Schools remain closed as fuel leak continues to disrupt water supplies

Schools and community buildings have shut as a result of the water quality with residents and businesses warned not to use taps.

Schools remain closed as fuel leak continues to disrupt water supplies in Outer Hebrides iStock

Schools will remain closed as a result of a fuel leak in a water generator in the Outer Hebrides.

Residents and businesses have been told to stop using tap water for drinking, cooking and washing in Benbecula and northern South Uist, with Scottish Water working to distribute bottled water across the area.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have issued an update stating that schools, nurseries and other community buildings will be shut on Friday as a result of the water quality in the buildings.

The issue was first raised on Wednesday with work to flush the water and test for a clean supply under way.

Balivanich School and Nursery, Lochdar School and Nursery, Sgoil Lionacleit, Lionacleit Education Centre and Lionacleit Sports Centre and Library will all be closed.

Pop-up water tanks are being maintained at Balivanich Community Hall, Old Balivanich School, Liniclate Community School and at 6 Dun Mor, West Gerinish. 

The council stated: “Due to the active water quality warning issued by Scottish Water affecting the HS7 and HS8 postcode areas, the Comhairle will be required to fully close the following facilities to all staff, pupils and service users on September 15.”

Customers served by Benbecula Water Treatment Works have been advised to stop using their tap water for any use, including the use of boiled water.

A spokesperson for Scottish Water said: “We have mobilised a full incident response team in order to support our customers and restore normal service via the water network as soon as we can be confident that the islands’ drinking water is meeting its normal high standard.

“We would like to acknowledge the enormous assistance we have already had from our island-based contractors, our other emergency response partners and the local community.

“Additional specialist resources have been brought on to the island and further Scottish Water staff and contractors will arrive today. We have been able to supplement normal supplies of bottled water on the island – and are making arrangements to continue for as long as is required. Pop-up water tanks will also continue to be maintained and replenished.

“We would like to apologise to customers for the significant inconvenience that we know the need for these measures will be causing. Our focus is on providing as much support as we can, while we work to restore normal service as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Any customers who require additional support due to a medical condition or disability, are encouraged to sign up to Scottish Water’s Priority Services Register by calling its customer helpline on 0800 077 8778.

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