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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 17:54 GMT
Pipeline to cleaner otter habitat
Otter cub, courtesy of the International Otter Survival Fund
It is claimed the storm pipe will help to improve the otters' environment
Otters living along the North Calder Water could benefit from a new environmental project by Scottish Water.

A storm pipe, designed to cope with extreme weather conditions, is due to be constructed in the Chapelhall area.

It should carry any overspill into the deeper flows of the river, away from the otters.

Scottish Water said it would lead to environmental improvements to the otters' habitat.

Scottish Water project manager Martin Pettinger said the company had taken the needs of both the human and otter population into consideration when approaching the scheme.

He said: "It has been necessary for us to seek a special licence in order to carry out this programme of work with a number of otter holts in the area.

"The otters will benefit because of the environmental improvements we're making to Kennelburn and the North Calder Water."

Local landmarks

The 700,000 project to construct the 430-metre pipe in North Lanarkshire will begin at the end of March.

Scottish Water said it will also show sensitivity to a number of local landmarks, including the Calderbank Iron Works and a nearby Roman fort known as Crogal's Castle.

The company's regional manager for Lanarkshire, Rob Mustard, said the project was part of the company's commitment to improving the area's waterways.

"Across North Lanarkshire, nearly a third of our budget will be directed towards improving the environment," he said.

"Already in the Airdrie and Coatbridge areas a number of similar schemes are under way to improve the quality of local waterways.

"Investigation work is also under way ahead of a significant environmental project for Monklands."

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