Options outlined to fix waste plant
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.