A NEW replacement water treatment facility is being planned for Northmavine – and early estimations place the potential cost at more than £45 million.
Scottish Water intends to replace the Eela Water facility, which was built in the 1970s near Ollaberry, with a new one on land nearby.
The existing facility can supply up to 4.3 millions of litres of water per day (Ml/d) to about 5,500 people, and it also serves Sullom Voe Terminal which accounts for 60 per cent of the overall demand.
The new water treatment works would have a greater capacity and provide a “long-term low carbon” solution, according to the utility, and it would mark a significant investment.
The indicative investment value at this stage is “above £45 million” but that is expected to be refined as the project progresses.
The new facility would still continue to treat water from current sources, the Eela Water and Roer Water lochs.
Scottish Water has now submitted an environmental impact assessment screening opinion request to Shetland Islands Council’s planning service for the development.
The report says the site would be nearly 20,000 square metres in size – around 5,000 square metres larger than the current facility.
It adds that the existing water treatment works would be assessed for part decommissioning when the new one is operational, with some above ground features likely to be removed.
The new site would accommodate a water treatment building, two new clear water storage tanks, a chemical storage building, raw water and backwash tanks, a shutdown lagoon and also various pipes, chambers and ancillary equipment.
The report adds: “The main impact from the proposal will be permanent habitat loss to an area less than 2ha, a subsequent change to land management within the site, and temporary construction disturbance from traffic, noise and activity.”
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Peat and construction environmental management plans are being drafted, and a preliminary ecology survey has been completed.
A spokesperson for Scottish Water told Shetland News: “Our Water Treatment Works (WTW) by Eela Water plays a vital role in supplying drinking water to around 5,500 customers in the north and west mainland, as well as a number of significant business and industrial sites.
“The existing plant has been serving local communities for 45 years; and we are preparing proposals for a new WTW which will ensure we can continue to supply clear and fresh drinking water to the area for decades to come.
“Plans remain at a relatively early stage, but the proposed new WTW would be a very significant investment in the future of Shetland’s drinking water supply.
“We look forward to engaging via the planning process, and with local communities, as we develop our plans further and prepare to apply for planning consent.”
Shetland North councillor Emma Macdonald said she was “very pleased” to see proposed investment from Scottish Water in the area.
“We often take things like water for granted but we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of such a significant investment to ensure we can continue to maintain our supply for future generations,” she said.
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