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SWW announces completion of £21M project to boost rivers

South West Water has successfully completed a £21 million project to improve water quality in its region's rivers.

New storm storage tank under construction in LympstoneNew storm storage tank under construction in Lympstone

The company has made significant upgrades to its wastewater infrastructure and treatment works across the region to protect or improve designated shellfish waters to support shellfish life and growth.

The project involved improvements at 22 locations across eight estuary catchments: the Dart, Exe, Teign, Camel, Fal, Yealm, Avon and Salcombe.

Senior project manager Steve Cross said: “The £21 million investment included improvements to stormwater overflows through various methods. Wherever possible, sustainable solutions have been developed which include removing surface water from the sewerage network and reducing infiltration.

“Other solutions included providing upgraded screens, increasing stormwater storage capacity and upgrading the treatment process at wastewater treatment works.”   

The programme included a £3.6 million ultraviolet disinfection plant installed at Countess Wear Wastewater Treatment Works to treat the intermittent stormwater overflow, a £500,000 stormwater storage tank in Truro and a £730,000 upgrade at Sherford Wastewater Treatment Works.

A total of 2,275 cubic metres of stormwater storage has been constructed as part of the project. This additional stormwater storage capacity in the sewerage network and other improvements will reduce the number of storm discharges into rivers and estuaries during extremely wet weather.

There are 137 designated shellfish waters in England, 25 of which are in South West Water’s region. The Environment Agency estimates that industry associated with shellfish production in the South West is worth £5.35 million a year.

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