Glencorse project is flowing smoothly


The new Glencorse Water Treatment Works will soon deliver clear, fresh drinking water to approximately 450,000 customers across Edinburgh and parts of Midlothian.

Minister for the Environment, Roseanna Cunningham, said:

 “I am delighted that the residents of Edinburgh and visitors to the city will soon be enjoying some of the highest quality drinking water in Scotland from this state-of-the-art treatment works at Glencorse. The new works uses the latest technology and will be more resilient and better able to cope with changes in the quality of the source water.

“I have been impressed by the efforts made by Scottish Water to minimise disruption to local residents during construction. Great care has also been taken to ensure the works will blend in with the surroundings and have as small a carbon footprint as possible. This is truly a treatment works for the 21st century.”


The state-of-the-art Glencorse Water Treatment Works will replace Scottish Water’s ageing facilities at Fairmilehead and Alnwickhill, which have now reached the end of their operational lives.

 A site in the Pentland Hills was selected following the largest consultation exercise in Scottish Water’s history. The works have been carefully designed to have a minimal impact on the landscape and measures have included modifying the route in order to avoid sites of archaeological interest and the habitats of protected species such as badgers. In addition, Scottish Water has minimised tree-felling and damage to hedgerows by taking the pipeline through existing gaps or areas of sparse vegetation where possible.

Glencorse CAPTION_The minister discusses the wor

Under the project, 15 kilometres of new pipelines will be installed. The twin pipeline will take the fresh drinking water from Glencorse into the existing water supply network in Edinburgh.

Interestingly, a mobile pipe production plant was set up adjacent to the pipeline working area. This unique approach meant that the pipes could be manufactured at significantly longer lengths – up to 22 metres, as opposed to the maximum length of 13.5 metres that can be transported by a standard lorry. Longer pipes will ultimately lead to fewer joints and a significant reduction in the construction period.

The addition of the plant also reduced lorry journeys to and from the site by up to 75 percent, which has helped to minimise the carbon footprint of the project.

The route of the pipeline has taken several important issues into account. Water flows through the pipes using gravity, which has avoided the need for expensive pumping. In addition, a third of the energy required will be supplied by a sustainable onsite hydro turbine.

Disruption to the public has been another key factor and this has been minimised by sighting the pipeline in agricultural land and tunnelling it under the City of Edinburgh Bypass.

The construction project has already won a number of awards, including the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management’s prestigious ‘World of Difference’ prize.

Not only will Glencorse supply clearer, fresher drinking water to thousands of local families, but it will also quench the thirst of visitors to Scotland’s capital – in the process supporting the growth and development of the city and benefiting Edinburgh’s £2 billion hotel and tourism industry.
Main contractor for the project is Black & Veatch.

CEEQUAL praises Glencourse project

Scottish Water’s flagship project has picked up an impressive CEEQUAL rating.

CEEQUAL is the assessment and awards scheme for improving sustainability in civil engineering and aims to demonstrate the commitment within the civil engineering industry to put environmental quality and community support at the heart of a project.

Since the CEEQUAL scheme was launched in 2003, more than 60 final and 20 interim CEEQUAL Awards have been given. Glencorse is amongst the most impressive, having been awarded a rating of 84% – well above the minimum for the top banding.

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