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Loch Ryan FAQs

Frequently Ask Questions

Why does the Loch Ryan area need a new WWTW (Waste Water Treatment Works)?

Improvements to the waste water discharges into Loch Ryan are necessary to satisfy the legal requirements of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and Shellfish Directive. This will result in significant improvements to the water quality and shellfish environment in Loch Ryan.

Why can’t the existing Leswalt Waste Water treatment facilities be upgraded instead?

Leswalt was considered as a stand alone treatment facility along with the other communities of Kirkcolm, Stranraer and Cairnryan. Evaluation of all of the options identified the current proposals as the best whole life cost as well as satisfying the other environmental, planning, third party and operational issues for the Loch Ryan cluster of schemes.

What is the provision for Cairnryan? Is it no longer part of the Loch Ryan scheme?

We discussed in great detail with Stena the various options for Cairnryan and we reached a solution which was to install a new pumping station at Cairnryan and then share a treatment works with Stena which will be sited in their new ferry terminal. The project was delivered as part of the new ferry terminal construction to the North of Cairnryan. This facility now performs enhanced waste water treatment including biological and UV treatment, thus delivering a very high quality of final effluent that will ensure the waters of Loch Ryan are protected.

What was the site selection process for the new WWTW?

As part of a detailed assessment for both WWTW site selection and outfall location a number of options were considered including cost, third party issues, environment, site constraints, operation and construction. 

Consultation with the relevant statutory bodies (such as Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Natural Heritage), non-statutory bodies (such as Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and National Trust for Scotland) and the local community was a key part of the process.

Why can’t the new treatment works be located in Stranraer?

A number of potential treatment works sites were identified, with appropriate outfall locations. The site on Smithy Hill best satisfies the selection criteria, including whole life cost.

What was the site selection process for the new outfall location?

A number of outfall locations were considered along the coast, both north and south of Portpatrick.  

Some were more suited to specific potential treatment works locations. The main considerations were:

•   Geology of the coastline
•   Accessibility for construction plant and equipment
•   Sufficient space for construction at the landward side of the construction
•   Availability of a fresh water supply to assist in drilling operations
•   Length of outfall pipeline to ensure 1:40 dilution in the sea water

•  Provisional cost for construction

The potential environmental impacts were also considered.

How can you assure us there will be no odour pollution from the new WWTW?

Appropriate odour control measures will be included at the key points in the process to ensure that odour is controlled to an acceptable level.  This is normally governed by restrictions in the planning conditions, and through a Code of Practice recently published by the Scottish Government.

What about noise, dust and vibration during construction?

The WWTW site is suitably distant from any houses to ensure any affects of construction have a minimal affect on local people.

There will be some disruption during the construction phase. Leslie MWH, our contractor, are mitigating noise as far as possible. The Environmental Health Department of the Council will enforce this. Leslie MWH will also limit dust and mud arising from construction.

What will be the impact on the environment?

The concept of the scheme is to remove continuous discharges of treated sewage from the sensitive water environment of Loch Ryan.  This will have a positive impact on the quality of water in Loch Ryan.  All the effluent from the four communities will receive biological treatment i.e. a greater level of treatment than is currently provided.  By discharging into the turbulent waters on the North Channel, the effluent will be effectively dispersed.

There will be temporary disruption during the construction phase of the scheme.  This is inevitable but all appropriate mitigation measures will be put in place to minimise the effect on the environment, businesses and local communities.

Will there be any disruption to the water supply or fluctuations in pressure as a result?

No, the work is on the waste water system and this is entirely separate from the water system.

When is the work scheduled to finish?

The latest estimate for work to be completed on the scheme is late 2012/early 2013.

How long will the construction works take and what will be the hours of work?

The main civil engineering phase of the construction works is likely to take 15 to 18 months and will be followed by installation of equipment and testing.  

The limits on hours are typically 08:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday for the treatment works site.  Some Saturday work may also take place with the agreement of the Council.  The precise limits on working hours are a condition of planning permission.

What Public Consultation will be carried out?

We have conducted a wide range of consultation activity in relation to this scheme, including: website with regular updates & online feedback; customer letters; leaflets; statutory notification; meeting with land owners/adjacent residents; response to queries; press statements; Stranraer & surrounding areas exhibition.  Our design proposals and planning application have both been subject to public consultation.

What about future operation? Who runs these facilities?

Scottish Water will operate and maintain the treatment works and all pumping stations.  Visits to the remote pumping stations will be relatively infrequent (perhaps once a week) but there will be daily attendance at the main treatment works site.  Operational activities are not likely to cause disturbance to residents.