In common with other parts of the UK, Scotland’s sewage network allows this to happen through Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), which are designed to drain excess water during periods of heavy rainfall to avoid flooding people’s houses. But of the 3,614 overflows in Scotland’s 31,000-mile sewer network, only 4 per cent (144) are currently monitored, meaning that the problem is likely to be significantly worse. Jonathan Louis, interim director of the Forth Rivers Trust, said: “It’s shocking that 73km of Scotland’s rivers won’t achieve good status by 2027, specifically due to waste water discharge. “In the Forth, three burns are downgraded specific to sewage related discharges which in turn has an impact on fish such as salmon, trout, eel and lamprey – but we know more rivers are impacted by sewage and we suspect this only scratches the surface, especially if there is a severe lack of monitoring on outfalls [CSOs]. In England the problem is far worse without any intervention from the Environmental agency. Shareholders reap big benefits whilst the population and wildlife suffer.

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