Upgrade water work finishes this month

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Scottish Water’s £4.6 million investment to upgrade Oban’s water network should be finished by the end of this month.

Nearly one and a half miles of new pipes will have been laid, with tunnelling work carried out beneath a railway line during the complex project that began in 2020.

News that the work to provide people with clear, fresh drinking water is on track to finish soon will be especially welcomed by people living in Soroba.

It was brought up at this week’s Oban Community Council that the work could have been finished quicker if a full working week was put in.

Soroba resident George Berry told the meeting it seemed work only took place three days a week. Parking has also been a serious problem with spaces being taken up by works-related traffic.

Community council convener Marri Malloy said after the meeting: ‘Soroba is choc-a-bloc with residents cars as it is. The workers have had to park their vehicles somewhere but it means residents have been double-parking and that’s caused issues and worries about emergency vehicles getting through if they needed.’

In November 2020, The Oban Times reported how people on the estate felt like ‘snubbed second-rate citizens’ after notice to dig up their roads was given just days before work was due to start replacing  pipework between Colonsay Terrace and
the junction of McCaig Road and the A816.

The essential work scheduled to take six months – just for that initial phase of the upgrade project, had to be put off after residents complained they were not consulted first.

The next phases saw an operation to tunnel underneath the railway line from the edge of Oban High School all weather pitches to the car park at Shuna Terrace which involved round-the-clock drilling – people nearby were carefully communicated with and there was no impact on the railway line, said Scottish Water’s corporate affairs regional manager Georgina Reid.

The final phase involves the installation of an extra 500 metres of new pipes, right up to
the Tullich water treatment works.

The new re-routed water main will help reduce the risk of flooding in the
Soroba area, which has experienced significant bursts, causing flooding to customer
properties for a number of years.

The project was being delivered on behalf of Scottish Water by Caledonia Water Alliance.