Major investment benefits South Devon's tap water

Posted: Tuesday 3rd July 2018

A £6million project will deliver even better drinking water to customers in South Devon.

South West Water has invested £6million at Tottiford Water Treatment Works, near Bovey Tracey, to install six new granular activated carbon filters, a new pumping station and a state-of-the-art ultraviolet disinfection system at the works.

Granular activated carbon (GAC) is a specially engineered 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 special surface chemistry it can remove natural and manmade organic matter sometimes present in Fernworthy, Kennick, Trenchford and Tottiford reservoirs, which supply the water treatment works.

Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection uses UV light to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses sometimes found in the untreated reservoir water.

Bob Taylor, Operations Director - Drinking Water Services, explained: "We already have some of the best tap water in the country but this major investment in additional treatment will deliver even better drinking water to our customers in South Devon.

"In the short term, some customers may notice the smell or taste of the water may change slightly. For this reason, we will bring the new treatment on line gradually and blend the new and improved water with the water currently produced by the works to ensure a smooth transition."

This approach was undertaken successfully at Restormel and Wendron water treatment works in Cornwall in 2014, Tamar Lakes in 2017 and Northcombe in 2018.

Customers supplied by Tottiford will start to benefit from the upgrades when water that has been through the GAC and UV treatment process is introduced into supply from today.

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April 2021

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