Clear Water Tank Construction Site
Clear Water Tank Construction Site
Clear Water Tank Construction Site
Clear Water Tank Construction Site

Clear Water Tank Construction - October 2021

Progress pictures of the construction of the clear water tank at Howden, near Selkirk

Project Overview

Scottish Water are investing £30 million in the water network supplying Galashiels, Selkirk and the surrounding area.  The project will deliver improved treatment processes and a more resilient supply to over 20,000 households and businesses across several towns and villages including Selkirk, Galashiels, Melrose, Lauder, Fountainhall and Newton St Boswells. The project will also deliver environmental benefits. 

This project is required for a number of reasons

  • Manse Street Water Treatment Works has come to the end of its serviceable life; 
  • The Caddon Water has been identified by SEPA as being impacted by our abstractions and; 
  • We want to improve the resilience of the local network

New water treatment processes

The treatment processes at the Howden Water Treatment Works have been changed to enable it to supply the whole area.


Part of this change was the introduction of a new water treatment process, chloramination, for customers in Selkirk, Melrose, Lauder Earlston, Tweedbank and Galashiels. Customers supply was changed over in March 2020.  Customers served by Manse Road Works will be changed over later in 2023 - we will be writing to those affected ahead of this taking place.

Chlorine has been used for many years to keep water safe after it leaves water treatment works and travels along the network of pipes on its way to homes and businesses.  

The chloramination process lasts longer in the pipe distribution system than using chlorine on its own, so there is no need to add further chlorine along the network of pipes meaning levels of chlorine in the water are reduced. 

Chloramination has been used in the water industry throughout the UK for many years as a reliable and effective way to disinfect water to ensure it is safe to drink.

Please see the links below for more information on Chloramination:

Another part of this involves adding new membrane filters. It will enable us to provide clearer, fresher water than ever before.

These filters will force over 14million litres a day through 0.4 micrometre wide straws - 25 times narrower than the thickness of cling film

This will not impact on the taste of your water.  

Howden Clear Water Tank

Drone footage showing construction progress

New clear water tank

Work started on the new clear water tank in June 2020.

A Clear Water Tank stores water once it has been treated and monitors the quality before it goes into supply. It provides additional strength in the network by providing enough storage to supply the area if there any issues elsewhere in the network.

The new water storage tank is capable of holding nearly 5 Olympic sized swimming pools worth of water.

It is sympathetically landscaped in to the hillside next to the A7 – with all excavated material reused for landscaping.