Saturday, 7 December 2013

Water, Water....

Over recent years, huge amounts of money have been spent upgrading to modern standards the water supply for Kilchoan, Ormsaigbeg and Ormsaigmore - there is talk of it costing in excess of £3 million.  We have new, plastic pipes, and a very modern water plant, including two large storage cylinders (top left in the picture), on the Abhainn Chro Bheinn to the northeast of the settlement.  The water doesn't come out of the pipes the warm, brown colour it used to, so having a bath looked as if one was liable to drown in whisky, and it doesn't make good tea, but it's very up-to-date.  The trouble with up-to-date water supplies is that they run on electricity rather than the gravity which ran the old one.

So, this morning, following Thursday's storm and power outage, we woke up to find we had no water in the taps.  The story appears to be that the automatic alarm went off at midnight, and the engineer who came out couldn't reset the system, so he had to call for help.  The water board was very good, sending out tankers and plenty of bottled water, and the supply was on by mid-morning, so no-one seems to have suffered from the inconvenience, but one does wonder whether 'modern' is always 'good'.


  1. Well, as the Dean of Porterhouse said: "They can improve things as much as they like; it doesn't make them any better."

  2. The same happened with Acharacle's brand new and hugely expensive all bells and whistles filtration system following the storm on 6th December 2011. The new switch gear and monitoring system was to rely on an emergency generator brought in should it be needed. With fallen trees blocking roads and no viable road access this was impossible to do. The generator could not reach the site. When it finally did arrive days later engineers could not get it to start. It took over 48 hours before water flowed again. Today, most possibly as a result - - of a direct letter sent to the CEO of Scottish water, there is a standby generator kept on site there all the time now. It provides 'in extremis' for the micro management of a 300 ft head of water for which gravity is no longer considered to be dependable ;-)