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UK's highest water treatment works plans unveiled

Scottish Water has unveiled plans for a water treatment works to be built at the highest altitude of any works in the UK.

Turret water treatment works outside Crieff in Pertshire will benefit from a £30M investment that will see the installation of a new actiflo treatment process as well as a modern hydro turbine.

The programme to upgrade the works is being carried out by construction partner, GMJV. Their contracts manager Kevin Seabeck said the greatest challenge was the location. "The water treatment works is the highest in the country at over 1,000ft (304.8m) and the site is permanently exposed to extreme weather conditions, including wind speeds in excess of 60 mph (96km/h), which have on occasion disrupted operations," said Seabeck.

Work on site started with 9,000 m3 of rock being removed and crushed from the hillside to allow the construction of a two stream Actiflo plant, a first for Scotland. Other works include the hydraulic turbine which will not only power the works but also sell power back to the national grid.

The actiflo treatment process will inject sand into the raw water supply, helping to better promote the settlement of minerals and materials. This will help to make the raw water even cleaner before it reaches the final settlement stages.

This new process will allow the works to run to maximum capacity, even during times of extreme weather, at around 85M litres per day.

A new 2.5M litre processing tank is being constructed to improve the treatment process at the site: enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.

Green initiative

Senior project manager Alan Mansfield thought local customers would appreciate the efforts being made not only to improve the quality of drinking water but also to protect the environment: "This is also a very ‘green’ initiative, with part of the funding designated towards replacing the facility’s 40 year old hydro turbine with a new, more efficient model. This will be one of the biggest turbines in Scotland and will help to generate power, not only for the treatment works, but also to export back to the national grid.

"Turret is the highest water treatment works in the UK and we will be using this to our advantage. Water will be distributed from the works using gravity, rather than energy-sapping pumps," said Mansfield.

Scottish Water’s regional manager for Perthshire, Derek Ogilvie said: "This is one of Scottish Water’s most significant investments anywhere in the country. Per head of population this is every bit as significant as the new water treatment works in Glasgow and Edinburgh."

Local MSP, Roseanna Cunningham said:"The primary purpose of this project was to provide an improved quality of drinking water to customers, including constituents of mine and it is a welcome investment for that reason alone. It is a bonus; therefore, that the design of the scheme means it will also be a net producer of clean, sustainable energy. I am pleased, too that environmental considerations have been so central to the whole project."

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