THERE'S been no improvement in the quality of bathing water at a Loch Lomond beauty spot - a year after plans were unveiled to work on cleaning it up.

For the third year in a row, the bathing water quality in Luss has been deemed only 'sufficient' by Scotland's environmental watchdog.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) annouced last November that it planned to work with the National Park, Scottish Water, Argyll and Bute Council, land owner Luss Estates, and local businesses and residents to focus on making the water cleaner and safer for people to take a dip.

But a year on, there's been no improvement.

The results for Luss - and all of Scotland's designated bathing waters - were published last week, with all but two beaches around Scotland classified as either 'sufficient', 'good' or 'excellent'.

In September, SEPA found Luss waters to have unsafe levels of sewage in bathing water samples taken from Loch Lomond near to Luss.

The agency said there were "very high" concentrations of animal faeces bacteria found in samples taken from the loch.

That pollution, when it occurs, is usually blamed on agricultural 'run-off' - faeces from farm animals being washed from fields into burns and other water courses during spells of heavy rain.

But dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets can also contribute - and it's those who are the subject of pleas from National Park bosses following the publication of the latest SEPA figures.

Kenny Auld, the park authority's head of visitor services, said: “Clean water in our lochs and rivers is vitally important, both for the wildlife whose survival depends upon it and for the people who enjoy the fantastic opportunities it provides for recreation and wellbeing.

“We would like to see water quality at Luss improve, and we all have a part to play in that.

"What we do when we visit loch shores can have a direct impact on how clean the water is.

“We know that animal poo from dogs and birds can affect bathing water, so we are encouraging visitors to make sure they take dog poo away with them and avoid feeding birds or leaving litter that can attract them.”

The latest SEPA results classified 43 per cent of the country's bathing beaches as having 'excellent' water quality and a further 37 as 'good'.

Luss was one of 12 to be rated 'sufficient' - 13 per cent of the total.

The area's constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, who last year welcomed SEPA's focus on improving water quality, said: "Luss is an important part of the local tourism economy within the Loch Lomond area, the beach included.

“I look forward to hearing more about the next steps which will be taken by SEPA, Argyll and Bute Council, Luss Estates, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, Scottish Water, local businesses and residents in improving the waters for the next tourist season.”