SCOTTISH Water has promised that the former work site at Ardbeg Point will be fully restored to its former condition after renewed concerns were expressed about the state of the area.
The site was used as the base for the utility company’s work on connecting Ardbeg and Port Bannatyne to the Rothesay sewerage network, carried out by contractor George Leslie and now fully in operation.
But after a site meeting last week, local councillor Robert Macintyre asked Scottish Water and George Leslie to agree a way forward as quickly as possible.
“It is now a bog,” Cllr Macintyre said, “and obviously will not dry out until the spring.
“I have offered to plough the area, but this might be difficult, as what we have now is soil on top of a hard pan, and drainage is now difficult.
“I think the best remedy would be turfing the area.
“I do not know what that would cost, but the commitment given to the Ardbeg people when they agreed to allow Ardbeg Point to be used as Leslie’s depot was that the Point would be returned to its original condition when the works were finished.”
Concern has also been raised at the condition of the road along the Ardbeg shore, from Burn Lane to Wyndham Road, which was not dug up during the work and is now severely rutted and potholed as a result, having been used as an access route by the heavy vehicles involved in the work.
Cllr Macintyre added: “George Leslie made a very good job of installing the sewage pipes and their reputation is held in quite high esteem by the people who were inconvenienced, from North Bute School to the sailing club in Rothesay.
“It would be a pity if this was somewhat tarnished if the unavoidable damage which has been caused by the works is not properly remedied.”
Scottish Water’s project manager Eddie Burns said: “Hydroseeding at Ardbeg and Port Bannatyne has been completed, and an initial stone pick got under way on Monday for the washed up material in the top soil.
“Fences have been secured after the high winds of last Thursday. The fences will remain in place until next spring and this will give the grass the best opportunity to grow. Further work will be carried out in the spring.
“We are liaising with Argyll and Bute Council’s roads department about any possible remedial work on road surfaces, if required.
“We can assure residents that the area will be fully reinstated to the condition it was in before the work started.”
Jane McKenzie, Scottish Water’s regional community manager for the area, said: “We would again like to thank local people for their support and patience during this project.
“We know they will welcome the project’s completion, and we are sure they will appreciate that any short-term disruption is far outweighed by the long-term benefits that this key project is now delivering to the area.”
Scottish Water has completed the project, which cost close to £5 million, ahead of schedule, and the new system, which pumps and transfers waste water to the Rothesay system, is now in operation.
The project, which started in January of this year, has stopped untreated sewage from being discharged into the sea from 13 unscreened outfalls.
Three pumping stations were installed along with a new gravity sewer and rising main.