material.

“SEPA is aware of another discharge of foam on the Auldhouse Burn and White Cart Water near Thornliebank, however it is unclear at this stage whether the two incidents are connected.

“Investigations so far have not found any evidence of a fish kill in the River Clyde, Auldhouse Burn or White Cart Water as a result of the pollution and SEPA intend to carry out further assessments to determine any environmental impact.”

The scale of the pollution incident can be seen on the BBC’s coverage of the story here.

As always, we would encourage you to report any pollution incidents to SEPA as soon as possible on their Pollution Hotline – 0800 80 70 60. When reporting an incident, please provide as much detail as you can about the location, type and duration of the incident, and take photographs if possible.


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