South West Water to start £6M WTW project
South West Water is beginning work this month on a £6M project to upgrade Tottiford Water Treatment Works in South Devon.
The utility will install six new granular activated carbon filters, a new pumping station and a state-of-the-art ultraviolet disinfection system at the works, which serve around 70,000 customers with drinking water around Bovey Tracey and Torquay.
Granular activated carbon (GAC) is a specially engineered porous material with a large internal surface area - just one teaspoon has the same surface area as a football pitch. Due to its large surface area and special surface chemistry it can remove natural and manmade organic matter sometimes present in Fernworthy, Kennick, Trenchford and Tottiford reservoirs, which supply the Tottiford works.
Meanwhile, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection uses UV light to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses sometimes found in the untreated reservoir water.
Chris Rockey, Head of Drinking Water Quality, said: "We already have some of the best tap water in the country but this major investment in additional treatment will deliver even better drinking water to our customers in South Devon."
Water that has passed through the GAC and UV treatment process will start being introduced into supply from March 2018. In total, the works produce around 26 megalitres of water a day.
Rockey added: "In the very short term, some consumers may notice a slight change in the smell or taste of their tap water. To minimise this and hopefully avoid it completely, we will bring the new filters on line one at a time and blend the new and improved water with the water currently produced by the works to ensure a smooth transition."
This approach was previously undertaken successfully at Restormel and Wendron water treatment works in Cornwall in 2014.
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