Taynuilt Community Council
Notes from meeting with Scottish Water held on Thursday, 30th August 2006
Taynuilt Community Council (TCC)
Alan Livingtone (AL), Peter McCracken (PM), Tom Mclellan (TM)
Argyll & Bute Councilors
Alan Macaskill (AMac), Elaine Robertson (ER)
Scottish Water (SW)
Jane Mckenzie (JM), Pamela Hamilton (PH), Mike Firth (MF), Paul Whitefoot (PW)
Gregor Campbell, WHHA (GC), Murray Sim, WHHA, (MS), Hamish Matheson (HM),
Sam Silcock (SS), John MacGregor (JMG)
Notes From Meeting
Pressure and Flow in the Supply
TM: Tom Mclellan of Taynuilt Community Council (TCC) introduced all present and agreed to chair the meeting. TM summarised the situation relevant to Scottish Water in Taynuilt to date and distributed some notes that would form a basis of discussion (see attached as an appendix).
PW: Paul Whitefoot, Network Maintenance Manager for Scottish Water (SW) pointed out that in regard to the pressure tests carried out by Strathclyde Fire & Rescue (SFR), SW were not obliged to provide a water supply for Fire appliances but that it could be used if it was there. Also the pressure tests carried out by SFR were not equivalent to those carried out by SW as they are snap-shot measurements, rather than monitoring over time. It was accepted that both sets of results gave a picture of the typical pressures and flow rates to be found in Taynuilt.
PW: stated that SW were committed to meeting the demands of new developments, Mike Firth (MF) was part of the team tasked to do this. SW are regulated by the Water Industry Commissioners who provide a four year cycle of funding linked to specific spending allocations. A new 4 yr cycle began in March 06 which had allocated £137 million to address new developments requiring to be connected to the network. The previous 4 yr cycle had no allocation and consequently many treatment works are causing constraints. A large backlog of applications had built up but with more resources within Planning and Developer Service, this is now almost cleared and SW are now dealing with enquiries as they come in. PW stated that pressure/flow monitoring in Taynuilt had shown areas of low-pressure (defined as below the minimum acceptable level of 1bar), down to figures below 1bar in the worst locations/periods (Brolas was identified as one such location). PW accepted that to increase pressure and flow rates for new and existing customers that the low pressure problem must be tackled. The solution is to replace the older sections of AC main and, if necessary increase pressure in the main by taking the water directly from the new tank at Glen Lonan which currently feeds water into the old tank above Waterfall Cottage. It was stated that problems of furring or sclerosis of older AC pipes may in fact be due to the cast iron couplings that were used to join them. Some of the AC pipes and cast iron couplings may need to be replaced. Connecting new housing developments would clearly make matters worse and SW were talking to the developers to find a solution (in other words to get a contribution to the cost of upgrading the main).
PH: Pamela Hamilton (Asset Area Planner Aryll - Water) of SW stated that the scoping/surveying for the laying of the new 200m section of main from Taynuilt Hotel to the Railway Bridge,was underway. It was also the intention to replace the short sections of AC pipework over the Nant Bridge and at Achnafearna I . Discussions with Argyll & Bute Roads Department were likely to take at least 6 weeks, but she hoped that the work would be completed by the end of 2006. This hotspot was stated to be at the top of the list, however areas outwith the hotspot (ie the Hedges and Airds Bay) would not be dealt with at this time.
TM: asked if the pipe was replaced and the pressure turned-up, would there be further pressure monitoring for areas that have not been upgraded.
PW: Once the new pipe is in, further monitoring will be carried out to asses any further problems. There is money allocated for addressing low-pressure problems.
AM: Alan Macaskill (A&B Councillor) pointed out that it would be a waste of money to upgrade pipes where there is little prospect of development (ie Airds Bay where the road is not suitable and there are no plans to upgrade it). Money should be targeted at areas with most development pressure.
TM: Stated that these issues should at least be logged for clarity once pressure testing has been done.
AL: Alan Livingstone suggested that communication between SW and developers/planners has been poor.
PW: accepted there had been a problem in the past with SW not responding in a timely fashion to planning applications, but that this was changing. The backlog was stated to be nearly gone.
JMG: John MacGregor, Brochroy development, stated that SW had not responded to outline planning application, or indeed detailed planning application, but had waited until a connection number had been sought by the developer. Significant financial consequences have resulted from this, including the developers have had to pay for 100m new main.
PW: Agreed that the situation previously experience with planning applications was unacceptable and apologised. In future pressure logging would be carried out at the detailed planning application stage before developers start on site.
AM: Planning applications need consideration within 2 months and SW must put systems in place to respond in this timeframe.
TM: Pointed out that the developers also have a responsibility to make sure their potential sites will have services, and noted that SW make a financial contribution to developers in order to help them with installing services, of £1,300 for water supply connection and £1,500 towards sewerage connection.
MF: Confirmed the contribution to developers is £1300 and £1500 for Part 2&3 clean water and sewerage infrastructure on site, but it was the job of SW to provide the Part 4 services eg. Water and Waste Water Treatment Works.
AL: But isnt that the part that is causing the problem in Taynuilt?
PW: and that is why we are here to address the problem.
GC: Gregor Cameron of WHHA, stated that the SW system had improved markedly in the last 2 months in his experience, which he welcomed as a sign that things were getting sorted out. The specific issues relating to Achnafearna II were: it took 3 yrs from outline planning to detailed at which time pressure and flow testing was done at the request of SW. SW had not raised any objection to the development until that time and GC didnt feel that WHHA had done anything other than follow the correct procedures in pursuing the planning of the development. It was not the job of WHHA to test SW on whether the water that was promised would really materialise when a connection was sought. GC stated that WHHA was prepared to stand up and be counted when it came to issues of investment in infrastructure. He stated that they would contribute to some water infrastructure costs but not to all the costs. He didnt accept that WHHA as a developer was responsible for the difficulties that have occurred in obtaining a SW connection.
TM: stated that the Taynuilt Community Council was not looking to blame WHHA or anybody else for past failings of the system, but rather to ensure that these issues do not arise in the future. It was welcomed that the issues were being dealt with by SW staff, but it had taken 2 yrs of pressure from the TCC to get where we are today.
AM: stated that the speed of response to planning applications was critical; Oban and Lorne area is a development hotspot and SW must gear up their systems to cope with the growth in developments in this area; in addition to private developers WHHA and the new ACCA will be looking to build more houses (the council are transferring housing stock to ACCA in Oct 06); SW should also take a very close look at proposed Local Plans so that they can advise council planners where there may be problems or opportunities with water connections to areas with development allocations.
AL: asked for a progress report on the Sewerage side from PW.
PW: said he couldnt provide that in detail but Barrie Hardie would confirm the latest position to TCC, JM would contact him by email to ask him to do this. JM would then relay an update of the position to TM
ER: Elaine Robertson thought that the meeting had been very interesting and valuable and hoped that the face to face exchange would form the basis of a continuing working relationship between SW with the community council and the councilors, both in Taynuilt and the wider area.
Various technical questions were asked, responses are summarised below:
Pipe diameter allows increased flow rates and increased pressure (as friction on pipe walls is reduced).
Flow rate alone, i.e. availability of water, is useless without pressure to push it along the pipe.
Pressure in Taynuilt could be increased by by-passing the old storage tank at Waterfall Cottage, Glen Lonan should the new main not address all the issues of low supply pressures.
Chlorine is added to the water under the regulation of the Drinking Water Quality Regulator. Chlorine is added in the membrane plant and never leaves the tank at over 1mg/l, generally 0.2-0.5 mg/l is delivered. The WHO recommends that chlorination is unhealthy at levels over 3 mg/l. The perception of chlorine depends on several factors: where the house is on the supply; time of day; internal plumbing arrangements, etc. The Taynuilt plant is considered to be state of the art. Customers can leave jugs of water in the fridge overnight to allow the chlorine to gas-off or install carbon filters on the drinking tap, although there may be a health hazard if filters are not maintained regularly.
Councillor Macaskill is looking for funding for a new venture, Chloro-Jug, to provide some extra income for his retirement !
TM: Proposed that SW should keep TCC advised as work progressed. It was agreed that this would be best done through JM liasing with TM.
Notes for Meeting with Scottish Water
Thursday 31st August 2006
Taynuilt Community Council Position
The community council requested Strathclyde Fire & Rescue to carry out an assessment of the pressure and flow rates at the hydrants within the village and the surrounding area. In summary the results are :-
Flow Flow Pressure
2no x 0 lpm 1no x no pressure
5no x 25 lpm 1no x 1 bar
2no x 100 lpm 1no x 1.2 bar
1no x 150 lpm 3no x 1.5 bar
4no x <180 lpm 4no x 1.7 bar
7no x 200 lpm 1no x 1.8 bar
3no x <400 lpm 16no x 2 bar
3no x 500 lpm 1no x 2.1 bar
1no x 600 lpm
The concerns of the community council can be summarised as :-