Page last updated at 23:32 GMT, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 00:32 UK

Raw sewage pipeline 'quake-proof'

Sheila Campbell-Lloyd. Pic: Jason Rose/Scottish Water
Scottish Water's Sheila Campbell-Lloyd with Kessock Bridge behind her

A new 900m waste water pipe has been designed to withstand minor earthquakes because it lies across the Great Glen fault line in the Highlands.

The 3.8m project takes sewage from North Kessock on the Black Isle under the sea to South Kessock in Inverness, for disposal.

Before raw sewage was chopped up and discharged under the Kessock Bridge.

Scottish Water said the pipeline would help clean up the waters of the Moray and Beauly firths.

The area provides habitat for bottlenose dolphins.

We're proud of the role we play in protecting the Highlands' great environment
Sheila Campbell-Lloyd
Scottish Water

Scottish Water said the pipeline was designed with a degree of flexibility to cope with tremors.

Wildlife writer and broadcaster Dr Kenny Taylor, who has a home on the Black Isle, said the project would cut pollution in the heart of the dolphins' home waters.

Sheila Campbell-Lloyd, Scottish Water's regional manager for the Highlands, said: "This pipeline will make a great difference.

"We're proud of the role we play in protecting the Highlands' great environment. We are also enabling economic development, allowing communities such as North Kessock to grow and thrive."

The steel pipeline was welded together, floated out into the firth and sunk to the seabed with concrete weights.

It lies in a 2m deep trench dug by a machine normally used in the North Sea oil industry, before being covered over with silt.

The route of the pipeline was drawn up to avoid shipping.

Scottish Water had considered a pipeline across the Kessock Bridge but major alterations to the structure would have been required.

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