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Water supply and sewerage

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  • Sewerage network

    We treat 460 million litres of sewage from 2.7 million customers every day.

    We have:

    • 35,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) of sewers
    • 407 sewage treatment works
    • 1,600 sewage pumping stations

    Infrastructure improvements: From 2010 to 2015 we have invested around £1 billion to make further improvements to ensure that we continue to deliver high standards.

    A lot of our investment has been driven by the improvements that customers have told us that they see as important.

    These included:

    • reducing the risk of sewage flooding
    • improving the environment
    • reducing the risk of pollution.

    Highlights of our investment programme were:

    • £226 million invested to maintain and improve services
    • largest infrastructure investor in the region providing more than 1,000 jobs
    • achieved certification to the new international standard ISO55001:2014 for asset management
    • achieved our third re-certification to PAS55:2008 asset management standard
    • our asset serviceability was stable for seventh consecutive year according to Ofwat measures.

    We delivered two sewerage schemes which enabled 354 properties to connect to the public sewer network for the first time, reducing pollution for the communities involved.

    Other schemes underway or delivered recently include:

    • investment at three sewage treatment works in Somerset - Evercreech, Shepton Mallet and Yeovil - to reduce levels of phosphorus discharged into rivers on the Somerset Levels
    • upgrading Puddletown sewage treatment works in Dorset to improve the quality of the effluent discharged to the river
    • £11 million investment at Trowbridge to increase the quantity of sludge treated through anaerobic digestion processes and increase the level of electricity generated. This scheme, the first of three, will produce an additional 8GWh of electricity annually
    • construction work at Taunton, Mere and Iwerne Minster sewage treatment works to improve the quality of the effluent discharged into the river.

    Sewage flooding 

    The wet weather from December 2013 to February 2014 broke all records according to the Met Office and resulted in unusual flooding incidents because the ground was fully saturated for nearly half the year.

    The high groundwater leaves also infiltrated and inundated privately owned drains and some public sewers across the region. 

    To protect properties from flooding and losing the ability to use their drainage facilities, we mobilised over pumping and tankering in 48 locations.

    Although we are delivering a prioritised programme of infiltration reduction at catchments that have suffered, many of the problems can only be resolved through a partnership approach with other flood risk management agencies, such as local authorities and the Environment Agency.

    Work continues with local councils to develop surface water management plans and flood management strategies.

    We are currently working with both Somerset County Council and the Environment Agency on the 20-year flood action plans Somerset Levels and Moors. 

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