WITH the construction of a new main, capable of conveying 16million litres of drinking water every day, Scottish Water has completed the £14.7million upgrade of the Roberton water treatment works (WTW).
The facility will serve 42,000 customers in Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso and St Boswells and represents the final part of a £25million investment by the quango which has also carried out major works worth £10million at the Howden borehole site outside Selkirk and a smaller £700,000 scheme to improve the secondary treatment process at Rawburn in Berwickshire.
The completion of the programme was welcomed by local MP and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.
“As a result of this investment, the water we drink in the Borders will be clearer and fresher...I welcome Scottish Water’s commitment to improving the water supply in the region,” said Mr Moore.
Work on the three projects began in 2008, with Roberton the last to be concluded. The WTW in the Roxburghshire village has been transformed, while the works at Acreknowe and Dodburn, south of Hawick, were finally decommissioned earlier this year.
At Howden, a new membrane plant has been installed to provide a more robust supply to 17,000 customers in Selkirk, Melrose, Earlston, Lauder and parts of Galashiels.
There are further plans to construct a new 12million-litre clear water storage tank just south of Selkirk.
Ian Morton, senior project manager for Roberton and Howden said: “This has been an extremely important programme of work and every bit as significant to this community as the Glencorse project will be for customers in Edinburgh and the Katrine project is for people in Greater Glasgow.
“This is an impressive new trio of works, incorporating some of the latest thinking in water treatment. This latest technology will allow us to treat more raw water, increasing not only the capacity within the overall network to help the region prosper and grow, but also improving efficiency and helping to deliver some long-term environmental benefits.”
Ian Skilling, Scottish Water’s operations manager for the Borders, said an improvement programme on the water mains network would now be undertaken.
“Hundreds of miles of pipes will be flushed, swabbed, relined and replaced. During this current investment programme, we will continue to deliver further improvements and increase value for money for our customers.”
Last week, Scottish Water enlisted to help of rugby and football students at Borders College in Galashiels, to mark the completion of the £25million investment programme.
Richie Gray, programme leader for sport at Borders College, enthused: “Hydration plays an important part in the routines of our young athletes, along with quality nutrition. That is why this investment is so welcome for our students.”
Scottish Water’s regional community manager Bill Elliot, said: “Borderers are now reaping tangible benefits in their drinking water and we continue to listen to local communities and deliver on their needs.
“We are aware of the tough economic pressures on our customers and we work to ensure every pound we spend represents value for money.”