Highlands & Islands

Cairngorms water supply at centre of complaints 'safe'

Glass of water Image copyright Thinkstock

Scottish Water has said a water supply which has prompted complaints about its quality is safe and "complies 100%" with standards.

People living in and around Aviemore in the Cairngorms say the water tastes bad and some have blamed it for aggravating skin conditions such as eczema.

Councillor Bill Lobban wants an investigation to check for a link between the water and skin complaints.

Scottish Water said it would look at enhancements to the treatment process.

There have been complaints about the water's taste since the supply came on stream four years ago.

A public meeting in Kincraig, near Aviemore, on Tuesday, which representatives from Scottish Water attended, heard from consumers who believe the water has aggravated skin conditions.

After the meeting, Highland councillor Mr Lobban said skin complaints did appear to be on the rise in the area.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: "I am not a doctor or a scientist so I cannot tell if it is directly attributable to the water or not, but it is something that requires serious investigating.

"It should not be a question of Scottish Water saying basically 'this is a medical problem, go to your doctor'.

"This should be more about Scottish Water liaising with NHS Highland to find out if there potentially is a problem or not."

'Absolutely safe'

Scottish Water said it already worked closely with health authorities, including NHS Highland.

A spokesman said: "If a health authority has any concerns over the safety of a water supply, it can impose restrictions on water use, until such times as the matter is investigated and dealt with.

"No restrictions have been imposed in this area and we can reassure customers the water is absolutely safe to use."

The spokesman said the company recognised that "a small number of customers in the Aviemore area" have found the water is not to their taste.

He said: "We want everyone to enjoy the look and taste of their water and continue to liaise closely with the local community, as we work to resolve their concerns.

"That's why we are proposing further enhancements to the treatment processes we use, and are proposing switching to a process called chloramination.

"This is a very well established process and one in four Scottish Water customers currently receive chloraminated water - including those in Inverness, Aberdeen, much of Edinburgh and some other parts of the Highlands and Islands."

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