Environmental Supporting Conditions for Scottish Wetlands – Phase 1
September 2009


Project Brief
This project is Phase 1 of what is intended to be a 4-year project. The first phase aims to ascertain the hydro-ecological functioning of a wide range of wetland types in 3 Scottish catchments using measurements of ground and surface water quantity and quality.

Scope of Work
Three Scottish catchments were chosen by the steering group prior to the starting of the project on basis of
  1. spread across Scotland’s climate and topography
  2. existence of a wide range of wetlands within a small proximity
  3. at least 2 should contain species rich flower meadows
  4. availability of groundwater observation boreholes (quality / quantity).
SEPA/ SNH staff selected the vegetation locations within the catchments in September 2008, and marked sample locations locally and provided GPS and photo records of location.

The scope of works varied from the original tender specification as EnviroCentre also provided an alternative specification in addition to the original requested, on the basis that it could be provided within the guide budget. This was subsequently amended further to allow additional equipment to be included.

The revised scope of works was predominantly the supply and installation of
equipment. The main changes to the original scope were:
The summary of the revised scope comprised of the following:
  1. a. install one automated tipping bucket rain gauge per catchment.

  2. b. record per vegetation location (20 locations per catchment)
    1. soil/drift geology (hand auguring to hard rock/ 3m deep) (once only) profile  observations;
    2. solid geology (once only, from geology map/ base of drift augur hole);
    3. soil chemistry and physics (nutrients + alkalinity in rooting zone, below rooting zone, in pore-water);
    4. ground water table (relative to soil surface and to fixed datum point) in shallow piezometers (min of 40mm ID; with external filter material) to be supplied and installed by the contractor;
    5. provide a manual dipmeter to record monthly manual readings between contractors visits and after project close;
    6. water table in river (automated, continuous using OTT mini vented datalogger); and
    7. water quality in river

  3. Install a total of 28 piezometers to record continuous (1hrly intervals using OTT Orpheus mini vented pressure loggers), and also include manual dip readings at the other locations per catchment at installation and QA site visits.

  4. Water table observations should be:
    1. quality assured and compensated for change in air pressure etc. in spreadsheet form;
    2. expressed relative to surface level and OD;
    3. expressed as time series in plots per catchment and per vegetation group across the catchments where applicable; and
    4. expressed as plots on cross sections of the landscape (with other observation points).

  5. The working of all automated sampling equipment (rain gauges and water level recorders) will be subject to a quality assurance check prior to hand over of equipment.

  6. Sediment mats to be provided and installed at two catchments.

  7. A total of 30 soil samples and 30 water samples to be collected from across the three catchments and analysed. The following will be provided for each sample location:
    1. location of sample point and piezometer / (DGPS with submetre accuracy);
    2. elevation of soil level, top of piezometer (less than 5cm accuracy) and height of top of piezometer above the soil level (0.5cm accuracy); and
    3. nearest distance to water course (0.5m accuracy).

  8. All chemical and physical analysis of soil, water and vegetation samples should be analysed to appropriate BS standards as advised by SEPA.

  9. Soil samples should be analysed for:
    1. soil type: general field observation;
    2. bulk density: ISO 11272 or equivalent;
    3. water content: ISO 11465 or equivalent;
    4. organic C content: via C/N elemental analyser (ISO 13878 or equivalent);
    5. grain size analysis: Either laser granulometry or wet sieve method (ISO/TS 17892);
    6. extractable P: ISO 11263 or equivalent; and
    7. total N: see iv.

  10. Water samples (soil water and surface water) should be analysed (British Standard 6068) for:
    1. Ca/Mg/Na concentration;
    2. N and P species (total N, nitrate/ ammonium), Ortho-P and total P; and
    3. Fe species.

  11. The contractor will provide for each catchment:
    1. top view map showing water sampling locations in a GIS format that is suitable for SEPA (ArcGIS); preferable as 3d visualisation; and
    2. cross section maps showing geology/drift, soil sampling locations and soil profiling observations
At the end of the project the ownership of the following equipment will be handed over to SEPA:
  1. in-situ, working automated sampling equipment and piezometers, inclusive of equipment and software to read-out the stored information from the automated sampling equipment;   and
  2. one manual dipmeter per catchment.
Copies of this report are available from the Foundation, in electronic format on CDRom at 20.00 + VAT or hard copy at 50.00, less 20% to FWR members.

N.B. The report is available for download from the SNIFFER Website