Case Study: Scottish Water


Support Scottish Water as they undertake one of the country’s largest construction ventures; from site selection through planning, to construction and operation.

Our Approach

Scottish Water is Scotland’s publicly owned drinking water and sewerage services provider. It has just completed a flagship project to replace Victorian water treatment works that supplied 700,000 people in Glasgow with drinking water from Loch Katrine. The new works were required to ensure that the water meets European Union drinking water quality standards.  Work on this US$250 million project began in 2000 and it will be formally opened this year.

ERM was involved in all stages of the project – from site selection, through planning and construction to reinstatement. 

Environmental factors were a key consideration given the scale of the project and locational needs (it was this constraint that required a sensitive environmental treatment). ERM worked with Scottish Water and its design and engineering partners to assess location and design options through as series of ‘value engineering’ workshops.  A key decision that was made at the workshops was to select a site that would enable the building to be partially buried and naturally screened from public view.  Although this option was more costly than a traditional Water Treatment Works building it provided the best value to Scottish Water due to the environmental benefits it provided.
ERM completed an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a series of planning and listed building applications. Although the chosen location was well screened by mature trees it was in a popular recreational area which led to a high level of local objections.  ERM worked with Scottish Water’s communication team to support stakeholder consultations and resolve the main objections.

With planning permission granted, ERM helped develop an environmental management plan to implement the planning authority’s Legal Agreement and 55 Planning Conditions.  ERM continued to provide support through construction, conducting site audits and monitoring.

Benefits and Value

Scottish Water’s flagship project was the country’s largest construction venture at the time. Completed more than two months ahead of schedule and US$20 million under budget, it won a prestigious Utility Industry Achievement Award.

Improved filtration has reduced Cryptosporidium risk and a modern water treatment works has improved supply security.

Following this project’s success, ERM is now engaged in Scottish’s Water’s project to upgrade the drinking water supply to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.  An EIA has been produced and planning approved.  Construction is planned to start in mid-2008.

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