North Uist - another week without drinking water

NORTH Uist residents will have to wait at least another week for the all-clear on their drinking water supplies.

An issue with the raw water colour, together with the treatment process has caused elevated aluminium levels in the areas’ water supply, which need to be reduced before it is safe for human consumption.

A statement from Scottish Water – who are working closely with Dr Ken Oates, Consultant in Public Health and Medicine (CPHM) at NHS Highland, NHS Western Isles and Western Isles Council on the matter – detailed: “The earliest possible date for supplies to be returned to normal will be Friday, October 14.”

It adds that Scottish Water will issue all-clear notices only when the CPHM is satisfied that the water meets applicable standards.

Simon Harrison, Water Operations Manager at Scottish Water apologised for the inconvenience to customers and expanded that the most reliable option for repair is to install an additional treatment process stage at the water treatment works.

Equipment to do so is now currently on route to North Uist from Southern England.

Mr Harrison said: “I realise this news is not what local people will be hoping to hear from us, but I feel it is important to notify the people of North Uist of the likely time-scales given the practicalities of installing this new equipment.”

The current precautionary advice from the CPHM to not drink or cook with tap water remains in force, although affected properties can still use water for washing and flushing toilets.

Scottish Water will be holding drop-in sessions on Monday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 11 at Paible Primary School, Ashdail Cottages, North Uist from 4-7pm where staff will be in attendance to answer any questions local people may have.

“Once again I apologise for the inconvenience of this issue with the North Uist water supply,” continued Mr Harrison. “We want to thank them for their patience and understanding while we carry out these works to restore their water supply, and we assure the people of North Uist we are working around the clock to resolve this as soon as possible.”

Customers with any questions can call the Scottish Water Customer Helpline on 0845 601 8855 or email

Bottled water supplies will be delivered to customer’s doors and top-up supplies are available at Balranald Church; The Old Church, Caranish; The Bayhead Shop; Clachan Stores, and Ardnasgruban Post Box, Grimsay.