MEMBERS of an angling club are demanding urgent action to prevent more sewage from polluting a Renfrewshire river.

Earlier this month, grey-coloured water, sanitary products and waste began flowing out a culvert at the Black Cart Water, near the Smith and McLaurin paper mill, in Kilbarchan.

John McMillan, the president of the Castle Angling Club, said he had never seen the Black Cart Water in such poor condition.

He told The Gazette: “I’m 62 years of age and have fished in this river since the mid-1960s, and that is the worst I have seen it.

“The river is in a very poor state for a mile or so from Kilbarchan right down to the Aldi in Johnstone town centre.

“We don’t know what’s caused it, and myself and two other members of the angling club have been continually reporting it to SEPA and Scottish Water.

“As far as I know somebody has been out, but their actions so have been a little ‘too little, too late’.”

There are now fears the sewage will lead to a loss of bird and fish wildlife in the local area if it not dealt with quickly.

The Gazette:

John said: “Before this pollution, I was seeing a lot of bird life and at least three fish species, but now there is nothing but grey-coloured rocks, sanitary products and all sorts of other waste.

“We have a lot of bird life here, such as kingfishers on that stretch, but now the river is devoid of them.

“My main concern is that a lot of migratory fish, like salmon parrs, small trout, minnows and other wildlife will be impacted quite severely by this.

“I don’t see any killed fish at this point, but that’s not to say the fish have taken refuge.”

The angling club is calling for immediate action from Scottish Water to prevent the pollution from spreading further down the river.
John added: “I want samples taken and a report on how this is going to impact the river. I’m just scunnered.”

Councillor Andy Doig, who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, said: “This concerns me very much. Angling is a very big sport in Scotland and has always been popular in the Johnstone area.

“I would call on the most comprehensive investigations to be made to find the source of this to try and rectify it, not only for the sake of the anglers, but also so we can have a clean and green environment.

“Renfrewshire is surrounded by a lot of rural wildlife and I think it’s very important that we protect and cherish this.”

The Gazette:

Tom Arthur, Renfrewshire South MSP, said he has taken up the issue with SEPA and Scottish Water.

A spokesperson for SEPA said: “Upon receiving a report from a member of the public of sewage entering the Black Cart Water in Kilbarchan, SEPA notified Scottish Water and we have attended the location. Investigations are ongoing with the aim of tracing the source and resolving the issue.

“We will continue to monitor the situation, and anyone who is concerned about a potential pollution incident or any issues which may impact on the water quality can report it using our 24-hour pollution reporting service. This can be done through our online form at”

A Scottish Water spokesperson said they are investigating, adding: “Appropriate action will be taken if any issue with Scottish Water infrastructure in the area is identified.”