Key achievements over last five years
On 1 April 2015, Scottish Water began to deliver the investment requirements for the 2015-21 period as directed by Ministers on 1 October 2014. The Delivery Assurance Group is carefully reporting on the delivery of the improvements in line with Scottish Water's delivery plan and quarterly reports are published on the Scottish Government's website.
In the regulatory period 2015-21, Scottish Water has invested some £3.9 billion in maintaining and replacing its infrastructure and in delivering further improvements to drinking water quality, protecting the environment and supporting the Scottish economy. These vital services are part of Scotland's critical infrastructure and certain works remain essential during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since April 2015, Scottish Water has invested an average of over £50 million a month.
Scottish Water reported for the financial year 2019-20 that £673 million capital investment was made which delivered a significant contribution towards a number of the Government's key strategic objectives. This investment enabled it to:
- Deliver better services to customers;
- Improve drinking water quality;
- Provide additional capacity to meet the demands of new housing;
- Reduce leakage; and
- Protect Scotland's environment.
Examples of improvements include:
- Levels of customer service for 2019-20 remain high and are amongst the best in the UK (in 2009-10 Scottish Water ranked amongst the worst);
- Environmental compliance has improved significantly over the last six years with significant reductions in numbers of pollution incidents - in 2019-20 there were 224 pollution incidents, compared to 939 in 2009-10;
- Drinking water quality is at a high level in 2019-20 and 99.917% of samples taken met strict quality standards;
- Scottish Water supports Scotland's economy by investing over £50 million a month;
- To deliver this investment, it works closely with alliance partners and delivery teams who bring with them, dedicated, well trained people;
- This includes more than 200 suppliers, employing around 3,000 people, many of whom are young apprentices and graduates;
- Scottish Water is committed to playing its role in responding to the climate emergency as set out in the Programme for Government and has set an ambitious target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2040;
- Scottish Water is now facilitating enough renewable generation to meet over 200% of its electricity requirement;
- Scottish Water's operational carbon footprint for 2019-20 decreased by a further 15kg/household compared with 2018-19 and by over 40% since it started reporting in 2006-07.
Progress in 2020-21
Scottish Water's investment programme is defined and funded for the period 2015- 21. The investment programme is set out in the form of Ministerial Directions and a supporting Technical Expression in the form of a list of outputs. Scottish Water's Delivery Plan sets out how Scottish Water intends to deliver the investment over the five-year period. The 2015-21 investment plan contains many thousands of projects.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Scottish Water's main focus has been to ensure that it kept the water and waste water services flowing across the country for all its customers, whilst doing so in a safe and compliant manner to protect its staff and customers. At the same time, Scottish Water also continued to deliver its capital investment programme in line with all Scottish Government guidelines for the construction industry. As a result of the impact of COVID-19, Scottish Water invested less than planned in 2020-21. However, despite three months of site closures, in October 2020, levels of investment returned to comparable to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Robslee, Giffnock was a £4 million investment to upgrade the waste water network infrastructure. Around 776 million metres of pipework was replaced to upsize the sewers, with new pipework installed within the Pavillion playing fields and on private land. The project will help prevent sewer flooding and improve the quality of the Bagabout Burn and Otter Burn.
Mauldslie Bridge was a £1.3 million renovation project by Scottish Water to strengthen and preserve the A-listed Mauldslie Bridge in South Lanarkshire. The bridge, which crosses the River Clyde south of Dalserf, is owned by Scottish Water and provides access to Mauldslie Waste Water Treatment Works. Built in the 1800s, the structural integrity of Mauldslie Bridge had diminished over the last few years and it was essential that this improvement work was carried out – carriageway and stonework.
Scottish Water has completed a £950,000 investment project of essential upgrades to its water network infrastructure near Campbeltown. The improvements involved approximately three miles of pipework on the water network between Campbeltown and Machrihanish being replaced. Two further sections of the network are also being proposed to complete the link.
Scottish Water completed a £3.5 million upgrade to Peebles Waste Water treatment works. Works included the installation of two new tanks and equipment to ensure we continue to treat waste water to a high standard and also improve the site's capacity to ensure it can continue to serve the community well into the future. Scottish Water has also begun a new multimillion-pound project to construct a brand new water treatment works for the town.
Portobello and Fisherrow Bathing Water. Multiple misconnections, which have the potential to impact water quality, were rectified through an initiative funded by Scottish Government and undertaken by Scottish Water. A total of 16 misconnections that would discharge into the Brunstane burn or one of its tributaries have been rectified. We also carried out work at Eastfield pumping station and an emergency overflow, which discharges direct, to sea via an outfall. To improve the reliability of this asset Scottish Water refurbished pumps at Eastfield pumping station and these were part of a £3 million package of investment to improve bathing water in the area.
Green energy is helping to power a Scottish Water facility in Glassford, South Lanarkshire. A £185,000 investment made by Scottish Water's commercial subsidiary Scottish Water Horizons has seen 532 ground-mounted solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels installed at the utility's service reservoir in Glassford. Once treated, water from the facility is delivered to around 9,300 homes in the Chapelton and Auldhouse areas as well as parts of Hamilton and East Kilbride.
Dunfermline Waste Water Treatment Works has turned to green energy to boost Scottish Water's pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2040. Scottish Water's commercial subsidiary Scottish Water Horizons, has invested £300,000 installing 784 PV panels at the work, which serves around 81,000 customers in Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay, Crossgates, Rosyth and Kingseat. This investment will offset almost ten per cent of the electricity required to operate the facility. The new 231 kW solar PV system will generate 0.2GWHr of energy on an annual basis – equivalent to powering 55 homes for a year.
Activity going forward
A £52 million investment is underway at Invercannie Water Treatment Works, near Banchory in the north east. This 2-year major project will see the complete refurbishment of the existing plant, including a new water storage tank and a dissolved air filtration plant, with capacity to produce up to 63 million litres of drinking water a day. The work will support recovery and growth in the region's economy, while helping to secure a resilient and high quality water supply for around 300,000 existing customers.
Work is progressing well with a £9.3 million Back-Tolsta, Isle of Lewis project to upgrade the water infrastructure serving the communities north of Stornoway in Lewis, including Marybank, Laxdale, Back and Tolsta. The project includes construction of approximately 21 kilometres of new water main and will enable the area to be supplied from North Lochs Water Treatment Works, allowing Tolsta Water Treatment Works to be taken out of service.
To improve the management and efficiency of its waste water treatment works, Scottish Water have developed an Exemplar Waste Water Treatment Works project to bring together smart technology and automation. The project seeks to increase remote site monitoring and control. Over the next two years, Scottish Water will build on the pilot we are undertaking at Laighpark, and its intention, subject to an investment appraisal, is to roll this out to at least three further sites - Shieldhall, Philipshill and Erskine.