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1 March 2005

SCOTTISH WATER TELLS STEVENSON: ‘LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNED’

The Chairman of Scottish Water, Professor Alan Alexander, has told Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson that lessons have been learned from mistakes made in their handling of the recent contamination scare at Aberchirder.

The SNP MSP had written to Scottish Water after being contacted by local people who highlighted what they saw as failings on the part of the agency after the break-in at a treated water storage tank.

Among the concerns raised were the fact that Scottish Water distributed two different types of leaflet to householders in different parts of Aberchirder, each giving different advice; the loudhailers used to alert householders were ineffective; and there was confusion over the distribution of bottled water to householders.

Now, in a written response to Mr Stevenson, Scottish Water Chairman Professor Alan Alexander has apologised to affected residents and says that lessons have been learned from the mistakes made.

In the letter, Professor Alexander states:

“We have now thoroughly reviewed the situation and are ensuring that we have learned from the mistakes we made at Aberchirder. Our main priority is to protect public health and we are committed to continually improving how we handle situations like this and recognise that there are areas that need to be improved.”

Mr Stevenson commented:

“When a situation such as this occurs, the authorities need to have a clear plan of action and follow this through. This did not happen in Aberchirder.

“I am grateful to residents in Aberchirder for bringing these concerns to my attention and I hope that Scottish Water have taken stock from their experience here.”
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