Activities within our catchments

We respond to a wide variety of consultations on activities that take place in or near drinking water sources. 

These include: forest management and felling; wind farms; hydro schemes and aerial/non-aerial spraying of pesticides.

We assess their potential impact and make recommendations on how to protect source water quality. 

Our abstractions are designated as Drinking Water Protected Areas (DWPA) under Article 7 of the Water Framework Directive.  For further information and DWPA Maps, please see our Protecting Scottish Water Abstractions Factsheet.

If you are undertaking these types of activities, we would welcome early consultation to determine if the proposal is located within or close to a drinking water catchment and to provide advice on appropriate protection measures. 

We have standard precautions for a range of activities as listed below. All documents outlining these precautions can be found in our Document Hub

  • General 
  • Forestry 
  • Housing and Mixed Use 
  • Hydro 
  • Mining and Quarries 
  • Peat Restoration
  • Wind Farms
  • Assets

Note: site specific risks and mitigation measures must be assessed and implemented. 

Please contact the SLM Team at:  

  • To check if an activity is located within or close to a drinking water catchment. 
  • For all forestry activities, peat restoration and aerial/non-aerial spraying of pesticides. 

The SLM Team is the Scottish Water co-ordinator for these activities and will consult with other internal teams such as, the infrastructure team and local teams. 

For proposals in relation to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), please see the EIA section below. 

Further Information:

The Forestry and Water Scotland Initiative: for practical guidelines for good forest practice 
Forestry Activities near Scottish Water Assets: for specific guidance.  
Farmer and Water Scotland: provides a summary of the rules for farming.  

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 

Scottish Water is identified as one of the “consultation bodies” in Part 1, 2. (1)(c) of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 (‘the EIA Regulations’).  

We should be consulted by local authorities on receipt of a request for an EIA Scoping Opinion, and again when an Environmental Statement (ES) associated with an EIA and planning application is received. 

We encourage early consultation and welcome direct consultation with developers/contractors. 

We have a dedicated EIA mailbox, managed by an EIA specialist, where all EIA related consultations and enquiries should be sent to. 

Please contact us at:   


The location of our assets (including water supply and sewer pipes, water and waste treatment works etc.) should be confirmed through obtaining detailed plans from our Asset Plan Providers

This is distinct from the right to seek access to, and inspect, plans at Scottish Water area offices, for which no charge is applied. 
All our assets potentially affected by development or activities should be identified. Particular consideration should be given to access roads and pipe crossings. 

If necessary, our local personnel may be able to visit the site to offer advice.  All of our processes, standards and policies, in relation to dealing with asset conflicts, must be complied with.  

If asset conflicts are identified then early contact should be made with the Scottish Water Asset Impact Team (AIT) at 

All detailed design proposals relating to the protection of our assets should be submitted to the AIT for review and written acceptance.  Works should not take place on site without prior written acceptance by us.

Note: the proposals must comply with Sewers for Scotland 4th Edition and Water for Scotland 4th Edition, including provision of appropriate clearance distances from Scottish Water assets. Both these documents can be found in the Connecting to our Network page in the Document Hub

Connection to Scottish Water Network 

If a connection to the water or waste water network is required, a separate application must be made for permission to connect. 

Important: that the granting of planning consent does not guarantee a connection to Scottish Water assets. 

For further information visit Connecting to our Network