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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-17487

  • Asked by: Maurice Golden, MSP for North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 26 April 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Mairi McAllan on 9 May 2023


To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6O-02060 by Màiri McAllan on 23 March 2023, whether any of the investment mentioned will address pharmaceutical contamination.


Investment underpinning Scottish Water’s Improving Urban Waters Routemap does not specifically target the issue of pharmaceutical pollution. However, in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Water is carrying out the Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP) Scotland which involves sampling for priority substances of emerging concern; pharmaceuticals are considered to be substances of emerging concern. The current phase of the programme involves a process optimisation trial at Wastewater Treatment Works that aims to help improve understanding of whether better treatment can be achieved at Scottish Water’s assets.

Scottish Water is also a member of the One Health Breakthrough Partnership (OHBP – ) which is funded by the Scottish Government and brings together key stakeholders across the water, environment, and healthcare sectors who are committed to addressing pharmaceutical pollution in the environment through source control. The partnership is looking to develop sustainable “up-stream” solutions to minimise pharmaceuticals entering wastewater and surface water, and reduce the environmental impact of our healthcare practices.