Posted: Friday 10th November 2023 - 15:45hrs


Following 10 days of intensive work to repair damaged coastal defences and complete preparatory activity, work has been completed ahead of programme to rebuild a 30 metre section of rising main sewer by Carnoustie Golf Links.

A section of the 1200mm diameter pipeline was washed away when stormy seas combined with high spring tides at the end of October. The pipeline and a series of pumping stations transport waste water along the Angus coast to Hatton Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW), located between Carnoustie and Arbroath. The pipeline and the WWTW are operated on Scottish Water’s behalf by Veolia under a PFI contract.

On Thursday and Friday, a team from Morrison Construction installed 40 metre-long sheet piles to provide enhanced protection to the pipeline repair, next to the restored and reinforced rock armour which has been built by Angus civil engineering contractor Geddes.

Sections of pipeline and other key supplies were delivered to the site in recent days to ensure that pipe-laying and coupling work could begin as soon as possible. As a result, the pipeline repair was able to begin earlier than anticipated and was completed this [Friday] morning.

With the missing section of pipeline restored, Geddes will resume work to reinstate the surrounding area of land that rapidly eroded after the sea broke through the coastal defences. Veolia’s operations team are in the process of gradually restoring normal flows to Hatton WWTW.

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: “Given the scale of the damage that had been wrought by the forces of nature less than two weeks ago, and the initially very challenging conditions, it is a huge credit to the whole team on site that we are able to start restoring flows via the pipeline today.

“We would like to recognise all the contractors on site for their efforts, as well as Angus Council and Carnoustie Golf Links for their support with this urgent repair.

“The work that has been done in the space of less than two weeks means that the pipeline is not just repaired, but better protected than before from the risk of future storm damage. Geddes will now continue with the reinstatement of the eroded area of land behind the coastal defences; and Veolia’s team will be focused over the days ahead on achieving a smooth return to normal operation.”

When the damage first occurred, flows through the pipeline were stopped immediately and there was no continuing pollution at the site while repairs took place. Storm tanks and screens were actively monitored to ensure they worked to settle and remove debris from the waste water, which was then discharged via outfalls to the Tay which are designed and licensed to operate in emergencies.

Scottish Water and Veolia are continuing to engage closely with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and other stakeholders in the local area. The damage to the pipeline coincided with a period of unsettled, stormy weather, with increased run-off from land and operation of storm overflows affecting water quality in the Tay. A similar impact on water quality is anticipated at Carnoustie, Monifieth and Broughty Ferry over the next 48 hours, but this will improve as the sewer network is returned to normal operation.

Less significant storm damage has also been identified to an outfall pipeline at Westhaven, by Carnoustie.  Engagement with Marine Scotland is in progress to arrange for this to be remedied as soon as possible, although the outfall is still functioning and will not need to operate outside of storm conditions following the repair to the main sewer.

Scottish Water’s spokesperson added:

“Following identification of separate damage part way along an outfall pipeline at Westhaven, we are seeking agreement for a repair to go ahead as soon as possible.

“The first priority to protect the environment remains ensuring a smooth return to normal operation for the main sewer and the Waste Water Treatment Works at Hatton.”

If you have experienced any issues and require support, please contact us on 0800 0778 778 or via one of the other methods on our contact us page.

Interruption to supply

When we are doing maintenance or repairs to the water network, you may experience cloudy or discoloured water. This video explains what to do if you are affected.

Burst Water Main FAQs

We are very sorry you have experienced an unplanned interruption to your water supply. In this event it is always our priority to restore the supply as soon as possible, regardless of the scale of the disruption. An unplanned interruption to your water supply is normally caused by a water mains pipe bursting on our network. We proactively manage our vast network of pipes, however unforeseen bursts do sometimes occur.
A water mains pipe burst can vary in size or complexity and other factors, such as traffic management or the location of the burst can affect the time to repair the pipe. The location and elevation of your property on our water network can also influence how soon the water will be restored to your property - for example the burst pipe may be repaired, but water has to recharge throughout the network. This means that properties at a higher elevation and/or further distance from the burst may take longer to receive full restoration of supply and pressure.
We update information on our website and social media channels on both Twitter and Facebook.
For households with combination boiler systems (normally operated without the need for a hot water storage unit) the central heating system should continue to operate as normal. However a hot water system, which is normally fed directly from the mains water supply, will not operate until the water supply is restored.
We usually restore water supplies within a reasonable time. However, if we are unable to do so, we will provide alternative water supplies. 
Scottish Water has a confidential service for Priority Services Customers that customers with additional needs can sign up to free of charge. Customers who require additional assistance may include the elderly, young children or those with a disability or medical condition that requires a constant supply of water. For more information about Priority Services Customers, please visit or call our Customer Helpline free on 0800 0778 778.

Discoloured Water FAQs

If you notice any unusual taste and odour, please contact us so we can carry out the necessary investigations to resolve this for you as soon as possible. For more information please see our factsheet: Colour, taste and odour explained.

If the water from your cold kitchen tap (or any other mains fed tap) suddenly becomes discoloured, this could be because some maintenance or repair work is being carried out on our network in your area. If we have not informed you of any work being carried out, please contact us for more details. If we are not working in your area, we will investigate the cause of discolouration for you and let you know. For more information please see our factsheet: Colour, taste and odour explained.

In most cases discoloured water is not harmful and can be cleared by running the first incoming cold water tap (usually in the kitchen) at a trickle until it clears. Very occasionally customers have noticed "tiny particles" or "bits" in their tap water. This can be caused by planned or unplanned work to the water supply network which causes natural sediment in the pipes to shift (quite often this is a dark red, brown colour).

Small dark grey or black particles can occasionally be caused if your pipework is made from lead. This is most likely if your house was built before 1970. For more information see our Lead and Your Water pages.

Useful Documents

Title Type Size Download
Unplanned Interruption to your Supply

This leaflet explains what to do if you have an unplanned interruption to your water supply

PDF 1 MB Download
Factsheet 4: Colour, Taste and Odour Explained

This leaflet describes where we sample, causes of discoloured water and why your water may sometimes taste or smell different.

PDF 971 KB Download