South West Water has successfully completed a £26 million project to improve water quality in the Plymouth Sound and maintain excellent bathing water quality for the city’s two beaches.
The water company has made significant upgrades to its wastewater infrastructure across Plymouth to further improve water quality in the Plymouth Sound and protect bathing water quality at Plymouth Hoe East and West beaches, both of which have been rated excellent every year since tougher new standards were introduced in 2015.
The £26 million investment included improving key stormwater overflows across the city, removing surface water from the sewerage network in Cattedown and increasing stormwater storage capacity in Stonehouse.
Ultraviolet disinfection technology has also been installed on the stormwater overflow at Plymouth Central Wastewater Treatment Works. This is the largest UV treatment plant of its type for intermittent stormwater overflow discharges in the UK.
South West Water’s Engineering Director Graham Murphy explained:
“We utilised a hydrodynamic model for the Plymouth Sound and the estuarine river networks which influence bathing water quality at East and West Hoe, to help us identify where improvements would have the greatest impact.
“We believe that, with the help of the local community, this major investment will help Plymouth’s beaches continue to meet tough new bathing water quality standards for years to come.”
The utility is advising customers to check that their property is correctly connected to the foul drainage system. Investigations by the Environment Agency and South West Water have identified that homes with plumbing that is incorrectly connected into the surface water system are a source of pollution to some of the bathing waters in the South West.