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Promised consultation with the people of Tarbert on a long-awaited upgrade to the village sewage system will take place at the end of March.
But Scottish Water revealed this week that the work could begin at least three months later than anticipated.
Speaking at a December meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Isles area committee, Scottish Water officials told councillors that the £3 million scheme could start by September, subject to planning approval – taking about nine to 12 months to complete.
The utility firm now says that no major work will start before the end of this year.
Tarbert residents have been complaining to Scottish Water for many years about untreated sewage bubbling up from drains, running along streets and into homes and business premises.
Often – but not exclusively – happening after heavy rainfall, the repeated contamination left local people angry.
A Scottish Water spokesperson said: ‘Scottish Water is currently in the planning stages of developing a strategy to reduce the risk and impact of flooding in Tarbert.
‘Our proposed scheme is currently progressing through a detailed design and planning process in collaboration with our construction partner. We do not anticipate any major works starting before late 2018.
‘We have been engaging with Argyll and Bute Council and BEAR Scotland, working with them to establish how the roads network might be impacted during the works. As plans progress, we will continue to engage with them, local stakeholders, service providers and the local community to keep disruption to a minimum.
‘We know how much disruption flooding can cause and fully understand the need for communities to be informed and updated on our plans.
‘For that reason we are holding a community event on Wednesday March 28 at the Templar Arts and Leisure Centre, Harbour Street, Tarbert between 2.30pm and 6.30pm.
The planned scheme is expected to involve the installation of a larger diameter pipe between Barmore Road, the harbour and pumping station.