Op­tions out­lined to fix waste plant

The Oban Times - - News -

SCOT­TISH WATER has un­veiled al­ter­na­tive op­tions to its con­tro­ver­sial plan to fix the fail­ing Clachan Seil Waste Water Works at a pub­lic meet­ing in Seil Is­land Com­mu­nity Hall.

Scot­tish Water’s £11 mil­lion mem­brane plant, un­able to sep­a­rate run- off from heavy rain, has been caus­ing un­treated hu­man waste to over­flow into Balvicar Bay.

Its £1.8 mil­lion so­lu­tion was to pump sewage from Clachan over a hill into a sep­tic tank at Seav­iew Ter­race near El­len­abe­ich, and then out into a marine con­ser­va­tion area, which some is­lan­ders deemed ‘cheap’, ‘nasty’ and ‘in­ept’.

At the meet­ing, Scot­tish Water ac­knowl­edged the leak­ing plant be­tween Balvicar and Clachan had led to a break­down in trust with the com­mu­nity, but it hoped to re­build it by be­ing trans­par­ent about the ev­i­dence when de­cid­ing be­tween the op­tions.

‘ We’re keen to make the right de­ci­sion, rather than make a de­ci­sion in haste,’ said Alan Thom­son, Scot­tish Water’s head of cor­po­rate re­la­tions. But he added that it would be very dif­fi­cult to please ev­ery­one with the pre­ferred op­tion.

Bill­boards at Mon­day’s ses­sion last week promised ‘to pro­vide trans­par­ent in­for­ma­tion on po­ten­tial op­tions’, and to lis­ten to the com­mu­nity and record feed­back about the three op­tions on dis­play, which could be al­tered or added to.

The first two op­tions gave Seav­iew Ter­race a stand­alone sep­tic tank, and pro­posed re­plac­ing Clachan’s small plant with ei­ther a larger 135m x 50m plant, in­clud­ing above-ground SAF and fi­nal set­tle­ment tanks, or a greener but even larger 200m x 40m reed-bed plant. Both these op­tions would also re­quire sep­tic tanks, and fi­nally UV treat­ment, be­fore the waste is dis­charged into the sea.

The third op­tion re­mained as be­fore. All the op­tions, SW stated, are sub­ject to plan­ning con­sent, land avail­abil­ity, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sents, tech­ni­cal con­sid­er­a­tions and cost.

A stake­holder group chaired by Michael Rus­sell MSP, com­posed of Scot­tish Water, SEPA, in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tant Ian Clif­forde and lo­cal coun­cil­lors and com­mu­nity coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives, is due to meet next in mid-Au­gust.

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