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Strathclyde Loch.jpg

Strathclyde Loch Bathing Water Study

RPS carried out an extensive Water Quality Study of the Strathclyde Loch on behalf of key stakeholders, Scottish Water, North Lanarkshire Council and SEPA.

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Challenge

RPS carried out an extensive Water Quality Study of the Strathclyde Loch on behalf of key stakeholders, Scottish Water, North Lanarkshire Council and SEPA.

The extent of the designated bathing water area within the Loch was unknown and as such, this study was undertaken to define the areas of the Loch that could comply with three sources of Water Quality targets:

  • The Water Framework Directive (WFD)
  • The Urban Pollution Manual (UPM) and
  • The Revised Bathing Water Directive (rBWD)

The objective of the project was to provide factual information on Strathclyde Loch and associated structures, such that the catchment network modelling team could construct and verify a water quality model which could then be used to understand how pollution propagates from upstream sources, through the loch and to design possible solutions to prevent this.

To support the modelling assessment, RPS conducted a comprehensive data collection exercise to extend and fill the gaps within the existing datasets and provide physical attributes of the water bodies.

 

Solution

To comply with the WFD classification scheme, and the rBWD, RPS collected and analysed data to determine percentile concentrations of the following determinands:

  • Amonia (NH3)
  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
  • Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
  • Soluble Reactive Phosphate (SRP)
  • Phytobenthos (Diatoms)
  • Intestinal Enterococci (IE)
  • Escherichia Coli (EC)

Over 6 months, we deployed a range of equipment and undertook testing across the loch and in the upstream watercourses, including:

  • Continuous flow surveys at river locations and loch outlets
  • Continuous WQ sonde deployment
  • Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) deployment
  • Weekly Spot Sampling at 7 loch and river locations with lab analysis
  • Deployment of 24 Auto-Samplers on floating pontoons within the loch
  • Release of Rhodamine Dye to watercourse and detection in river and loch

Benefit

The location of sampling points, within the loch and along the upstream river reach, presented a significant challenge on this project. We were required to carry out reactive sampling for 3 storm events and 2 dry weather events.  Safe working methods were developed with the advance knowledge that access would be required under a range of weather and river conditions over several seasons.

By using multiple autosamplers mounted on pontoons within the loch, we were able to reduce risk in several ways.  Our approach removed the H&S risk associated with the use of boats, allowing sampling to be carried out on dry land. Similarly, by mounting sensors on water-borne unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAV), we were able to carry out real-time detection of dye plumes. Combined with flow data and ADCP data, we were able to provide multiple data sets to build a detailed understanding of the hydrodynamics of the loch around the incoming watercourse. 

 

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