Scottish Water is proposing to reduce the level of treatment waste gets before it is released into the Ettrick over a two-year trial period.
The proposal is outlined in a planning application to the council for two temporary water quality monitoring and control ‘kiosks’ next to the river at Dunsdale Haugh.
A statement submitted with the application says: “Given the high capacity of the Selkirk WwTW (waste water treatment works) but the low intake of sewerage from the adjacent built-up area, Scottish Water have devised a scheme that will realise significant energy efficiencies.
“At a basic level the scheme will involve an alteration to the sewerage treatment process which will reduce the amount of treatment (aeration) provided when river levels increase.”
It adds: “In order to maintain the strict parameters under which Selkirk WwTW operates, sophisticated monitors will log the levels and flows of the river. When the flows and levels of the Ettrick Water reach a prescribed level the reduction in treatment will be initiated.”
Each ‘kiosk’ will contain sensitive monitoring equipment that will compare the quality of water either side of the outfall and will have direct computer contact with the works to ensure ‘appropriate levels of treatment’.
The metal ‘kiosks’ would be 2.5m wide, 1.5m deep and 2.65m high.
During the trial the outflow would still meet stringent environmental standards.