SCIENTISTS from Edinburgh University have helped develop a system that turns farmyard sewage into cleaner water.
The method was developed in co-operation with the Irish Government and backed by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
It involves storing liquid containing traces of manure and farmyard runoff in outdoor shallow ponds.
The resultant sludge is then channelled downhill into the ponds, in which water-borne plants filter out solid particles.
Over time, the sludge breaks down into its minerals and other materials, with some taken up by the plants for nutrition.
The water eventually travels between each of the ponds and becomes clean enough to meet bathing quality standards.
The system, known as an integrated constructed wetland, provides a cheaper and safer alternative to the practice of spreading dirty water on farmland.
It also prevents loss of contaminants to rivers and lakes, where they may be detrimental to animal or human health.