Loch Leven, a shallow, eutrophic loch, is currently in unfavourable condition. Good water quality must be re-established for the site to sustain its many designated conservation features.
The Natural Environment Research Council has monitored Loch Leven’s water quality since the late 1960s. It suffered seriously in the first 20 years due to the effects of eutrophication, pesticide pollution and climate change. Management intervention in the early 1990s brought about a slow, sustained recovery. By 2007, water quality had improved.
But phosphorus concentrations in the loch have begun to rise again since 2007. This study aimed to investigate the nutrient inputs to the loch and to see if further reductions are needed to support the recovery process.
A nutrient loading survey of the 11 main inflows to the loch, and its outflow, was conducted. Its focus was phosphorus, but some information on nitrogen was also gathered. The report compares the results with those of previous nutrient loading studies carried out in 1985, 1995 and 2005.
The present study also included:
- source apportionment studies focusing on Kinross and Milnathort waste water treatment works and Kinross pumping station
- a survey of the potential impacts of small on-site sewage treatment systems on water quality in the Gairney catchment
Publication 2017 - NatureScot Commissioned Report 962 - Loch Leven nutrient load and source apportionment study
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