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Council can save £20,000 per year on Pilmuir Pump

By Staff Reporter

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Pilmuir pumphouse's inner workings.
Pilmuir pumphouse's inner workings.

PILMUIR Pump Station's operation and maintenance is to be brought in-house, in a move the council hopes will save £20,000 per year.

The operation and maintenance of the pump is currently outsourced but, at a meeting of the economic development and infrastructure services committee today, it was agreed to take that back in house in the hope of saving 50 per cent on cost, with a minimal increase in the risk of flooding.

Moray Council has been responsible for the pump since 2016, with the Forres flood alleviation scheme officially opening a year earlier.

The pump was handed to the council with a maintenance manual and it currently costs £40,000 per year for basic testing and monitoring. It is hoped these changes will halve that number.

Acting consultancy manager Debbie Halliday said: "We think we can reduce the amount of work that is outsourced and use telemetry. This should provide roughly a 50 per cent saving in the cost of basic maintenance throughout the year."

Councillor John Divers (Elgin City South) said he believed the increased risk of flooding was too big a risk – as the cost of any potential flood "will far outweigh any saving we make annually".

In response to this, Mrs Halliday added: "The pump station operates on two pumps and has a standby pump. For it to fail, all three pumps would have to fail at the same time there was a surface water event in Pilmuir and the water levels from the River Findhorn were high. The chances of all those things happening at the same time is very, very, low."

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