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Scottish Water outlines £10m upgrade plan

The water treatment works at Sandy Loch. Photo: Shetland News

SCOTTISH Water is set to splash out £10 million on upgrading facilities in Shetland over the next two years that will help to provide capacity for planned housing growth in the north end of Lerwick.

Around £6 million will be invested to replace two existing steel drinking water storage tanks at Staney Hill with a new twin compartment tank with greater storage capacity at the Sandy Loch treatment works at the south end of Lerwick.

A new gravity pipeline which will be just under three kilometres long will connect Sandy Loch to the existing network at Holmsgarth Brae – meaning there will no longer be any need to pump water over Staney Hill.

Around 300 homes are planned to be built in the Staney Hill area in the coming decade and Scottish Water said the “new pipeline has been designed to provide sufficient capacity for existing customers at the north end of Lerwick and planned growth in the area”.

“Planned new housing at North Staney Hill will largely connect via the existing water network in the local area,” a spokesman added.

“Our proposals have been developed in consultation with Hjaltland Housing Association to ensure the new pipeline’s route takes account of their plans and can be integrated with their work.”

A project worth £1.7 million will take also place this autumn at Sandy Loch, with the installation of another rapid gravity filter and refurbishment of existing filters.

A £2 million project at the Eela Water treatment works near Ollaberry, meanwhile, is already underway to extend the building and install a new rapid gravity filter, which will increase capacity and provide more flexibility.

The existing four filters there will also be refurbished.

All work will be delivered by Scottish Water partner ESD.

An information event about the Sandy Loch and Staney Hill projects will take place from 3pm to 7pm on 19 September at the Baila Room at the Sound Hall.

Water treatment team leader for Shetland Alan Blance said: “Increasing the capacity of the two water treatment works through the addition of these extra filters, and installing the new clear water tank, will give us more flexibility in how we operate and allow us to build in some capacity for future growth.”

Jim Anderson, Scottish Water’s customer service team leader for the isles, added: “There should be no impact on normal water supply for our customers while work is taking place at either Eela Water or Sandy Loch.

“Local residents may notice a small amount of additional traffic travelling to the sites and we apologise if this causes any inconvenience for road users.

“We are holding an open event to engage with the local community ahead of work getting underway at Sandy Loch and Staney Hill this autumn. With our team from ESD and their contractors, we want to keep any disruption to a minimum and let customers know why this work is taking place.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in the work to come along and see us at Sound Hall on Wednesday.”

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021