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Major investment to benefit South Devon's tap water

image depicting The granular activated carbon filters under construction at Wendron Water Treatment Works
The granular activated carbon filters under construction at Wendron Water Treatment Works
Work starts this month on a £6million project to deliver even better drinking water to customers in South Devon.

South West Water is investing £6million at Tottiford Water Treatment Works, near Bovey Tracey, to install six new granular activated carbon filters, a new pumping station and a state-of-the-art ultraviolet disinfection system at the works. 

Granular activated carbon (GAC) 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 Fernworthy, Kennick, Trenchford and Tottiford reservoirs, which supply the water treatment works.

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

Chris Rockey, Head of Drinking Water Quality, 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 South Devon." 

Water that has passed through the GAC and UV treatment process will start being introduced into supply from March 2018.

Chris added: "In the very short term, some consumers may notice a slight change in the smell or taste of their tap water. To minimise this and hopefully avoid it completely, we will bring the new filters on line one at a time and blend the new and improved water with the water currently produced by the works to ensure a smooth transition."

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

Notes to editors

  • Tottiford Water Treatment Works supplies water to more than 70,000 properties in South Devon, including Bovey Tracey, Torquay, Paignton, Newton Abbot, Kingskerswell, Teignmouth, Dawlish, Exminster and Chudleigh.
  • The works produces around 26 megalitres (million litres) of water a day 
  • 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

Published: 3 January 2017

For further information please contact:

Press Office
South West Water
www: www.southwestwater.co.uk/contactus

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