Scottish Water have arranged a litter pick of sewer related debris and other items along a stretch of the River Almond which flows into the River Forth at Cramond.
The work will take place, weather permitting, near East Calder waste treatment works on Saturday, March 20 and it will be along the stretch of the river from Almondell and Calderwood Country Park.
Scottish Water say they have agreed to do this following a river walk to check for signs of sewer related debris following recent storm events.
They are also “aware” of images being shared on social media highlighting things like wet wipes in bushes and on banking, along with other litter.
Meanwhile, environment campaigner Lee Haywood welcomed the move and he claimed that toilet rolls, wet wipes, along with sewage are, he alleges, being washed down the 28-mile river which rises at Hirst Hill near Shotts and runs through large West Lothian towns including Whitburn and Livingston before draining into the sea
The civil engineer said: “This is not just a West Lothian problem. It has a problem for communities the whole length of the river, including those in Edinburgh.”
Pollution is not a new thing for the river as it runs through areas once dominated by heavy industry plus shale and coal mining.
However, strenuous efforts have been made to improve water quality in recent years and the area is being repopulated by wildlife, including brown trout and improving runs of both Atlantic salmon and sea trout.
Haywood lives in Mid Calder and sees pollution on his doorstep and is urging people to sign a petition which already has over 1,000 names.
And he says the move is urgent as the population – including lots of families with young children – are moving into large new housing estates being built by several leading home builders near the banks of the river. One in particular is at Calderwood at East Calder.
Anglers, he said, are complaining and environmentalists are concerned that salmon and fish stocks will be affected by sewage and dog walkers have also voiced their feelings.
He s pressing for meetings with Livingston MP Hannah Bardell and Almond Valley MSP Angela Constance as well as urging people to sign a petition.
Pictures of the problem are on a Facebook page called River Almond Action Group (RAAG) and Haywood’s future plans include setting up a committee to keep the issue highlighted.
And he added: “We all want a cleaner river and I will be doing all I can to improve the River Almond which is a great asset to the area.”
PICTURE: debris bankside on the River Almond near Kirkliston taken on Tuesday, March 16 (3.45pm)