Brand New ‘Water Barometer’ Promised For July

town hall flowersThe Town Hall is going to get a brand new ‘water barometer’ to highlight the scarce resources on St Mary’s.

It will be similar to the old visual reminder, a regular feature in the 1970’s.

It’s a year since Council Chairman Amanda Martin made a request to bring back the visual reminder of the water levels on St Mary’s and Senior Manager for Infrastructure, Craig Dryden, promised councillors that a new one would be in place by the start of the tourist season this year.

Unfortunately the original barometer isn’t available anymore so councillors have been told a new one will be created by July.

Last summer the Authority’s Emergency Planning department imposed a hosepipe ban because they said low rainfall and a predicted increase in tourists would put further pressure on the supply.

Although a new, higher capacity desalination plant was installed in 2013 at a cost of £0.5m, it has been underperforming because of iron contamination in the bore holes that feed it.

Councillors have been told that a seawater intake has been designed to overcome the problem and the Council has applied for a licence from the Marine Management Organisation.

It’s intended to be a temporary measure to meet peak demand until a permanent design has been finalised.

The Council has made repairs to the Old Town ‘biobubble’ which treats sewage from the St Mary’s settlement.

It’s also upgraded the underground pumps outside the Bishop and Wolf pub in Hugh Town, part of the notorious ‘Mermaid Run’ sewerage system that often becomes blocked in high season or during heavy downpours.

But the Water and Sewerage Forum, which councillors voted to establish in February, and which will allow islanders to have their say on upcoming changes to legislation being applied to Scilly, still hasn’t been appointed.

Senior Manager for Infrastructure Craig Dryden says he hopes that can meet for the first time either this month or in July.

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