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waves - dee_catchment_intro

Water Quality Issues in the Elrick Burn Catchment

The Elrick Burn is affected by a number of pressures typical of an urban environment. In addition to surfacewater run-off from roads and yards in the residential and industrial areas of the catchment, a number of cross connections allow domestic wastewater from sinks and toilets to enter the surfacewater sewerage system which in turn discharges into the burn. The culverted nature of the burn for much of its length limits the powers of self purification displayed by more natural watercourses and the water quality of the Elrick Burn as it emerges from the culvert is poor. Historically the watercourse has also been polluted by industrial wash-water and timber treatment products in contaminated land runoff.

The bed of the watercourse has an orange appearance which, although unsightly, is due to the presence of naturally occurring iron ochre.

Long term ecological monitoring of the burn indicates the presence of only pollution tolerant species. Under the Scottish River Classification Scheme, the Elrick Burn is currently classified as Class D or ‘seriously polluted’. It is the only tributary of such poor status to discharge into the River Dee.

Elrick Outfall
The Elrick Burn suffers from contaminated surface water discharges.