Seil waste plans not revealed
THE three new options for a replacement sewage plant on Seil won’t be revealed until April, Seil and Easdale Community Council heard last week, writes Sandy Neil.
Scottish Water’s £11 million Clachan Seil Waste Water Works, which is unable to separate run- off from heavy rain, has been overflowing untreated human waste into Balvicar Bay.
The company’s £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’.
Scottish Water (SW) acknowledged the leaking plant between Balvicar and Clachan had resulted in a breakdown in trust ad that in order to rebuild trust with the community, and to be transparent with the evidence in the decision-making process, a stakeholder group was set up that included SW employees, an independent expert, local representatives, councillors and MSP Michael Russell.
In June, SW unveiled two alternatives to its controversial plan at a public event in Seil Island Community Hall. But at a closed meeting in August, all three of SW’s options to replace its failing membrane plant were rejected by the island’s representatives, who requested further proposals.
The stakeholder group held another meeting on January 16 to discuss three new options for a replacement with the new independent expert Chris Chubb.
But at it’s meeting last Tuesday, Seil and Easdale Community Council heard that island representatives had been asked not to reveal these until the group’s next meeting in April.
Community councillor Anne Marie Robin told the meeting: ‘Scottish Water has been asked to report back with more detail and figures on three options before the next stakeholder meeting on April 24. The community will then be consulted.
‘At the meeting, we were advised not to share the draft options details with the community at this stage.’
Scottish Water responded: ‘It has always been our intention to go back to the wider community at the appropriate time, once a more defined and preferred option/options have been fully evaluated.
‘The three options being further investigated include a pump-away scheme with treatment at Seaview, and two options which consider re-positioning of the existing works inland with separate treatment at Seaview.
‘Scottish Water will continue to engage with the stakeholder group on an ongoing basis with the next meeting planned for April to update on further detailed work.
‘When the preferred option has been defined we will engage further with the community to keep them informed.’
The failing £11 million Clachan Seil Waste Water Works are due to be replaced.