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Badenoch and Strathspey supply enhancements

River Spey near Aviemore

Scottish Water supplies high-quality drinking water to more than 10,000 properties in the Badenoch and Strathspey area.

We recognise that, following the opening of a new water treatment works in 2012, some customers found that the water was not to their taste.

Since Spring 2016 we have taken a number of steps to improve the supply in the local area including improvements to the performance of the treatment works and cleaning water pipes.  In April 2017, we completed the introduction of chloramination - a treatment process which allows for a reduction in the level of chlorine, helping to further improve the taste of drinking water.

In response to concerns that were raised by customers about public health issues, NHS Highland carried out and has published a review of available local health data in Badenoch and Strathspey.

The report prepared by NHS Highland’s Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Dr Ken Oates, concludes that, “From the evidence seen, reviewed and discussed there is no scientific data which suggests that the water supply to Aviemore and the surrounding area is in any way unsafe to drink, or to bathe in.  Indeed the opposite is true – that the water is of a high quality and over the past 5 years has consistently met the strict standards laid down for the water industry in the UK and Scotland.”

Responding to the report’s publication, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Farrer said:

“Following discussions with our customers in Badenoch and Strathspey earlier this year, I gave a commitment to meet NHS Highland to raise the concerns that had been expressed about public health issues.  The report now published is the key outcome of that meeting and I am grateful to Dr Oates for his care in producing it.

“Scottish Water recognises that the change in the water supply for Aviemore and the surrounding area which took place in 2012 was not a positive experience for many of our customers.  For a short period, the high level of chlorine which had been required to treat the water previously sourced from Loch Einich was continued and this resulted in an unacceptable taste and smell of chlorine at customers’ taps.  Although the water from the River Spey boreholes at Kinakyle is of very high quality, its characteristics are different and we did not explain this well enough or respond to customer feedback quickly enough at the time.

“We have since worked very hard to listen to the views of our customers and to deliver improvements in response.  The successful introduction of chloramination in early April marked the culmination of this work, dramatically reducing the remaining level of ‘free chlorine’ reaching our customers and directly addressing the key issues about taste and odour which most customers had raised with us.

“Dr Oates’ report addresses the remaining public health issues that had been raised and I would encourage anyone with concerns to read it.  I would like to thank our customers for their patience while we have made these improvements .   We are committed to continuing to provide a first class service to local communities.   I hope the action we have taken together with the statement from NHS Highland provides reassurance about the high quality of the drinking water provided in Badenoch and Strathspey.  Of course, we ask anyone experiencing issues with their water in future to contact us so our local team can investigate and take any action required.” 

If you would like to know more about water quality in your area, please visit our water quality search page.

Click here to view a video about Chloramination

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Scottish Water Presentation 1st June 2017

02/06/2017
1 MB PDF
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Presentation given by Peter Farrer to the Association of Cairngorm Communities on 1st June 2017
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Display information from Aviemore events

24/06/2016
449 KB PDF
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Display information from drop in events for Aviemore

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Presentation made to Highland Council

27/06/2016
3 MB PDF
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Presentation made to Highland Council Ward Forum on the 21 June 2016
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Aviemore - Loch Einich untreated water pre-February 2012

12/04/2016
8 KB XLSX
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Untreated water data from Loch Einich prior to February 2012.
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Aviemore Loch Einich treated water data pre-February 2012

12/04/2016
20 KB XLSX
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Water quality data from the Loch Einich (Blackpark) water treatment works prior to February 2012.

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Aviemore Water Treatment Works - untreated water data

12/04/2016
14 KB XLSX
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Untreated water data from the River Spey - February 2012 onwards.
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Aviemore Water Treatment Works - treated water data

12/04/2016
175 KB XLSX
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Treated water data from Aviemore Water Treatment Works - February 2012 onwards.

Chloramination Explained

Chloramination explained

17/07/2015
236 KB PDF
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This leaflet contains information on why chlorine is a safe way to disinfect water, where we sample, what chloramination is and why it is used.

Chlorine Explained

Chlorine explained

17/07/2015
236 KB PDF
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This leaflet describes why chlorine is a safe way to disinfect water, how we add chlorine, why you may be able to taste or smell chlorine in your water, what you can do about it and how it may affect pet fish.

Colour, Taste and Odour

Colour, taste and odour explained

17/07/2015
63 KB PDF
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This leaflet describes where we sample, causes of discoloured water and why your water may sometimes taste or smell different.

Water Treatment Explained

Water Treatment

17/07/2015
48 KB PDF
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This leaflet describes the different sources of raw water, where we sample and how we treat your water.

Water Quality Standards

Water Quality Standards

17/07/2015
243 KB PDF
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This leaflet explains where the water quality standards come from, where we sample and what we do if a test fails.

How Your Water Works

Your Water Explained

17/07/2015
273 KB PDF
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This leaflet explains where your water comes from, how we get water into your home, how and why we monitor the quality of your water and how you can use your water wisely.