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SEPA Notice May 21

We are encouraging farmers across Dumfries & Galloway bathing water catchments (Southerness, Sandyhills, Rockcliffe, Dhoon Bay, Brighouse Bay, Carrick and Mossyard) to follow these simple practical steps throughout the forthcoming bathing water season (1st June to 15th September) to reduce their potential impact on water quality. The faecal bacteria found in cattle slurry has the potential to impact water quality so to help protect our regions bathing waters we are asking farmers to adhere to the following good practice.

Slurry spreading.

  • Please ensure no slurry is spread within 10 m of any river, burn or open ditch
  • Before applying slurry, please check the weather forecast for predicted heavy rain within 48hrs of proposed spreading. If heavy rain is forecast, please delay slurry spreading by a day or two to reduce the potential for field run off and water pollution.

Maintaining water course boundaries.

  • Check livestock fences and boundaries along ditches, burns and rivers in grazing fields to ensure they are fully maintained.
  • Repair 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.

Steading drainage.

  • Check contaminated drainage (slurry) can’t access surface water drains around the steading.
  • Key areas to check are drainage/seepage from bedded sheds, cattle walkways, handling areas or yards used periodically during the summer months.
  • Ensure clean roof and yard water are kept separate from dirty yards.

With COVID-19 restrictions 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. We are looking for practical, low-cost measures which can easily be implemented quickly to resolve potential and sometimes on-going pollution. Please contact nationalrural@sepa.org.uk for further advice or guidance.

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