Water Problems

4 March 2007



Water is not a commodity that Lismore normally lacks in winter but the residents of Achnacroish and the pupils of Lismore Primary School have recently had only an intermittent supply although, for the time being, it has been restored.  


The problem is twofold:  the supply is very old and it has not been maintained regularly. It was during the Second World War when the army were camped at Newfield that it was originally installed. Later, when the first council houses were built in 1950, they were connected to it and then the Lismore Primary school was added in the late 1960s. Such was the volume of the supply that when the second phase of council houses was built at Lorne view in 1975 an extra tank was added, and all went well for a time. But unfortunately the supply has never been updated and with one house being let by Argyll Community Housing Association, 2 by West Highland Housing Association, and the rest now privately owned, there is a great deal of doubt about who carries overall responsibility.


As far as the school is concerned problems have been on going for years and keeping the filtration working so that water is potable for the children, has been a huge problem for both the school and Argyll and Bute Property Services. During this latest crisis, when the school was closed for one day and without water for a week, Argyll and Bute have supplied bottled water and head teacher Freda Macgregor said that without their constant attention and efforts the school would have been closed a great deal more. They now have their own line from the source which is hoped to will give them a permanent supply in the meantime.


Above and below...the affected areas




Ironically it is during all this that Scottish Water have begun to install an underwater pipe from Port Appin to Point in response to the Scottish Executive’s demand that all schools in Scotland have a good and safe water supply. This is not popular as islanders feel that the exorbitant cost of this supply, which will serve only the school, could have been much better spent providing a state of the art water treatment plant for all at Achnacroish.


 Scottish Water installing the controversial pipe

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