If I had anticipated that the earlier blog on the dirty water in the upper Spey was going to feature in the Strathy I’d probably have come up with a better title, but as it has made the printed press I thought an update would be useful.
I was at Kincraig earlier in the week where it was obvious that the problem was ongoing. The reason for it taking so long to clear is the large volume of water in the reservoir above Spey Dam which was completely discoloured. With the recent dry weather the inflowing burns and River Spey are low and there will be little exchange of water through the loch. A good spate is required to flush the loch and clear the sediment lying in the upper river. It is unusual for events of this nature to have such a prolonged impact but then it is unusual for lochs to become completely discoloured to this extent.
My colleague Duncan Ferguson sent me some photos of the Allt Druidh, which has its source in the Lairig Ghru, showing evidence of road washout and highly mobile gravel following the recent heavy rain that fell in that area on the same weekend as the Markie Burn event.
It was events like these that caused the brief period of coloured water in the lower river last week.
“Allt” is a gaelic term for a burn or stream (see here) but I read someone recently refer to it as a term meaning a burn with an impassable waterfall. I can think of many burns called “Allt….” that don’t have impassable waterfalls but I’d be interested to the views of others. If you can shed any light on this matter please let me know.