Gairloch residents left “frustrated” by Scottish Water proposals

Gairloch Beach

BY MICHAEL RUSSELL

As Scottish Water press ahead with installing a septic tank outflow at Gairloch in Wester Ross, residents are hoping that the local beach gains bathing water designation.

If the Scottish Environment Protection Agency approve their application then the utility will be forced to introduce secondary treatment to filter the water, rather than just relying on an outfall pipe at Fasaich.

An information day was held by the utility in the village hall last week, and community council secretary Fran Cree said locals were left “frustrated” that Scottish Water are not listening to their concerns. A state-of-the-art membrane system was installed 20 years ago but it is supposedly too expensive to run.

“Scottish Water call the new treatment system investing £800,000 into the community – but the community didn’t call it that,” Ms Cree added. “They are through the planning stage for the septic tanks and are now awaiting SEPA’s decision to change their Controlled Activities Regulation licence. The community council has objected strongly to this and so have quite a few others. If SEPA goes ahead and grants license we can appeal to the Scottish Government.”

Locals have to submit photographic evidence of the popularity of the beach by the autumn, but Ms Cree said that so far the “weather hasn’t been playing ball”.