Two areas in the North-east are being investigated by an environmental body after failing to meet water standards.
The Kincardine Coastal and the Bervie Water catchments in South Aberdeenshire cover a number of waterways running from Portlethen and Stonehaven down to Inverbervie and as far inland as Drumtochty Forest and the boundary of Laurencekirk.
Following an investigation by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), both areas have been found to have pollution due to rural activities – including farming and forestry work.
The two North-east locations are now classified as priority catchments – meaning SEPA is looking to regulate any harmful land-based activities in the areas as its tries to improve the water quality.
The environmental group is poised to hold a public meeting next month, where it will reveal plans to improve the polluted waterways.
A spokesman said: “Stonehaven bathing water is currently at poor status and one aim in the catchment is to improve this.
“SEPA is now bringing together the findings from our visits, monitoring and site date to plan the next stage of work in the catchment.
“The Bervie Water Catchment is failing to meet overall good water classification.
“The work at this stage will highlight the areas within the catchment where visits will be undertaken and highlight the potential sources of pollution attributing to this overall downgrade.
“Individually, losses from land use may be of little risk to water quality, but when combined across a river catchment they can impact on ecology, drinking and bathing water quality.”
SEPA said it was also looking into the impact of flood management in the Kincardine and Bervie catchments in a bid to improve flood response in the area.