The Forth Rivers Trust has created one of the few accessible sources of that information in the form of an interactive map, showing all the sewage outfall sites in the Forth area.
Using this map, swimmers and other water users can consult the map and identify how far any site is from a potential drainage point.
The trust created the map using data provided to them through freedom of information requests.
Its acting co-director, Jonathan Louis, said: “Communities need to know where drains might discharge raw sewage into their local river and when, but here in Scotland, that information is hard to come by.”
“The live dashboard system should be rolled out across Scotland so that communities are informed and protected and know when it is safe to use their local river. At the moment this information is not available.”
Forth Rivers Trust has also run a citizen science project called Outfall Safari in the Almond and Leven river basins. It is about locating and evaluating the impact of polluting outfalls in rivers and reporting them if necessary.
Among its objectives are “to assess and classify the impact of outfalls and inform the regulator about those that are polluting” and “build evidence on the scale of the problem of polluting outfalls and drive an increase in investment to solve it.”