Major investment benefits Cornwall’s tap water

Posted: Thursday 4th December 2014

A £14.5million project will deliver even better drinking water to customers in Cornwall.

South West Water has invested £14.5 million to upgrade Wendron and Restormel Water Treatment Works, which between them supply over three-quarters of the county.

At Wendron, near Helston, five new granular activated carbon (GAC) filters have been installed and the existing rapid gravity filters have been refurbished.

Granular activated carbon is a 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 specific surface chemistry it can remove large quantities of natural and manmade organic matter sometimes present in rivers and reservoirs supplying water treatment works.

Chris Rockey, Science and Water Quality Manager, explained: “We already have some of the best tap water in the country but this major investment will deliver even better drinking water to our customers in Cornwall.

“In the short term, the smell or taste of chlorine may become more noticeable to some customers. For this reason, 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.”

Customers supplied by Wendron will be the first to benefit from the upgrades when water that has been through the GAC treatment process will start being introduced into supply from today.

At Restormel, near Lostwithiel, six much larger GAC filters have been installed. A similar approach is being taken there and customers will start receiving a blend including the new water from late October 2014.

Work started on both sites last year and all the new filters will be in use by the end of December 2014.

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