LONG DELAYED privately financed water schemes in northern Scotland, totalling over £240M, will definitely be started within the next three years, the regional water company pledged this week.
The commitment forms part of a £496M investment package announced by the North of Scotland Water Authority.
Heading the list of seven privately funded projects is the £120M complex of five wastewater treatment plants around the Dundee area of the Tay estuary. Design, build, finance and operate tenders are now being evaluated with a decision expected in June.
Tender invitations for new or upgraded sewage works at Aberdeen, Fraserborough, Peterhead, Montrose and two around the Moray Firth will be sent out this spring for a range of awards from March next year.
The cost of Aberdeen's planned £50M two stage treatment plant could be cut by 40%
if a government appeal to the European Commission is granted. This seeks to provide only primary treatment and argues that a long outfall direct into the North Sea would give adequate dispersal of only partially treated sewage, with 'no benefit' gained from the £20M extra cost of providing secondary treatment.
The vast majority of the 320 schemes in the three year plan will provide improved drinking water treatment at some 130 small plants in the Highlands which currently fail to meet EU standards.
Discoloration from peat entering the mainly upland stream supplies demands that more sophisticated chlorine dosing equipment be installed. If chlorine concentrations do not always match the varying degrees of discoloration, chemical reactions can create unacceptable bacteria.