Although it main rain a lot, water is not something we take for granted at Glengorm.
Here, all our water comes from 7 fresh water springs on the hill. The springs are pretty consistent, and we have a pretty good year round supply of water.
Glengorm has a resident population of about 22 people. During the summer months our water supply usually maintains to us all, our holidaying guests and business at the Coffee shop. Holiday makers increase the population of Glengorm by approximately 35-40 people a day.
When I first came to Glengorm in 1993, the water for the estate was all from this little stone water tank, with 5000 litres capacity, the water frequently ran out, even although the population was not as great and there was no Coffee shop. The supply was good enough, but the storage let us down.
As business has expanded over the years, our storage capacity has had to be improved. The old springs still provide a plentiful supply, and generally any water issues we have had have been down to storage, especially at times when demand has increased.
The seven springs are in a fenced off area, and are covered by manholes (some better than others) to protect the source. The water is piped from the springs down to the old tank to settle.
Over the years our storage has gone up and down. It increased massively with a huge round tin tank about 15 years ago, but this was a bit too big and we couldn’t get a lid to fit, so this was later changed to a smaller tank with a lid. The lid was necessary to stop birds etc contaminating the water and also to prevent algal growth.
With only the smaller tin tank, we had water shortage issues last year in a period of 6 weeks with no rain, which is very unusual for us here!
The two black tanks were added and this took our new water storage up to 100,000 litres. We were a bit shocked last year when we had to stop baths on the estate and garden watering and looked for another option. The population at Glengorm is ever increasing and we want to be able to cope with this, unfortunately we cannot just call on the water board as both our water supply and sewage here at Glengorm is private.
At the end of last year, we had a bore hole drilled. The bore hole goes down 75m to the water table and we now have this as a back up should we ever have another drought.
It doesn’t look like much but this has a pipe that goes all the way down to a fully submersible pump which will pump the water up when needed.
We also have put a bore hole in for our lone cottage Cnoc Fuar, which has gone operational already to keep a consistent supply up the hill.
After the water leaves the tanks and heads down the hill to the Castle and all the other properties, it goes through our water treatment plant. This is just a wee shed, but it has 2 different sizes of particle filtration before it is then treated by UV lights. This, we hope kills all bacteria and keeps our lovely water delicious!! Our water is tested regularly by Argyll and Bute council, and if its not up to scratch, we all have to go on to bottled water and improve our system for retesting.