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Construction commences on ‘crucial local infrastructure upgrade’

Construction works have commenced on the installation of a new section of rising foul sewer main between Pickaquoy Road and Ayre Road, including crossing a section of the Peedie Sea.

Orkney Builders (Contractors) Limited have begun the installation of a new section of sewer rising main, removing these flows from part of Kirkwall’s existing gravity sewer network between Pickaquoy Road and Ayre Road via Great Western Road.

The company says the installation of this new infrastructure is required to increase as well as provide resilience to the town’s foul water capacity by re-routing the incoming flows at the existing Glaitness wastewater pumping station directly to Ayre Road wastewater pumping station.

The upgrade will facilitate the continuing growth of Kirkwall, particularly to the western periphery of the town, according to Orkney Builders. The works involve the installation of approximately 450m of pipe, beginning at the existing rising main on Pickaquoy Road and tying into the existing system adjacent to the Ayre Roundabout.

Two sections of the main will also be submerged within the Peerie Sea itself, with works having been programmed to avoid the winter period when it is of greatest importance to birdlife. Works are being carried out in partnership with Heddle Construction, with a scheduled completion in late summer.

Stephen Kemp, managing director of Orkney Builders, said: 

“After a number of years of collaboration with Scottish Water, we are pleased to be commencing works to this crucial local infrastructure upgrade. The process to find a way forward has taken time, reflecting the complex and technical nature of the work involved, but we are grateful for the positive consultation with all agencies involved to ensure all aspects have been considered in the design, including engineering and environmental challenges as well as careful consideration being given to minimising the impact to members of the public during construction.”

Scottish Water’s general manager for Development Services Mark Hunter said: 

“Our team has worked hard with developers and our other partners in Orkney over recent years to find a way to support continuing growth in Kirkwall. We understand the importance of this to the whole community’s future and have done all we can to support a solution, while also protecting the vital service we provide to our existing customers.”