I received an update today from SEPA regarding the slurry incident at the Penwhapple Burn that I reported on this blog last Friday.  I am grateful to SEPA for their prompt action on Friday and this very quick update on the situation they found and the action they took. I’ve copied an extract from the update and pasted it below for all to read.

‘The cause of the incident was a loss of slurry from a farm due to a structural failure, exacerbated by the heavy rainfall. The farmer was unaware of any slurry overflowing to the burn until SEPA officers brought it to his attention. Immediate remedial action was undertaken by the farmer and
this included removing slurry from where it was overflowing into the burn and getting it out into the fields. Not ideal conditions to put slurry on the
fields, but leaving it flowing into the burn was not an option. The quantity moved was relatively small and did not run off to cause pollution; this
incident was not caused by slurry spreading in wet weather.  A follow up visit after the weekend confirmed that action had been taken and the pollution stopped. Permanent remedial action to prevent a second failure is being taken though some work will have to await drier weather.’

ART staff walked the burn on Monday but found no dead fish. SEPA ecologists also attended this week but as yet we are unaware of what they found if anything. Hopefully the high rainfall diluted the slurry and helped reduce the impact on the ecology and the environment.

Please note that this incident was reported to ART by a concerned member of the public. We would encourage you to take the time to report anything you find that causes concern to SEPA too. Just phone the local office and let them know what you have seen and ask for an incident number so that you may receive updates. We are happy to take calls too but SEPA are the regulator and they should be the first port of call. SEPA’s Ayr office can be reached by calling 01292 294000 (anytime).