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Major investment benefits Bude’s tap water

23rd June 2017

A £5.5million project will deliver even better drinking water to customers in North Cornwall from today (20 June).

Bude tap waterSouth West Water has invested £5.5 million to upgrade Tamar Lakes Water Treatment Works, near Holsworthy, to install additional manganese removal filters, five new granular activated carbon filters and a state-of-the-art ultraviolet disinfection system.

Manganese, which occurs naturally in reservoirs, can occasionally reach levels that may cause discolouration within the water network so it is important we improve the treatment to remove manganese to ensure the appearance of our water to customers is consistently good.

Granular activated carbon (GAC) is a specially engineered and extremely 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 Tamar Lakes reservoir, which supplies the water treatment works.

Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection uses UV light to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses sometimes found in the untreated reservoir water.

Bob Taylor, Operations Director – Drinking Water Services, explained: “We already have some of the best tap water in the country but this major investment will deliver even better drinking water to our customers in North Cornwall.

“In the short term, some customers may notice the smell or taste of the water may change slightly. For this reason, we will bring the new treatment on line gradually and blend the new and improved water with the water currently produced by the works to ensure a smooth transition.”

Customers supplied by Tamar Lakes will start to benefit from the upgrades when water that has been through the GAC and UV treatment processes is introduced into supply from today.

This approach was undertaken successfully at Restormel and Wendron water treatment works in Cornwall in 2014.

Notes to editors

• Tamar Lakes Water Treatment Works supplies Bude and the surrounding villages along that stretch of the Atlantic Highway
• The works produces around 5 megalitres of water a day (Ml/d) during the winter and up to 8 Ml/d in summer
• South West Water operates 29 water treatment works
• South West Water maintains 15,300km of water mains
• We supply our customers with around 350 mega litres (77 million gallons) of drinking water every day

For further information please contact:

Press Office 
South West Water