The publicly-owned company is starting a £250m, five-year programme of work which aims to improve river water quality and the natural environment of the River Clyde.

In addition, Scottish Water claims it will enable the Greater Glasgow area to continue to grow and develop, alleviate sewer flooding and deal with the effects of increased rainfall and climate change.

The investment will support approximately 500 jobs and is the first stage of a planned programme, worth around £500m, to upgrade the area’s waste water infrastructure.

The investment includes upgrades to around 200 Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) – safety valves used to control waste water during heavy rainfall – on the River Clyde and tributaries at a cost of about £105m.

It also includes wastewater improvements to remove excess surface water from areas known as ‘pinchpoints’ which cause restrictions in the system at a cost of around £100m and a number of projects to tackle flooding in parts of the city, which will cost around £45m.

Speaking at the launch at Glasgow Science Centre on the banks of the River Clyde, Scottish Water’s asset management director Geoff Aitkenhead said the investment would make the waste water infrastructure “fit for the 21st century, help protect the natural environment and meet the needs of growth and development.”

Scottish Water’s investment follows years of collaboration and studies by the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP), which includes Scottish Water, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Glasgow City Council.

Aitkenhead added: “By working with our MGSDP partners, we have been able to find integrated drainage solutions for the future which will provide knowledge and experience that can be used across the rest of Scotland, with the Glasgow area being seen as a template of good practice.

“Scottish Water’s investment is only one part of the answer, although a major component, to the pressures on the drainage network to cope with the sheer volume of waste water and surface water run-off happening in today’s climate and the anticipated climate of the future.”

Conor McGlone

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