05th January 2018

Major investment benefits North Devon’s tap water

A £6.3million project will deliver even better drinking water to customers in North Devon from today (4 January 2018). 

South West Water has invested £6.3million at Northcombe Water Treatment Works, near Okehampton, to install six new granulator activated carbon filters. 

Granular activated carbon 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 Roadford reservoir, which supplies the water treatment works.

Bob Taylor, Operations Director – Drinking Water Services, explained: “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 North Devon.

“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 Northcombe will start to benefit from the upgrades when water that has been through the GAC 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

  • Northcombe Water Treatment Works is South West  Water’s fifth largest water treatment works and supplies large areas of  North Devon including Barnstaple, Bideford and Torrington
  • The works produces around 22 megalitres of water a day (Ml/d) during the winter and up to 45 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:

South West Water
Published: 5 January 2018