A complex operation to put a new water treatment plant in place will close part of the road to Huisinis in North Harris next Tuesday morning (July 16th).

Scottish Water are installing a new Transportable Treatment Unit (TTU) at Bedersaig water treatment works, using sea-going transport as well as large road vehicles.

Project manager Kathy Auld says the TTU itself simply looks like ‘a big green shed’ and has been planned in conjunction with land owners the North Harris Trust as part of a £4.5 million investment by Scottish Water to provide a single, improved water supply for Gobhaig and Huisinis. Planning consent for the development was granted by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in February this year, with work beginning on site soon after. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The unit was built by Ross-shire Engineering in Muir of Ord, near Inverness, and will travel by sea from Kishorn to the North Harris coast.

Kathy Auld told welovestornoway.com: “"The unit replaces two existing small Water Treatment Works for Huisinis and Gobhaig. The new water main to connect the two communities will also pass Bedersaig, where there are a handful of houses. This will enable growth in the area because there will be a more reliable water supply from Loch Cnoc Mòr and sufficient treatment capacity to enable new customers to connect if they wish to do so.

“We have made efforts to keep disruption for the local community to a minimum, including by constructing the new treatment works off-site, with this single key delivery replacing what would otherwise have been many journeys to and from the site with a traditional approach to construction.”

The new treatment works is due to arrive at Huisinis sands by barge at around 8am, from where it will be lifted onto a low-loader for transport by road.

The road from Gobhaig road end to Huisinis will be closed between 8am and 4pm, and at the Bunavoneader junction notices will be placed to advise drivers of the closure before they embark on the road. Scottish Water hope work will be completed and the road re-opened ahead of time, but have planned for all contingencies to ensure the work is managed well.

Kathy said: “We have done our best to make sure anyone affected knows that this is happening, with notices at ferry terminals, North Harris Trust office and tourist sites. There will be no vehicle access and a cordon will be in place to ensure public and contractor safety, but BBC Alba will film the operation and it’s likely it will feature on An Là later in the day.”