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Glimpse behind the scenes at South West Water sites this September

01st August 2017

 This September members of the public are invited to find out what happens at the region’s water and sewage treatment services as part of this year’s free Heritage Open Days. 

The following South West Water-owned sites can be visited by the public in September where they will be shown around by knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides:

• Gun Cliff Sewage Pumping Station, Lyme Regis - Thursday 7 and Friday 8 September. 

An opportunity to visit this great seaside location with an underground tunnel running alongside sewage pipes and a big storm chamber. 

• Pynes Treatment Works near Exeter - Thursday 7 and Friday 8 September. 

Pynes was built in 1833 in response to Exeter's devastating cholera outbreak which claimed the lives of 440 people. The tragedy led to dramatic changes in water treatment processes and the city's water treatment processes being moved from Exe Street near the city centre to the less polluted Pynes Leat. Visitors will be greeted by South West Water's water quality experts for a presentation on the history of the water supply and a guided tour of the fully operational site with staff wearing period costumes to add extra atmosphere to the proceedings.

• Mary Tavy Hydro Electric Power Station near Tavistock - Thursday 7 September. 

England's largest Hydroelectric Power Station in daily use. The tour gives an insight into how hydroelectric generation has developed over the decades. The power station harnesses the force of nature to generate enough green energy to serve 1,700 houses.
A picturesque location with short nature works and people can arrive and walk around the site and picnic following a visitor route. This is more of an Open Day than a formal tour.

• St Leonard’s Sewage Treatment Works, Launceston -Thursday 7 September. 

Built in 1898, St Leonard's Sewage Treatment Works provides full biological sewage treatment for Launceston and surrounding area. Visitors will be able to witness the whole treatment process, see behind the scenes and talk to operational staff.

• Roadford Reservoir near Launceston - Thursday 7 September. 

Roadford Reservoir was opened in 1990 following the drought of 1976 which saw the last use of standpipes in the South West. After walking under the dam, which impounds water from the River Wolf to form the reservoir with an enormous net storage of 34,500 megalitres, visitors will scale 170 steps to the top of the valve tower. The steep climb is not for the faint-hearted but offers a unique opportunity to view this spectacular lake. It’s a picturesque location on Dartmoor with useful cafe facilities nearby provided by South West Lakes Trust.

• Newquay Sewage Treatment Works - Thursday 7 September. 

Peep behind the scenes at Newquay SewageTreatment Works. This is a site that serves Newquay, Crantock and Porth and has a catchment area covering a major tourist destination with some very high profile beaches.

• Plympton Sewage Treatment Works - Thursday 7 September. 

A tour of a large sewer treatment works serving Plymouth and the surrounding area. Find out how sewage is treated using the screening process and how we use naturally occurring bacteria to clean the water. Have a look and see what not to flush down the loo and put down the sink! This is a great opportunity to find out about how it all works from South West Water operational staff.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Please note that visitors must wear sensible footwear and tours are not suitable for children under the age of 12.

To reserve a place please contact the Press Office on 01392 443020 or download your free tickets online through Eventbrite.

For further information please contact:

Press Office
South West Water
Published: 01 August 2017