Project Overview

Scottish Water is investing to upgrade Ardersier Waste Water Treatment Works. The work will enable the WWTW to meet the needs of new homes and businesses in the area - including at Tornagrain, Inverness Airport and Castle Stuart - while protecting and enhancing the marine environment of the Moray Firth.

What are we doing?

For around 40 years, Scottish Water has operated a waste water treatment works at a site outside Ardersier. This essential facility is used to treat waste water collected from the village, as well as from homes and the businesses in the wider area - including Inverness Airport and a number of small settlements including Tornagrain and Fort George. Once the waste water has been treated at the works, it is safely returned to the environment via an outfall pipe to the Moray Firth.

Scottish Water is delivering improvements to our essential waste water infrastructure in the area to meet the needs of new housing and economic growth in the area, while protecting and enhancing the environment of the Moray Firth. 

We are doing this through:

  • An expansion of the existing waste water treatment works within Scottish Water’s land to enable the facility to process an increased volume of waste water as a result of the development taking place in the area.
  • The installation of a new underground pipeline to transfer waste water from the areas of new development to Ardersier Waste Water Treatment Works. This element of the project was completed in 2018.
  • The installation of ultra-violet (UV) treatment equipment within the existing Waste Water Treatment Works site. This element of the project was completed in 2017 and improves the disinfection of the final effluent which is returned to the Moray Firth. The main reason for this improvement is to protect the bottlenose dolphins and help improve the quality of the water in the Moray Firth.
  • The extension of the existing outfall pipe, east of Fort George, by 300 metres to take the final effluent further out to sea and into deeper water. this element of the project was completed in 2019.

The below map shows the route of existing and new pipes in the area:

Adersier Investment Map

Latest Update

Planning consent

It was drawn to our attention in Spring 2020, during the period when work on site was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that a tank structure and associated access gantry that had recently been built were not in compliance with the earlier planning consent. Scottish Water apologises for this failure to comply with the planning consent. 

A planning application was submitted to enable this and two further design variations to be resolved appropriately via the planning process. At its meeting on 3rd November 2020, The Highland Council's South Planning Applications Committee deferred consideration of the recent application to allow further engagement with the Community Liaison Group (CLG) to take place and to request further information from Scottish Water.

At meetings in November, December and January, the CLG provided feedback and Scottish Water has carried out work in response, focused on lowering the taller structures where we can without significant adverse effect on the site’s operation; and otherwise mitigating their visual impact. Further detail of the discussions with the CLG and revised design proposals are available from the project's document library.

After inviting feedback from the wider community during February, Scottish Water submitted its revised proposals to The Highland Council. Planning consent for the revised design proposals has now been granted and work is underway.

You can view the recent planning application by entering the reference "20/02401/FUL" at The Highland Council ePlanning Portal.

If you would like to view the earlier main planning permissions and other related documents for the site, the reference for the main application for the expansion of the water water treatment works is "10/02007/FUL" and the reference for the the installation of ultra-violet treatment is "16/02464/FUL".

In parallel with the planning process, Scottish Water carried out an internal review to ensure the cause of the non-compliance with the original planning consent was properly understood and that action was taken to address the risk of a similar situation recurring. The findings of the review are available from the project's document library and all actions identified are being implemented.


C1005 road closure arrangements

The Traffic Management Plan is currently in operation, including the use of the C1005 for all Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) construction traffic travelling to and from the Waste Water Treatment Works, using a convoy system.

Following ongoing engagement about the operation of the Traffic Management Plan, it was agreed with the Highland Council that the road closure on the C1005 will remain in place during periods when Scottish Water is using the route for construction traffic, but that the road will be open outside these times. Normally, when the road is open, the road closure signs and barriers will be placed to the side of the road; however, for longer periods when the road is not expected to be in use for HGV construction traffic, the signage may be removed. 

When the road closure is not operating, the 30mph speed limit remains in force for all traffic using the route.  Should Scottish Water's contractor need to bring in a vehicle via the C1005 at any time, the barriers and road closure would be put in place to allow this to happen.

Ardersier Community Liaison Group

The aim of the Community Liaison Group is to minimise any negative impact and maximise the positive impact on the local community.  

The group will provide feedback and guidance on Scottish Water’s programme of engagement and communication with the local community, elected representatives and other stakeholders throughout the construction element of the approved projects. 

This will facilitate feedback and enable informed debate that will help Scottish Water identify areas of concern, explore solutions, aid communication and progress the projects.

Group membership
Chair: Kevin Reid

The Highland Council: Councillor Roderick Balfour, Councillor Trish Robertson, Councillor Glynis Sinclair
Ardersier and Petty Community Council: Christine Wood, Jenn Maylin
The Ardersier Foundation: Lesley Smith, Abigail Reardon
Ardersier Community Support Group: Tricia Macpherson, Mya Chemonges
Scottish Water: Gavin Steel, Corporate Affairs Manager (North)
ESD: Graeme Campbell, Project Manager

The Community Liaison Group welcomes feedback from residents in the village.  Comments or questions can be sent to or to any of the members of the group.

The minutes from each meeting are published once reviewed and approved by members at the following meeting. All minutes and other project documentation can be found by following this link: All meeting minutes and other related documentation