Date lodged: 21 November 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what monitoring of water conditions are being undertaken at Pow Burn in Powfoot, in light of the recently reported incidents.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 3 December 2018
SEPA's water quality monitoring programme requires that routine sampling of invertebrates is undertaken twice a year, every third year. This routine monitoring was carried out on the Pow Burn at Hurkledale, upstream of Powfoot, in 2017.
SEPA has advised that as a result of a fish kill in the Pow Burn reported on 5 August 2018, an invertebrates survey was undertaken on 7 August both upstream and downstream of the suspected source. The report suggests that the invertebrates were unaffected.
SEPA has also noted that the water flows in the Pow Burn were extremely low at that time and fish would have been under considerable stress due to high temperature and fluctuating oxygen levels; and it is possible that a relatively small amount of pollution in addition may have resulted in the reported fish kill. It is conceivable that invertebrates may not have been affected in the same way.
To verify whether there are any long term effects of this incident, a further invertebrates sampling exercise will be carried out in 2019.