Investment goes west
West of Scotland Water has just been reorganised to ensure that it is capable of meeting and exceeding the demands of its customers. To meet this challenge, the authority is spending millions on its capital expenditure programme upgrading and constructing its infrastructure.
In a move to improve services to customers, West of Scotland Water (WoSW)
has unveiled a new corporate structure which streamlines and focuses the
As part of these objectives, WoSW intends to spend over £300 million over
the next five years on the wastewater side of the business alone. Typical
projects include new and improved water and wastewater treatment works,
sludge treatment centres along with improvements to the distribution
WoSW will stop dumping sewage sludge at sea at the end of the year. During
the past year, work commenced on the construction of a new sludge treatment
centre at Cumnock and negotiations have taken place for the new sludge
treatment centre at Daldowie.
The £6.5 million Cumnock sludge treatment centre, when competed, will
consist of screening and thickening, before the sludge is digested and then
retained for pathogen kill time. The treated sludge from the centre, which
serves a population of 66,500, will go to land for agricultural use.
Negotiations have also taken place with SMW a consortium made up of
Scottish Power, Wabag and Miller Construction regarding the £57 million
Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project for Shieldhall sludge treatment
centre, where sewage sludge will be burnt with coal.
PFI, a scheme carried over from the previous Conservative government, is not
about borrowing money from the private sector, it transforms the water
authorities from being owners and operators of assets into purchasers of
services from the private sector. Private firms become long term providers
of services rather than upfront asset builders, combining the
responsibilities of designing, building, financing and operating the assets
in order to deliver the services demanded.
The preferred bidder for adding secondary treatment to Dalmuir Sewage
Treatment Works, another PFI scheme, is Scotia Water, a consortium of Saur,
Stereau, Taylor Woodrow Construction, Barr Construction, and Halcrow.
The project involves the design and construction of a secondary treatment
works capable of treating an annual flow of approximately 100 million cubic
metres of sewage to meet the standards required by legislation. Scotia Water
will then be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the works to
meet these criteria for the next 25 years. Work on site is anticipated to
start in the spring of 1999.
Work has commenced on improving the sewerage system at Ayr and, as an
interim measure, fine screening facilities and disinfection were fitted to
the existing four sea outfalls. The £30 million Ayr Relief Sewer Scheme will
transfer wastewater from Ayr to the treatment facilities at Meadowhead. The
first phase, which was started last August, is the construction of a new
5.5km interceptor sewer and a new pumping station.
WoSW is also constructing new pumping stations and pipelines to link
wastewater treatment sites to its sludge treatment centre. One £6.5 million
link is between Dalmuir and Shieldhall serving a population of 595,000 while
the other, worth £6 million serving a population of 1,450,000, links
Dalmarnock to Daldowie, which is part of the Shieldhall scheme.
Substantial investment chas followed WoSW’s commitment to upgrading the
water supply infrastructure inherited by the company, with several new
treatment works constructed. Other completed projects include the recently
opened £7.8 million Ashgrove Water Treatment Works, which supplies 30Ml/d to
the Authority’s customers in Saltcoats, Stevenston and Kilwinning in North
Ayrshire. Designed to blend in with the rolling countryside, the works,
fitted with DAF streams, primary and secondary rapid gravity filters and
chlorine contract tanks, is designed to remove colour from the water,
especially manganese, which can cause black specks on whites being washed.