Scottish Water failings slammed

SCOTTISH Water has been slammed for badly handling an incident which resulted in thousands of homes being supplied with drinking water containing high levels of aluminium.

Water from Burncrooks Water Treatment Works, near Bearsden, was affected leaving 12,000 households in Bearsden, Strathblane and Milngavie without safe drinking water for two days, from March 18 to 19.

Scottish Water advised householders not to use tap water for drinking or cooking after high levels of aluminium - 20 times over the legal standard - were detected overnight on March 17.

A subsequent investigation by the Drinking Water Quality Regulator has criticised Scottish Water for operational failures, including an inability “to spot the potential for the incident to occur and use appropriate technical expertise to respond quickly and reduce its impact” and taking too long to notify affected consumers.

It also said Scottish Water failed to take accurate measurements of aluminium concentrations at the treatment works and in the distribution system.

A spokesman for the regulator said: “This incident is extremely disappointing and should not have been allowed to occur.

“Although it is likely that any risk to health was minimal, a large number of people were greatly inconvenienced.

“We know Scottish Water can do much better than this and we want the company to make sure that it does whatever is necessary to prevent a repeat of this incident here or anywhere else in Scotland.”

The regulator has made 17 recommendations for future improvements.

Scotish Water’s Margaret McGuinness said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused to customers by the incident. We take our responsibility to provide high quality drinking water to our customers very seriously and, across Scotland, drinking water quality has never been higher, with 99.86 per cent of samples in 2010-11 having met strict standards.”

Mountain bike nicked

A LADIES mountain bike worth £460 was stolen some time between 6pm last Wednesday and 7.30pm on Saturday from Chapleton Gardens, Bearsden. The thief forced open a garage door to take the bike which is charcoal, white and silver