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Major investment to benefit East Devon's tap water

image depicting South West Water's last borehole, drilled in 2011
South West Water's last borehole, drilled in 2011
Work starts this month on two new boreholes which will supply 8,000 customers in East Devon with drinking water.

South West Water is installing the boreholes at Sidford Water Pumping Station to replace a borehole in the Otter Valley which is now over 100 years old.

Work will start on the smaller of the two boreholes, which will act as a monitoring point for the main borehole, on Monday 23 January 2017. Drilling the borehole will take about a week, followed by a three-week period of testing.  Construction of the main borehole will start on or around Thursday 23 February 2017 and take about eight weeks.

Chris Rockey, Head of Drinking Water Quality, explained: "Delivering a clean, safe and reliable supply of drinking water to our customers is our top priority and the two new boreholes represent a £730,000 investment in East Devon." 

A 14-metre drilling rig will be used during construction. The monitoring borehole will be about 120 metres deep with an internal diameter of 15cm. The main borehole will also be about 120 metres deep but with an internal diameter of 30cm.

Chris added: "All the work is taking place within the boundary of the pumping station site. We have written to our neighbours and we will do our best to minimise any impact during the construction work.

"Once the borehole is operational, water from it will be treated with ultraviolet disinfection on site and supplied to customers on the coast of East Devon via the existing water pumping station."

Notes to editors

  • South West Water operates 32 boreholes across the region, most of which are in East Devon. The last borehole was drilled in 2011 but before that it was the early 1990s
  • The new borehole will supply around two million litres (megalitres) of water a day, enough to supply 8,000 customers in the coastal towns east of Sidmouth 
  • We supply our customers with around 350 megalitres (77 million gallons) of drinking water every day

Published: 9 January 2017

For further information please contact:

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

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