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Water treatment resumes at Kirbister following clean-up operation

Booms put in place at Kirbister earlier this week.

KIRBISTER Water Treatment Works, which serves about 7300 properties in parts of Orkney, has resumed normal operation following a pollution incident affecting Kirbister Loch.

Scottish Water earlier closed the operation of the water works, which receives raw water from the loch, on Monday, following the fuel pollution from a privately owned damaged tank close to a burn which runs into the loch.

The water treatment works was closed as a precautionary measure while investigations, including enhanced water sampling, were carried out and steps taken to prevent any further spread of the pollution.

Customer supplies were unaffected because Scottish Water had enough treated drinking water stored within its network for the duration of the incident.

Kes Juskowiak, Scottish Water’s water operations general manager, said today, Friday: “Our teams have been working since the first reports to contain and clean up the pollution affecting the Loch of Kirbister.

“We have continued to supply safe drinking water to customers from storage tanks within the network and are pleased to have now returned the water treatment works to normal operation.”

The water treatment works serves properties in the East Mainland of Orkney, including Kirkwall, Finstown and Orphir, as well as the islands of Shapinsay, Burray and South Ronaldsay.

Scottish Water launched a massive operation to mitigate and resolve the issue, including re-zoning water networks, mobilising additional water supplies, and deploying booms on the loch.

While clean-up efforts got under way, the water treatment works was shut down and drinking water was supplied from storage capacity within the Orkney network.

Close monitoring of raw water quality has shown improvement since the pollution incident occurred and the water treatment works has now resumed operation, added Scottish Water.