A MAJOR milestone has been reached in the sewage works being undertaken at a Three Towns beauty spot, say water industry chiefs.

An important sewer pipeline running through Saltcoats and Stevenston is being upgraded by Scottish Waterat a cost of several million pounds.

 The project, which is being delivered by Scottish Water’s alliance partner Caledonia Water Alliance, will see £4 million pumped into a solution for the problematic pipeline after several bursts in the sewer network 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.

In their efforts to ensure such incidents do not occur again Scottish Water plan to re-line the existing underground 700mm diameter pipe between a pumping station and the local treatment works.

To do so, an 'overland' pipe has had to be installed above the network, which runs from the Saltcoats pumping station past Sandylands Caravan Park and Auchenharvie Golf Club.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The pipe running along the path adjacent to Auchenharvie Golf Club.The pipe running along the path adjacent to Auchenharvie Golf Club. (Image: Scottish Water)

In a major milestone for the works, this 'overland' pipe has now been installed and is fully operational - meaning work on the underground pipe can now begin.

And though the temporary pipe has been considered an eyesore on what is a popular walking route Scottish Water say they are delighted it is now in place because it allows the upgrade work to get under way.

Georgina Reid, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs manager for the west said: “There has been a huge effort to get the temporary bypass pipe in place for the start of the bathing season.

“Everyone worked extremely hard – often late into the night – but the pipe is now doing its job and protecting the area while the relining takes place.”

The temporary pipe is made up of 12-metre-long sections connected with over 4,000 bolts.

It can carry up to seven hundred litres of waste water every second for nearly a mile along the North Ayrshire coast.

The existing sewer will be upgraded by drawing a new structural liner through the centre of the pipe via access pits excavated at strategic points along its length.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: One of the access pits.One of the access pits. (Image: Scottish Water)

The lining is expected to be completed by the end of the summer - after which the temporary overland pipe will be removed, and the area reinstated.

It's expected that the work will be completed around the end of October.

Ms Reid added: “Scottish Water is investing many millions of pounds across the country to replace and upgrade ageing infrastructure, protecting the environment and our customers.

“We are extremely grateful for the patience and understanding of the local community and businesses.”