UPDATE: Water levels still low in islands - Stornoway customers can collect Save-a-Flush bag from Scottish Water offices

Water levels in parts of the Western Isles are still low this week despite the rest of the country being hit by flooding and record rainfall.

Last week Scottish Water urged customers in Stornoway, Tolsta, South Uist and Lochmaddy to use water wisely and that advice stands despite some rainfall in the islands.

Scottish Water is continuing to monitor water levels – particularly sources serving Stornoway – to ensure it can implement measures where necessary to maintain supplies of drinking water to customers.

With the Met Office forecast showing dry weather with only light rain towards the weekend, Scottish Water is reminding customers in Stornoway that there are simple steps they can take to use water efficiently. There are many small changes customers can make in their daily routine that make a real difference such as switching off the tap when brushing teeth and using a full load instead of a half load in their washing machines and dish washers. With these simple steps customers can help to protect the environment and continue to use water wisely.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Customer Service Delivery Director, said: “As drier weather continues in the North West Highlands and West Highlands Scottish Water’s top priority is to continue monitoring water levels to ensure we can respond where necessary and ensure a water supply to customers is maintained.

“At present we are focusing on the Stornoway area by finding and fixing leaks while encouraging everyone living and working locally to take simple steps to use water wisely.

“For example, switch off the tap when brushing teeth and do a full load of washing instead of a half load. Toilet flushing uses around 30 per cent of water in the typical home. While people should use their toilet as normal installing a Save-a-Flush bag provided by Scottish Water can save around one litre of water every time a toilet is used.

“Customers can be assured that we are and will continue to do everything we can to maintain water supplies in the face of a period of dry weather.”

For advice on simple steps to save water visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/savewater or call our Customer Helpline on 0845 601 8855.

Scottish Water household customers can request their free Save-a-Flush by emailing customermarketing@scottishwater.co.uk or by collecting between 9.30am and 3pm from Monday, July 16 from the local Scottish Water office at Willowglen Road, Stornoway.

Stornoway Gazette weather correspondent Eddie Graham from Lews Castle College said the reason for the dry weather was due to the jet stream moving much further south than usual. This switches winds to North Easterly direction which brings the dry conditions.

This week Scottish Water are celebrating their 10th anniversary and their most successful year to date in terms of customer service and drinking water quality reaching the highest ever level.

The water authority presented their annual report to the Scottish Parliament last week which stated customer satisfaction was now at 83% with drinking water quality at 99.86% of all tests.

Chief Executive Richard Ackroyd said: “Scottish Water is one of Scotland’s biggest businesses and we are committed to putting our customers at the heart of the business. We are delivering the investment vital to transforming the water infrastructure, improving water quality, the environment and customer service.”

He added: “The progress Scottish Water is making to match the best in the UK Water industry is only possible because of the commitment and dedication of our teams in communities across Scotland who go the extra mile for our customers whatever the weather.”

The efforts of Scottish Water staff and their partners was commended in Uist last year when supplies were cut due to high levels of aluminium in the supply.

This led to residents being without water for nearly a week and bottled supplies had to be brought it.

Since then Scottish Water have invested £700,000 in the Bayhead water treatment works but are still looking for a long term solution.

Over the past year Scottish Water have also created a renewable energy and businesses services company, Horizons, which is a market leader in food and garden waste recycling and newly launched Scottish Water International which has won contracts in Canada, the Middle East and Europe and is building Scottish Water’s reputation across the world.