In England, some water companies publish live dashboards of sewage outflow sites so the public can see where a spill has happened. But, in Scotland, that information is harder to come by - and it can be difficult for people to even find out where their local active sewage outflows are. 

Forth Rivers Trust has created one of the few accessible sources of that information in the form of an interactive map, which shows all the sewage outflow sites across the Forth area.

Using this map, swimmers and other water users can check the map and identify how far from a potential outflow point any site is.


The trust created the map using data supplied to them through freedom of information requests.

Its interim co-director, Jonathan Louis, said: "Communities should know where outfalls could discharge raw sewage into their local river and when but here in Scotland, that information is hard to come by."

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"The live dashboard system should be rolled out across Scotland so that communities are informed and protected and know when it is safe to use their local river. At the moment, this information is not available."

Forth Rivers Trust has also run a citizen science project called Outfall Safari in the River Almond and River Leven catchments. It revolves around locating and assessing the impact of polluting outfalls in rivers and reporting them if necessary.

Amongst its goals are "to assess and rank the impact of the outfalls and report those that are polluting to the regulator" and "to build evidence on the scale of the polluting outfall problem and drive an increase in investment to resolve it."