Significant engineering challenges are being overcome by Scottish Water during key stages of a £120 million investment in the drinking water network. Construction is being undertaken to install a strategic water main that will benefit more than 200,000 people in Ayrshire and parts of East Renfrewshire
The first phase of the project is the installation of a 13 mile-long section of water main from near Newton Mearns to the Fenwick/Waterside area.
The route of this section of main goes over mainly farmland and open moorland, and starts at Waulkmill Glen reservoir near Newton Mearns in the north and goes south to Amlaird water treatment works near Fenwick, with branches to the South Moorhouse and Corsehouse water treatment works.
During installation, Caledonia Water Alliance, partners to Scottish Water, have been tunnelling under the Neilston railway line near Barrhead, as no alternative crossing method was available. There were no local roads with sufficient access, width or height to enable normal open excavation methods to be used. After site investigation and liaison with Network Rail, work was started in late July/early August.
Using a TBM, Scottish Water is installing two parallel sections of concrete water main, each 85m long beneath the railway line to the south of Barrhead. The TBM is about 5m long and is remotely operated by a team at ground level. A further 2.5 mile stretch of water main is being installed across peat bogland.
“The work on the peatland on Fenwick Moor, and under the railway line near Barrhead, have presented us with major engineering challenges but we have met or are meeting those challenges head-on and progressing well with this important first phase of the overall project,” said Stewart Davis, Scottish Water’s Programme Manager.
Scottish Water announced in December 2015 that it would improve the water supply network by installing more than 30 miles of new water mains to connect the system in Ayrshire with the Greater Glasgow area’s network. This will enable Scottish Water to provide customers with greater security of supply and to respond more effectively to operational issues such as burst water mains and so minimise disruption to customers.
The other sections of new mains to be constructed will be about 13 miles from the Fenwick Waterside area to Dundonald in South Ayrshire and a section of about six miles from the Pollok area to a reservoir storage tank in the south of Glasgow.