Throughout the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, we have continued to work around the clock to keep customers supplied with water and treat the country's waste water, while ensuring the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers are effectively managed in line with the Government’s advice. 

In response to the latest guidance, reflecting the need to prioritise investment that is considered essential to the delivery of public services, we have established a regular review to identify projects that fall into this category.  This has identified the need to restart our work on the Manse Street project in Galashiels in order to provide an improved and more resilient supply to over 20,000 households and businesses across the central Borders.

Work to complete the final 1.5km of pipeline through private land started on Monday 4th May. We have also written to the small number of  nearby residents to inform them of this work.

We are also starting work on the Clear Water tank part of the project with site re-mobilisation starting on Monday 8th June.  We expect construction to take around 15 months in total. 

To find out more about Scottish Water's response to the Coronavirus, click here.

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

We are changing the treatment processes at the Howden Water Treatment Works to enable it to supply the whole area.


Part of this change is the introduction of a new water treatment process, chloramination, for customers in Selkirk, Melrose, Lauder Earlston, Tweedbank and Galashiels. Customers will have their supply changed over from March 2020.  

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. 

Customers living in an area where the supply is being changed will have received notification by postcard. 

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:

The change over will be done in two phases with customer served by the Howden water treatment works being changed at the end of Feburary (Phase 1) and those served by the Manse Street works (Phase 2) being changed at a later date. To see which phase your postcode is included in please refer to this spreadsheet.

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. 

We will be keeping customers updated throughout these changes. 

New clear water tank

Work on this is starting 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 will be sympathetically landscaped in to the hillside next to the A7 – with all excavated material being reused for landscaping.

3D model images of construction of new clear water tank:

Howden WTW Upgrade 3D Model

Howden WTW Upgrade 3D Model

Howden WTW Upgrade 3D Model

Overview Map of Investment (click to see large image):

Investment Map