Bristol Water completes £27M Southern Resilience Scheme
Bristol Water has announced the completion of its £27 million Southern Resilience Scheme.
The project to improve water supplies for 280,000 households across North Somerset and South Bristol began in December 2016 and included the installation of a new 30km water main.
The work allows Bristol Water to move water from its northern sources to its southern region in the event of a loss of supply, or water back up to Bristol if we lose our northern supply.
The scheme uses gravity, rather than pumping, to get water from Barrow Gurney to Cheddar, significantly reducing energy usage.
The work was due to be completed in March this year but the project was hit by several delays.
“Once the works had started in the Shute Shelve Tunnel, a rock fall caused work to stop,” project manager Mike Lancaster said. “As a result of that, we needed to ensure the site was made safe before we could continue. This caused several weeks of delay. We were then very close to the bat hibernation period.
“Horseshoe bats are a protected species, and the Mendips [in Somerset] are one of Britain’s most important sites for them. Therefore, work simply could not continue during their hibernation period. We had worked with ecologists and Natural England to try and prevent bats from hibernating in the tunnel, but these measures did not work.”
Work has now begun on reopening the Strawberry Line, used by walkers and cyclists, which had been closed last summer as the result of the project.
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