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Take a peek behind the scenes at the region's water and sewerage services

image depicting Heritage Open Days at Pynes Water Treatment Works
Heritage Open Days at Pynes Water Treatment Works
Members of the public are invited to go behind the scenes of the region's water and sewerage services in September.

The following South West Water-owned sites will be open for Heritage Open Days on Thursday 8 and/or Friday 9 September:

Roadford Dam near Launceston
Pynes Water Treatment Works near Exeter
Gunn Cliff Sewage Pumping Station in Lyme Regis

Roadford Lake was opened in 1990 following the drought of 1976 which saw the last use of standpipes in the South West. The dam will be open for visits on Thursday 8 September.

After walking under the dam, which impounds water from the River Wolf to form a 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.

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 source being moved from Exe Street near the city centre to the less polluted Pynes Leat.

Visitors to Pynes on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 September will be greeted by South West Water's water quality experts for a presentation on the history of Exeter's water supply and a guided tour of the fully operational site.

Gunn Cliff Sewage Pumping Station was built as part of South West Water's 1995 Clean Sweep scheme for Lyme Regis in order to remove the need for two crude sewage outfalls and improve bathing water quality.

The site will be open to visitors on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 September and will be a rare opportunity to see what goes into transporting and storing large volumes of waste water, particularly following heavy storms, before it is pumped uphill for full biological treatment.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Please note that the tours are not suitable for children under the age of 12 and that visitors are strongly advised to wear appropriate, sturdy footwear, not flip-flops or sandals.

To reserve your place, contact South West Water's Community Team on 01392 443020 (Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm) or visit www.southwestwater.eventbrite.com

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