South Devon village gets treatment upgrade
South West Water is currently upgrading the sewage treatment works in the beautiful village of Holbeton, west of the Erme estuary in the South Hams.
Improvements are being made as part of South West Water's work to meet the requirements of the Government's National Environmental Programme.
This project will cost in excess of £600,000 and will greatly improve the quality of waste water before it is returned to the environment via the River Erme.
Waste water flows already receive primary treatment and improvements will include a secondary treatment process and ultraviolet disinfection.
Secondary treatment involves waste water passing through a biological process in an aerated tank where micro-organisms feed on bacteria. Remaining solids known as sludge are then settled out from the water. The sludge is treated further off site and used on agricultural land as fertiliser.
Ultraviolet disinfection gives the water a final 'polish' when it is passed under high powered lamps, removing or inactivating dangerous bacteria and viruses.
Mothecombe and Wonwell beaches will benefit from improved bathing waters along with many hamlets around the mouth of the Erme which is surrounded by fine sand extending a good distance up the estuary providing massive expanses of beach at low tide.
"This project is the latest in the Company's huge sewage treatment programme," said Andy Dawe, South West Water's Programme Leader. "When completed it will safeguard the local environment and substantially improve the quality of the area's bathing waters".
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The improvements posed a challenge for contractors who carefully planned a suitable route through the village to transport large materials and equipment. The tank for the biological process was put in place using a 70 tonne crane.
For further information please contact Dina Chandler, Communications Officer on 01392 443021.
Published: 10 June 2002