Scottish Water is making a significant investment in the Innerleithen area of the Scottish Borders. In January 2012, works to construct a new £3.6 million water treatment plant began.
Designed to offer cleaner, fresher water to communities living throughout the Tweed Valley, the new Innerleithen WTW will comprise a membrane plant with chemical dosing facilities that will remove naturally occurring elements and any cryptosporidium organisms from the raw water supply. Following this, the existing storage tank will be used to hold the drinking water from the treatment works before it is supplied to the local community.
Main contractors for the project are Ross-shire Engineering and the scheme has been designed by URS Scott Wilson.
The single-storey building stands at 43 metres long by 13 metres wide and will be clad in profile sheeting. Internally, the building comprises a control room, welfare facilities, toilets, a small laboratory and a large plant room floor containing all of the process equipment.
External landscaping will include tree planting, mounding and an open water course. In addition, the existing dry stone walls have been retained and mature planting will be kept around the perimeter of the site.
The project has proved challenging in terms of the design, as Malcolm Miller explained:
“There have been some difficulties in terms of integrating the building into the landscape, as it is a fairly large building in an exposed location. With regards to the design, we have tried to create the impression of an agricultural building that blends into surrounding landscape. In simple terms, we have deliberately made it ‘uninteresting’ to look at.
“The new plant complies with Scottish Water standards and has incorporated numerous environmental considerations. In particular, the building has a lower carbon footprint and we aim to minimise the amount of power used for pumping and process work. We have also met the operational and planning requirements to avoid excess clutter on the site.”
In July 2011, approximately 6,000 mountain bike and cycling enthusiasts made the pilgrimage to the Tweed Valley for the week long Tweedlove Festival.
Tweedlove organiser, Neil Dalgleish, welcomed Scottish Water’s investment. Highlighting the importance of hydration for the riders tackling the terrain, he said:
“Staying hydrated is possibly the number one priority during a bike race like the Glentress Seven – or any of the other TweedLove bike events. It’s so easy to become dehydrated when you’re putting in so much physical effort. You soon notice the difference in your performance and how well your head is working too.”
Scottish Water provides 1.3 billion litres of drinking water every day and removes 840 million litres of waste water daily. The company is currently working on improvement projects across Scotland, including improvements at Loch Ryan, Seafield and Glencourse.
Earlier this year, Scottish Water launched a new division that will export the impressive expertise that the company has built up over the last ten years. The contract in Canada will enable Scottish Water to deliver training to operational staff in the water industry throughout Alberta.
Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, said:
“Scottish Water’s contract in Canada underlines that Scottish ingenuity and expertise is seen as a valuable global commodity. It shows that there is real potential for further contracts to be secured across the world, which is why Scottish Water’s decision to create a new international division is to be applauded.”