Burnmouth makes a splash at Scottish Water awards

Burnmouth has scooped the top gong at Scotland’s recent water industry awards ceremony.

The Burnmouth Outfalls Project, which is improving the natural environment of the village and the Borders coastline, won the Chairman’s Prize at the Scottish Water Vision Awards.

Patricia Melly, project manager for the Burnmouth Outfalls scheme, said: “This award is great testament to the community in Burnmouth; without their involvement, patience and understanding we would not have been able to complete this project. We are delighted to have been chosen by our peers and our chairman Ronnie Mercer as the outstanding project among so many commendable initiatives.

“Working together with the community our hard work and perseverance ensured that we delivered this remarkable project which will not only improve the natural environment of the village – the first and last in Scotland – but will also benefit this beautiful Borders village for many years to come.”

As well as building a new sea wall, Scottish Water and contractors Byzak also constructed a concrete road connecting Partenhall with the harbour area and brae road. Previously only a rudimentary track had existed there.

Using the latest pumping system the project team was able to overcome the challenges of gravity, delivering improved processes and better service for the community and the environment.

And Scottish Water and Byzak helped the community celebrate its rich fishing identity by investing in two gateway statues standing at the village entrances. The statues were sculpted by local artist Dorothy Aitchison. This is a sign of their long-lasting commitment to improving the environment of the village for locals and visitors.

This challenging, yet cost effective programme of work, which also saw contractors keeping Burnmouth moving during the big freeze before Christmas by gritting the village’s road network, will deliver tangible benefits to Burnmouth and the Borders’ important tourism trade, for decades to come.

Scottish Water chair, Ronnie Mercer, commented: “Patricia and her team are to be commended for their efforts. They have gone the extra mile to ensure that this project not only delivered environmental benefits, but that the local community also benefited directly. They showed a real willingness to actively participate in daily life in Burnmouth and become involved. This is an example for all companies, and not just their colleagues at Scottish Water.”

Burnmouth has been taken out of the waste water loop, with sewage being pumped nearly 3km to improved works at Eyemouth.

Bill Elliot, Scottish Water’s regional communities manager for the Borders, concluded: “This award is further testament to the significance of this project. It will improve the natural environment of Burnmouth for many years to come. Not only improving the look of this beautiful stretch of coastline, but also benefiting the local fishing industry, and growing tourism sector. To be commended by our peers in such a way underlines how pioneering and inclusive this project has been. We are delighted to have been welcomed into this wonderful community and to have played a part in their future.”