Es­tab­lished 1861 No 8216

The Oban Times - - Letters -

The news that a £11.7 mil­lion pro­ject to pro­tect Eas­dale Bay, an area of the Ar­gyll coast known for its shell­fish, is be­ing com­pro­mised by the sheer vol­ume of sewage ‘over­spills’ is some­thing that needs ur­gent at­ten­tion.

Not least be­cause the prob­lem has been go­ing on for eight years with­out a vi­able so­lu­tion be­ing found. How can that be?

Now more than half the pop­u­la­tion on the is­land of Seil have signed a pe­ti­tion against a fur­ther pro­posal from Scot­tish Wa­ter, which would see it aban­don­ing some of the orig­i­nal scheme to pump raw sewage over a hill and re­lease it barely treated into the bay - an area known for its dol­phins.

The is­lan­ders claim to have fig­ures that show the num­ber of spillages has risen from 20 in 2013 to a stag­ger­ing 365 in 2014. That is set against Scot­tish Wa­ter So­lu­tions (SWS) pre­dict­ing that spill fre­quen­cies would only be 1.6 per year.

There is clearly an is­sue, but is it with SWS’s pre­dic­tions, or with the sys­tem that was in­stalled to deal with the waste?

Scot­tish Wa­ter says it is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a pro­ject to meet Euro­pean Di­rec­tive re­quire­ments for waste­water treat­ment on the is­land.

Hav­ing known about the prob­lem for the last eight years, one would hope Scot­tish Wa­ter has been work­ing on a so­lu­tion for some time and that it doesn’t take too long to put a work­able plan in place, one that is sus­tain­able and has the abil­ity to re­duce any spillages to the level SWS pre­dicted when the pro­ject was first es­tab­lished in 2008.

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