Bat squad called in to help with bridge repair

by Scott Douglas

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Scottish Water keep local residents safe during work on bridge

Scottish Water bat studyScottish Water’s very own Bat men have been keeping the streets of Hawick safe ahead of essential pipe work on Martin’s Bridge.

As engineers continue work on the new pipeline along the B711, delivering clearer, fresher drinking water to around 80,000 customers across the Borders, environment officers made final checks on the local landmark for any sign of bats.

Kirsty Stoddart, Scottish Water’s Environment Team Manager said:

“Across the country the environment team works hard to ensure the safety and integrity of rare and protected species. Our officers continually liaise with organisations the likes of SEPA and SNH, as well as local bodies such as angling associations, resident groups and local area partnerships to deliver the best possible solution both for our customers and for the environment.”

Using an under bridge unit the ecology team were lowered into place to investigate the underside of the bridge for signs of the mammals. Fortunately there was no evidence of a bat population living within the structure and the programme of work can continue.

While the majority of customers across the region know about our £25 million investment to improve the quality of drinking water, Regional Manager Craig Lawson believes that they may not be aware of the important work carried out to protect the local environment while these projects are carried out:

“Special consideration of the natural environment is taken wherever we carry out investment. These projects become all the more significant to local residents when they understand that special precautions are taken to protect local plants, fish and mammals.”

Scottish Water Solutions Project Manager, Vicki White, is confident local people will appreciate the long term benefits of this project:

“This is a significant project for Scottish Water customers across the Borders. The region is set to flourish over the next decade and Scottish Water is playing its part in that transformation. All in, this £25 million investment will provide a clearer, fresher drinking water supply, for generations to come.”

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