New works is an all round treat

A new water treatment plant in Somerset is leading the way both in terms of its sophisticated treatment technology and its commitment to minimising its impact on the environment.

More than 200,000 people in Somerset are being supplied with water from a new treatment works. Wessex Water spent £25M building the new plant at Maundown, near Wiveliscombe, which uses sophisticated technology and complex processes to treat water from nearby Clatworthy and Wimbleball reservoirs on the edge of Exmoor.

It took five years to build the new plant, which delivers improved water quality and ensures demand will be met for a growing population.

Mark Lloyds, the scheme's project manager, says: "The former treatment works was more than 40 years old and had reached the end of it useful life. Additionally the raw water quality needed to be enhanced once it had entered the works to help overcome issues arising from increasing algal blooms in local water sources caused by changing weather patterns."

Picturesque
The new works was built next to the old treatment plant, which was demolished and landscaped after the new one was commissioned earlier this year. In keeping with the picturesque location, Wessex Water ensured the new works was designed appropriately, with a sedum roof and a cladding colour scheme that blended into the landscape.

It also challenged designers to incorporate several low carbon features that increase the site's sustainability and minimise its impact on the environment. Solar panels, a boiler that runs on wood pellets, and a 200kW turbine through which water flows en route to the works have all contributed to reducing energy costs.

Wessex Water chairman Colin Skellett says: "We are aiming to be a truly sustainable company and recognised this project as an opportunity to use the latest innovative green technology to reduce carbon emissions.

Through vigorous planning and careful investment we have built one of the most cost effective treatment works in our region that uses sophisticated technology to treat water. It means customers throughout Somerset will benefit from the new water treatment works, which is supplying an even higher standard of drinking water."

By using part of the company's complex network of 11,400km of water mains, customers living up to 40 miles away will receive water from the new treatment works.

Opening
Dato' Yeoh Seok Hong, executive director of a division of YTL, the Malaysian company that owns Wessex Water, officially opened the new Maundown works.
He was among a group of local residents, people who worked on the construction of the works and directors or Wessex Water and YTL that were given a tour of the site following the opening ceremony.

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