Specialist divers drafted in to restore water supplies following sub-zero temperatures

Scottish Water

SCOTTISH Water has sent in specialist divers to help restore normal water supplies to over 20,000 customers in Inverclyde.

Recent sub-zero temperatures in the area turned snow into slush and ice which impacted the infrastructure at Greenock Water Treatment Works (WTW).

A team of six divers was drafted in from Edinburgh-based Harbour and Marine Divers to help Scottish Water’s operations team in what they said is some of the most challenging conditions they have ever encountered.

The team worked for more than eight hours to clear ice from the inlet screen of the WTW. They also helped to resolve issues caused by a frozen 900mm intake pipe which draws raw water from the reservoir so that it can be treated and delivered to customers’ taps.

One diver dived in a 40-foot-deep chamber with around 20 feet of water in to open a valve in the valve chamber and allow water to flow through an alternative intake pipe.

David Seales, Scottish Water’s water operations team manager in the west, and his team, worked in tandem with the divers to pinpoint the issues and restore supplies.

He said, “I’ve been working with Scottish Water for around 25 years now and in all those years I have never seen anything like this happen at an asset of this size.

“Under normal conditions, up to 525 litres of water flows through that intake pipe each second, so it was a phenomenal volume of water to have frozen. It was one of the most challenging situations I’ve ever come up against.”

“It was a fantastic team effort and I’d like to thank everyone involved for all of their hard work in such difficult conditions.”