Water, water everywhere after reservoir increase

Bill Elliot, Community Team Manager; Alex Fergusson MSP
Bill Elliot, Community Team Manager; Alex Fergusson MSP

A major project to increase the capacity of the reservoir which serves high-quality drinking water to communities throughout Wigtownshire has been completed.

Scottish Water has invested £8 million at Penwhirn reservoir to help provide an increasingly secure supply of drinking water for customers well into the future.

This has seen the storage capacity of the reservoir – which supplies drinking water in areas including Stranraer, Leswalt, Portpatrick, Newton Stewart and Creetown – increased by almost 40% by raising the height of the dam by 1.5m.

Penwhirn Water Treatment Works has also been extended and upgraded, including new process stream, pumps and pipework modifications. This will increase the water treatment works capacity by 1.2 million litres per day (MLD) to a total of 17.2MLD to meet increased demand for water.

Alex Fergusson MSP, who visited the reservoir on Monday, said: “We tend to take water for granted but, without this type of major investment, water shortages would inevitably be more common.”

Penwhirn sits within a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and so it was important to devise environmental and mitigation plans to protect wildlife in the area such as otters and water voles during construction.

A labyrinth weir – which has a trapezoidal-shaped wall to provide the maximum possible length – was installed to help control the flow of water and provide rapid relief after heavy rainfall.