A MASSIVE 'overland' sewer pipe will be in place across a Three Towns beauty spot this summer as water company bosses try to solve problems with the waste pipe network in the area.

Scottish Water says it plans to pump £4 million into a solution after several bursts in the sewer network in Saltcoats and Stevenston last year.

A faulty main at a pumping station in Saltcoats forced the emergency discharge of sewage into the sea in nearby Stevenston in June 2022 - prompting a bathing water warning.

A member of the public reported a "huge hole" in the banking between the slaughterhouse and the sewage works behind Canal Street, with waste water rising up and flooding on to the golf course.

READ MORE: Bathing water warning issued after sewage discharge in Stevenston (first published in June 2022)

The 'overland' pipe, construction of which has already begun, will be a temporary arrangement while Scottish Water carries out re-lining of the underground network, which runs from the Saltcoats pumping station past Sandylands Caravan Park and Auchenharvie Golf Club.


The utility company says the re-lining of the underground network will make it significantly less liable to more bursts in the future.


Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The overland pipe running through Auchenharvie Golf Club.The overland pipe running through Auchenharvie Golf Club. (Image: Scottish Water)

Georgina Reid, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs manager for the west of the country, said: “There have been several bursts on this part of the sewer network throughout 2022.

“We have accelerated a significant investment package to upgrade just over a kilometre of existing pipe on the most burst-prone section of the rising main.

“The work will improve the resilience of the network, drastically reducing the likelihood of further bursts as well as protecting the environment and local bathing beaches.”

The temporary overland pipe is made up of 12-metre-long sections bolted together. Once completed, it will carry the flows from the pumping station while the underground sewer is re-lined.

Access pits will be excavated at strategic points along the route of the existing sewer to allow the lining material to be fed down and drawn through the centre of the pipe.

Ms Reid added: “This is a tried and tested method that avoids digging up the entire length of sewer and all the associated costs and disruption that would involve.

“We appreciate the overland pipe will be very visible, not least where it passes over the access road to the caravan park, but it is only temporary and will be quickly removed when the project is completed.

“The re-lining work on the existing pipe is expected to be completed by the end of summer.

"The temporary overland pipe will then be removed, and the area reinstated, by the end of October 2023.

“Scottish Water is committed to delivering a world class service to its customers. We are investing millions of pounds in projects across the country to tackle the challenges of climate change, ageing infrastructure and increasing demand.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Assurances have been given that the pipe will be removed quickly.Assurances have been given that the pipe will be removed quickly. (Image: Scottish Water)

The project is being delivered by Scottish Water’s alliance partner, Caledonia Water Alliance (CWA) who say that local support has been gathered before the work commenced.

Paul Milligan, communication manager with CWA, said: “We have been speaking to local businesses and customers for several months and everyone agrees this work will deliver a huge benefit to the local area and the local environment.

“We will continue to do all we can to work with the local community to help keep any disruption to a minimum.

"We would like to thank everyone involved for their patience and understanding.”