Major improvements to Tarbert water supplies

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Scottish Water has concluded a complex project to provide more secure water supplies for the people of Tarbert on the Isle of Harris.

At times the raw water supply for the area was lower than the ideal level and a decision was reached by Scottish Water to invest in the area to correct this issue.

The now-completed project maintains the existing water supply by installing new infrastructure that enables Scottish Water to continue to supply clear, fresh drinking water to all connected properties in Tarbert and the water supply area around it - approximately 960 properties. This investment also helps future-proof the network and services for many years to come.

The work took approximately four months and was carried out on Scottish Water’s behalf by George Leslie Ltd.

David Wilkinson, Project Manager, said: “The Tarbert supply area is located in the north of the Isle of Harris and stretches part way along the A859, through Tarbert and westwards out to the Island of Scalpay. The water treatment works, located at Carragraich, is supplied with raw water (by gravity) from Loch Braigh na h-Imrich.

“The option that we chose to increase the raw water storage was to install a new reinforced concrete gravity dam structure with an integrated fish pass. We also constructed a compensation water flow channel which ensures water flows downstream are constant, maintaining the ecology of subsequent watercourses.

“We also installed a variety of valves as well as monitoring and sensor technology. For communications purposes there is a battery powered radio link to Scottish Water’s telemetry network, which allows us to monitor the site remotely from our control centre in Glasgow.

“Finally we replaced the existing 300 metre long raw main at the site with a modern polyethylene pipe which is sturdier than traditional materials such as iron or cement.”

Since it was created in 2002, Scottish Water has invested over £111.9million in the Western Isles in the key areas of drinking water, environmental quality, customer service, facilitating growth in communities through development and essential maintenance.

A further £14.9million is due to be invested over the next two years. These record levels of investment are happening while average household charges remain around £54 lower than England and Wales.

For more information on the work Scottish Water is doing, visit the dedicated web pages at We are also on Facebook: and Twitter: @scottishwaterpr.