Clyde Foam

An update from SEPA.

There was a spill/release of detergent to the sewer on the south side of Glasgow. The heavy overnight rain saw the operation of storm overflows, likely all around the south side (‘Shieldhall catchment’) of Glasgow.
Agitation of the detergent in the sewer and in the water environment caused extensive foaming which was visible in the White Cart and some of its tributaries, and then coming from the CSO under the ‘Squiggly Bridge’ in the city centre.

The onus is on Scottish Water to investigate the source of the unauthorised discharge to their sewer, but we collected various samples and asked our ecologists to check on impact. In summary, it looks like there’s been no notable effect on the White Cart and its tributaries, and the transitional Clyde in the City Centre. Surprisingly, one watercourse (the Bagabout Burn) was showing quite a significant improvement in invertebrate scores (indicating good water quality > 6 months), despite the incident. Not sure of the reasons for this, but the wet winter may have helped.

So, although very visible, the foaming was short lived and doesn’t seem to have done any harm.