£9.5m sewage project protecting Somerset’s rivers

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A £9.5m environmental project to enhance a county’s river quality is beginning this month.

The scheme will boost the storage and treatment of wastewater, with construction teams set to move on to the water recycling centre near North Petherton, Somerset.

They will begin updating equipment used to treat arriving sewage and add capacity for excess water flowing through the system after heavy rain.

The project is run by Wessex Water.

The work will mean more than 800,000 litres of sewer water will be able to be housed in an underground tank.

A spokesperson said the increased storage will help to relieve the threat of overwhelmed combined sewers which flood homes and businesses after heavy rainfall.

The added storage, housed below ground on land next to the centre, will keep more mixed rain runoff and wastewater in the tank at the centre before it is treated and safely returned to the environment later.

‘Protect the environment’

Victoria Plummer, Wessex Water project manager said: “Upgrading the North Petherton centre means we can further enhance the way we store and treat wastewater before it is returned to the environment in Somerset.

“The increased storage capacity will help to reduce the amount of times storm overflows operate and these projects also help to further protect the environment by improving the health of our watercourses, such as rivers and streams.

It is one of a number of environmental improvement by Wessex Water with £25m being put into projects this year.

The project is expected to take around 10 months and Ms Plummer said the company had worked hard to keep disruption to a minimum.

She said a dedicated temporary access route, which will be reinstated afterwards, will take most heavy construction vehicles and avoid North Petherton itself.

Although some rights of way will be affected to get the work completed safely, she said: “We’re manning some areas to ensure walking routes can remain accessible.”

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