A water scheme in the Outer Hebrides which was shelved at the last minute in March because of cost is set to go ahead on a reduced scale.
Communities in the Western Isles are to benefit from Scottish Water investment worth around £17.5 million in two major projects designed to boost the quality and resilience of water supplies.
They include a £2.5 million scheme in North Harris to upgrade treatment works at Gobhaig and lay just over three miles of new water main to connect it with Huisinis, where the existing treatment works would no longer be required. Investment is also planned to add a new balancing tank at Miabhaig; and a further water treatment works at Cliasmol would be retained.
Plans for a new water treatment works at Lochmaddy on North Uist have also been given the green light, with construction set to begin in the coming months. Alongside a new water main between Lochmaddy and Bayhead which is already well advanced, the project will provide a single, improved water supply for Scottish Water customers all over North Uist at an estimated cost of around £15 million.
Subject to relevant consents, both projects are scheduled for delivery by the end of 2018. They form the first major elements of a £60 million package of investment which Scottish Water expects to deliver across the Western Isles by 2021. The figure is equivalent to over £2,000 for every customer in the islands.
Scottish Water Director of Capital Investment Mark Dickson said: “We recognise that the proposal for North Harris is a reduced level of investment compared with the longer water main from Tarbert that was previously proposed. “However, we believe that the new scheme can meet the current and future needs of our customers by making use of the existing good quality water resources in the area. There is significant capacity to accommodate planned development and new connections from properties currently served by private water supplies.”