A new Water Treatment Works that will serve three small communities in North Harris has been delivered by sea to one of the island’s most spectacular beaches.
The new Scottish Water plant was loaded on to a specialised barge at Kishorn, before crossing the Minch and sailing through the Sound of Harris to lie offshore at Huisinis. In ideal weather conditions, the delivery on to the beach was achieved ahead of schedule at high tide, before a final short journey by road to its long term home, west of the Gobhaig road junction.
The new Water Treatment Works has been manufactured by Ross-shire Engineering in recent months at their specialised factory in Muir of Ord, near Inverness, as part of a longstanding partnership with Scottish Water to help meet the needs of rural and island communities.
It is the central element of a £4.5 million investment to provide a single, improved water supply for the communities of Gobhaig, Beadersaig and Huisinis.
Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Farrer said: “Scottish Water’s goal is to provide the same high level of service to our customers for the same low price, no matter where they live in Scotland. We know that requires us to respond to a huge range of different challenges all over the country.
“This significant investment will replace two of our smallest Water Treatment Works with a single, improved facility, capable of meeting high seasonal demand from visitors on a more reliable basis and accommodating future growth in the area.
“The unusual way in which the delivery has been achieved is a striking response to the particular circumstances of this very special location.”
Chairman of the North Harris Trust Calum Mackay added: “The North Harris Trust is pleased that improvements to the water supply to the villages of Gobhaig, Beadersaig and Huisinis are progressing well. The water supply to these villages has not been sufficient to meet demand in recent years, particularly in Huisinis. Beadersaig will now receive mains water supply for the first time. The improved water supply will enable much needed housing and small business developments to take place.”
Following completion of the deliveries, Scottish Water’s Project Manager Kathy Auld said: “The construction and testing of the new Water Treatment Works in factory conditions brings major benefits, greatly reducing the time taken on site and the volume of extra traffic on the Huisinis road.
“Once complete, the new Water Treatment Works will enable us to make use of a good quality local water source in Loch Cnoc Mòr to provide both residents and visitors with an improved water supply for many years to come.”
Construction work on the project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.