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CAITHNESS & SUTHERLAND BOOST FROM 'VISION FOR THE HIGHLANDS'

15th December 2008

Scottish Water today 15 Dec 08 revealed the progress being made in Caithness & Sutherland with its 2010 Vision for the Highlands, the 200million campaign of improvements across the region.

By 2010 Scottish Water expects to have invested around 20million in Caithness & Sutherland since 2006. Drinking water supplies are being upgraded, environmental improvements are underway and long-term plans are being developed to support the future development of local communities. Customers can find out more and send comments by visiting a special website: www.scottishwater.co.uk/highlands2010

Sheila Campbell-Lloyd, Scottish Water's regional manager for the Highlands, said: "Across the Highlands we're already seeing the benefits of our investment - our 'vision' is becoming reality as communities receive clearer, fresher drinking water, we protect the superb natural environment and assist the local authority and developers with sustainable economic growth. During these challenging economic times Scottish Water's investment remains on track. We are committed to delivering these major improvements, along with a first class service, while keeping charges low."

Joanna Peebles, Scottish Water's Communities Manager for the Highlands, said: "During 2008 we have worked with local communities throughout Caithness & Sutherland to explain the benefits of what we are doing, and we were delighted with the response. Our investment has each community's interest at heart so we want local people to be involved. We look forward to continuing to work with the communities of Caithness & Sutherland in 2009."

INVESTMENT TO DATE

During 2007/08 Scottish Water invested 68.6million in the Highlands. In that time numerous projects made progress in Caithness & Sutherland:

Achmelvich
A 900,000 upgrade of the local drinking water supply has just got underway and is due for completion in the summer.

Altnaharra
A 1.7million upgrade of the drinking water production plant is nearing completion. The tiny community will then benefit from a more reliable supply.

Bonar Bridge
Improvements carried out this year included repairs to the pipeline from the loch into the drinking water production plant and new membrane filters to ensure clear, fresh supplies.

Dornoch
A 3.7million upgrade of the drinking water production plant is nearing completion. This will improve the capacity of the system and ensure clearer, fresher supplies. Meantime 500,000 is being invested in renewing numerous water mains in and around Dornoch.

Durness
An 800,000 package of improvements to the local drinking water supply began in 2007 and was recently completed.

Golspie/Helmsdale
The drinking water production plant at Backies, which supplies both Golspie and Helmsdale, has received investment to replace membrane filters to ensure supplies remain clear and fresh.

Kinlochbervie
2.9million is being invested in this remote north-west community to ensure clear, fresh drinking water at the turn of a tap. Work is due to be complete in the coming months.

Lairg
An 850,000 investment at the local waste water treatment works, completed earlier this year, has helped protect the quality of the water in Little Loch Shin, and in turn the famous Falls of Shin.

Lochinver
Work is getting underway on a 300,000 upgrade of the drinking water supply. The improvements should be complete by the end of the year.

Melness
This scattered crofting community on the North Coast will soon benefit from connection to the regional drinking water supply from Loch Calder in Caithness. The old system struggles to supply a consistent quality. Connection involves laying a pipeline across the Kyle of Tongue. Progress on this was halted for a few days in the autumn when a newborn seal pup was discovered on the pipeline route. The new water is due to be in supply in the spring or summer of this year.

Scourie
Work has just begun on a 2.5million drinking water production plant to improve supplies in this part of north-west Sutherland. It is expected to be complete by the end of 2009.

Wick
A 320,000 investment to help prevent sewage flooding in the Harbour Quay area of Wick was completed earlier this year, benefiting local householders and businesses.

Additional storage tanks have been installed at Toftcarl to increase the capacity of the drinking water supply for Wick. This ensures plentiful supplies for future growth and improves reliability for existing customers.

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