TROQUEER residents in Dumfries can look forward to the end of more than 20 years of stinking misery as the latest phase of a £10 million project to upgrade a waste water treatment works has been completed.
Scottish Water’s investment at the plant will increase the treatment capacity, provide a new sludge treatment system and reduce odours – putting an end to years of misery for locals who had to live with a lingering pong.
One resident, Tom Irvine, who campaigned for an upgrade of the ageing plant, said: “There has certainly been a big improvement since the work was carried out. I’ve lived here for more than 50 years and the smell was horrendous at times.
“With the amount of money that’s been spent carrying out the work, there’s no reason why we should have to put up with a smell like that again. I really hope it’s gone for good.”
The existing odour control system is water-based and can be affected by changes in temperature. The new system will treat odours arising from the new enclosed treatment facility by venting these through biological treatment filters, reducing odour.
Dr Elaine Murray MSP, who has received numerous complaints from residents over the years, visited the site to see he project’s progress.
She said: “Over the years, Scottish Water has made a variety of changes to the Troqueer treatment works in an effort to improve odour control and reduce the nuisance to people living in nearby houses.
“I am delighted that the latest changes in the design of the plant will not only make the control of odours much less sensitive to changes in weather conditions but will almost double the capacity of the works. This means that developments in Dumfries will not in the foreseeable future be limited by waste water treatment capacity as it has on occasions in the past.
“A very positive benefit of the new plant from an environmental point of view is that sludge – the majority of which previously went to landfill – can now be sterilised and safely used for soil improvement and as a valuable fertiliser.”
The works treats the population equivalent of 30,000 – the investment means this total will climb to 50,000. The new Dumfries College which recently moved to the Crichton campus is served by the works.
Dominic Flanagan, project manager for Scottish Water Solutions, said: “The project has been progressing smoothly and we have been keeping the community informed by briefing local councillors and sending letters to local residents. We are keeping work at the site to daylight hours and moving traffic in and out of the site at non-peak times.”
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