Protecting Scotland's groundwaters from pollution

Closed 31 Mar 2021

Opened 23 Nov 2020


The Scottish Government is consulting on improvements to the way in which we protect groundwater in Scotland. The 'Protecting Scotland's groundwater from pollution' consultation proposes:

  • revised environmental standards;
  • an updated list of groundwater hazardous substances;
  • greater clarity about the circumstances where remediation is required and an improved approach to prioritising areas of land contamination for remedial action.

To align with the Scottish Government proposals, SEPA is consulting on revised guidance associated with the Scottish Government consultation:

  • Land contamination and impacts on the water environment
  • WAT-PS-10, on Assigning groundwater assessment criteria for pollutant inputs

We recommend that you read the Scottish Government consultation prior to reading this guidance. This will allow you to understand the changes being proposed by the Scottish Government before reading the more detailed guidance.

Why we are consulting

We want to better protect Scotland’s groundwater. The Scottish Government consultation sets out how we will so this in a fair and more environmentally based way.

To help industry and other interested stakeholders further understand the detail of the proposed approach SEPA have taken this opportunity to update the guidance, Land contamination and impacts on the water environment and guiance document WAT-PS-10, on assigning groundwater assessment criteria for pollutant inputs.  

We would value your feedback on these consultations so we can improve our approach.


  • Agriculture
  • Distilling
  • Hydropower
  • Local Authorities
  • Responsible Authorities
  • Industry
  • Landowners/ managers
  • Public
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Land


  • Water Quality
  • Water flows and levels
  • Flood Risk Management Planning
  • River Basin Management Planning
  • Regulated activities