Running battle over leaking water tank

bosses at Scottish Water have denied that a leaking tank which supplies a number of towns and villages is flooding fields.

They admit the Thornbush Quarry facility above Selkirk is losing water, but say the installation of pipework has meant it is flowing into a nearby loch.

But Selkirkshire councillor Kenneth Gunn disagrees. He said: “This water is leaking right down this hill, which has flora and fauna down the banking, through the fields and into the Pot Loch which has various types of bird, from moor hens to swans. The burn was stinking of chlorine when I came up previously. It was running white and smelling. I object to the amount of chlorine in water anyway, but to have it in what is supposed to be a natural spring which supplies Caulks Well is wrong.”

Councillor Gunn believes the tank, which supplies Selkirk, Melrose, Lauder, Gordon, Earlston and parts of Galashiels, has had problems since it was installed in 1999.

He denies it is a “minor” leak, as SEPA described it. The councillor commented: “If it is a minor leak, why are Scottish Water so intent on building a new tank? I reckon it has been leaking since almost day one and has got worse in the last two or three years.”

Bill Elliot, Scottish Water’s regional communities manager said: “The leak has appeared in the last few years, as a result of a design fault which was exacerbated by very cold winters. We have a solution in place to minimise and deal with the leaking water.

“A pipework and treatment arrangement collects all the water and removes chlorine before carrying it to a nearby pond. Fields and watercourses are completely unaffected by this arrangement.

“We are actively working on a long-term solution which will replace the existing water tank and this is in the advanced stages of design.”

SEPA said they were satisfied there was no risk of pollution.