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Scottish Water Responds to Concerns of Stromness Fishermen : Is It Enough?

Local MSP John Finnie Scottish Greens has received a response from Scottish Water over concerns raised by Stromness resident Arthur Robertson about the effect of the improvements to the sewage system on the historic Clouston’s pier and noust. Arthur Robertson termed it “quango funded vandalism.

Scottish Water have confirmed that work was undertaken incorrectly and measures are being taken to rectify the errors.

John Finnie MSP has welcomed confirmation from Scottish Water that following consultation with the public errors which left the outflow at Merrimans Noust in Stromness looking unsightly are to be rectified.

The work, part of a £10 million environmental benefit scheme, will reduce discharges from the existing waste water network into the recreational waters in Stromness Harbour.

Scottish Water have also undertaken a thorough public consultation including engagement with Councillors, the Community Council and over 100 local households. They also held three information events.

John Finnie said:

“I very much welcome the work undertaken by Scottish Water at Merrimans Nest which will improve the water quality at Stromness Harbour.

“When major work like this it is vital that extensive community engagement takes place and I am pleased to see that Scottish Water have done this.

“I am pleased SW acknowledge their error and are taking the necessary steps to rectify the situation and, importantly are working with their contractor to ensure this does not happen again.”

The letter from Scottish Water says:

“our site team carried out an investigation and discovered that the headwall was constructed 450mm higher than the original design. Work is now being undertaken to remedy this and we are in discussion with our contractor to ensure that this situation is not repeated at other outfall locations.”

The letter also asserts that full consultations took place. Objections now have been raised by Orkney’s Fisheries Association who are alarmed about the threat to fishing.

“Users of the private piers were assured that any pipes would be buried. This is not happening. Pipes are being surface laid and then rock dumping is taking place.”

They have written to Marine Licensing at Marine Scotland wishing to know:

“What licence has been issued for this work and what conditions approved?” 

and consider the work to be such a threat to local fishing that it should be stopped immediately.

You can read the concerns of Orkney Fisheries Association here: New Sewage Works Threat to Local Fishing

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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