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Plans for Water Treatment Works 15 October 2003

The Isle of Man Water Authority has today announced that it will apply for planning permission to build a new three-stage water treatment works on the site it owns on Homefield Road, Douglas.

Patrick Heaton-Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Authority commented:

As our original proposal for this site was refused at an Appeal Hearing earlier this year, we have re-designed the layout, specifically addressing the size and noise issues identified by the Independent Inspector. The new design incorporates an aesthetically pleasing set of smaller buildings with well-balanced proportions.

The Authority strongly believes that the new works design will have a minimal impact on neighbours to the site, including:

  • Ensuring the height is no greater than a 2 to 3 storey house
  • Breaking up the building into three separate structures to reduce the impression of size
  • The architects and engineers working together to produce a modern efficient works in an aesthetically pleasing design
  • Reducing the noise generated by the works when in operation
  • Landscaping the surrounding area to provide screening of the new buildings

Mr Heaton-Armstrong continued:

Since the announcement of the Appeal Hearing decision we have worked continuously to redesign the works, having been in regular consultation with all relevant Government Departments and associated bodies.

The most suitable site for the new works is, unquestionably, on Homefield Road, Douglas, on land we own adjacent to Glencrutchery Service Reservoir and close to the existing trunk mains system.

During the course of this month the Authority will host a series of informal presentations, inviting members of the Government, Parish Commissioners and representatives from large commercial organisations to see its proposals. It is also seeking constructive comments from neighbours and other interested parties to identify where the design might be improved. The invitation to view the new proposals is extended to the general public on Saturday 18th and 25th October between 12.00 noon and 2.00pm in the Conference Room at the Isle of Man Water Authority, Drill Hall, Tromode Road, Douglas.

At the end of this consultation phase the project team will be making whatever changes may be required and submitting the final proposal for planning permission during November 2003.

The new multi-million pound water treatment facility would replace the ageing Glencrutchery plant on Greenfield Road, Douglas. The proposed works has been designed to treat up to 37 million litres of water a day and meet stringent water quality standards in compliance with the EU Drinking Water Directive. Combined with the new works currently under construction at Sulby, the Authority would have the capacity to serve a population of up to 90,000.

Mr Heaton-Armstrong continued:

The old Glencrutchery Works processes 55% to 60% of the Island's drinking water and urgently needs to be replaced. The pipework and filters within the works were constructed in 1933 and their age, through 'embrittlement', makes them more susceptible to failure. We remain committed to improving the standards of service received by our customers and views the new Douglas water treatment works as a project of national strategic importance.

The current demand on our water supply system is putting the existing treatment works under significant strain. The works cannot remove all of the mineral deposits that occur from time to time in the raw water supply, resulting in an increasing number of complaints about discoloured water. Whilst such instances have not yet posed any risk to public health, we are not in a position to guarantee that this would be the case in the longer term.

We are keenly aware of the need to build a new water treatment works to provide adequate water supplies to meet the growing demand. If this project does get the green light from Planning, and we remain hopeful that it will, we promise to set a challenging programme to deliver the new works as quickly as possible. A realistic expectation for completion would be 2007/2008 at the earliest.

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