September 25, 2008

Wildlife Expert Backs Seabed Sewage Pipe


A WILDLIFE expert yesterday applauded Scottish Water for spending GBP3.8m to lay a sewage pipe on the seabed near Inverness to protect dolphins, seals and porpoises.

It is believed a toxic timebomb could have been building up in the mammals as a result of waste from North Kessock - a favourite point for spotting the bottlenose dolphins which visit regularly.

Previously, sewage from North Kessock was simply discharged into the waters under Kessock Bridge. Now pumping stations transfer the waste through a seabed pipeline to South Kessock where it enters the Inverness system.

Like the rest of the city's waste water, it is pumped to the treatment works at Allanfearn to be cleaned up, protecting the sensitive environment of the Moray Firth.

Leading wildlife writer and broadcaster Dr Kenny Taylor, who lives nearby on the Black Isle, said: "It's crucial that the area's population expansion doesn't mean a reduction of living standards for wildlife.

"What is known from across the world is that a lot of the pollution coming down our sewers is very slow acting and insidious."

"It starts with the plankton and goes up the chain to top predators like dolphins and porpoises. They build up the chemical nasties in their body fat and in the time of stress when they start to use their body fat they get hit with high-intensity toxins."

The 900-metre steel pipeline was welded together, floated out into the firth and sunk to the seabed with concrete weights.

Sheila Campbell-Lloyd, Scottish Water's regional manager for the Highlands, said: "We're proud of the role we play in protecting the Highlands We are also enabling economic development, allowing communities such as North Kessock to thrive."

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

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