A new water treatment works that will serve three small communities in North Harris was safely delivered yesterday (Tuesday July 16th) – by sea, beach and road.

The new Scottish Water plant was loaded on to a specialised barge at Kishorn on Monday, before crossing the Minch and sailing through the Sound of Harris to lie offshore at Huisinis.

With ideal weather conditions, the delivery on to the beach was achieved ahead of schedule at high tide on Monday evening, before a final short journey by road on Tuesday morning to its long-term home, west of the Gobhaig road junction.

The new treatment works – described by project manager Kathryn Auld as like ‘a big green shed’ – was manufactured by Ross-shire Engineering at their specialised factory in Muir of Ord, near Inverness.

Its installation is part of a longstanding commitment by Scottish Water to help meet the needs of rural and island communities, the company working with North Harris Trust on a £4.5 million investment to provide a single, improved water supply for the communities of Gobhaig, Beadersaig and Huisinis.

Scottish Water’s chief operating officer Peter Farrer said: “Scottish Water’s goal is to provide the same high level of service to our customers, no matter where they live in Scotland. This significant investment will replace two of our smallest water treatment works with a single, improved facility, capable of meeting high seasonal demand from visitors on a more reliable basis and accommodating future growth in the area.

“The unusual way in which the delivery has been achieved is a striking response to the particular circumstances of this very special location.”

Chairman of the North Harris Trust Calum Mackay said: “The water supply to these villages has not been sufficient to meet demand in recent years, particularly in Huisinis. Beadersaig will now receive mains water supply for the first time. The improved water supply will enable much needed housing and small business developments to take place.”

Scottish Water’s Project Manager Kathy Auld said: “The construction and testing of the new water treatment works in factory conditions brings major benefits, greatly reducing the time taken on site and the volume of extra traffic on the Huisinis road.

“The successful delivery of the treatment modules by road and sea is a major milestone for our team. I would like to thank everyone who has played a part, including local residents and the North Harris Trust for their patience while we were working over the last 24 hours.

“Once complete, the new works will enable us to make use of a good quality local water source in Loch Cnoc Mòr to provide both residents and visitors with an improved water supply for many years to come.”

Construction work on the project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The pictures show the new unit being delivered by barge to Huisnis beach and on the road ready for onward transportation to Gobhaig road end.