Extensive £8 million sewage investment is good news for Truro
South West Water has carried out an extensive programme of improvements at Newham sewage treatment works in Truro to safeguard the quality of the Fal Estuary.
The company has invested over £8 million during the last 12 months to meet the European Shellfish Directive and improve the quality of the River Fal - one of the most attractive and unspoilt estuaries in the country.
Many parts of the sewage treatment process were upgraded at a cost of around £4 million to improve the quality of the treated waste water before it is returned to the environment.
Ultra-violet disinfection was installed at the works in February. This involves giving the water a final polish using high powered lamps. These effectively kill any remaining bacteria before the water flows back to the river.
The construction of a new storm water storage tank was completed in April 2003. This is essential to safeguard the river from sewage spills which can occur when the works becomes overloaded with surface water from combined drains in times of heavy rainfall. In storm conditions when the sewers reach capacity excess water will be stored in the tank which will reduce the frequency of spills. The stored flows will be transferred back for treatment after the storm has passed.
Renovation of the aeration lanes which form part of the secondary treatment process is currently underway and will become active during the summer. This process reduces bacteria and nitrogen levels and improves the water quality for marine life in the estuary.
The existing sludge tank will also be upgraded by September. Sludge is a by product of the sewage treatment process and after further treatment can by recycled to agricultural land as fertilizer.
Four million pounds has been invested to reduce the frequency of spills from storm water overflows in several locations around the centre of Truro by upgrading sewers and installing new underground storm water storage tanks which hold additional volumes of storm water before it can be passed on for treatment.
The village of Malpas has also recently been connected to the sewerage system at a cost of £1 million and all crude discharges to the environment have been closed down. All flows will now be transferred for treatment at Newham works.
"This extensive investment to upgrade sewage treatment facilities is part of South West Water's National Environment Programme to clean up the waterways," said Keith Field, South West Water's Project Leader. "The work will help protect the Fal which is steeped in heritage for many years to come and improve the environment in a region which has more miles of Class A rivers than anywhere else in England".
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For further information please contact Dina Chandler, Communications Officer on 01392 443021.
Published: 19 August 2003