South West Water to spend £100,000 on 'boil notice' reservoir
SOUTH West Water are to spend more than £100,000 on a pumping station to supply homes in the higher ground around St Ives after they had to issue a boil water notice in the summer.
The boil water notice was issued to 1,500 homes in St Ives, Carbis Bay, Nancledra, Halsetown and the surrounding hamlets in July after concerns at high levels of bacteria in the underground Steeple reservoir.
SWW staff worked through the night going door to door to warn the public not to drink straight from the tap.
The notice stayed in place for four days as the water company and the water from it has been receiving extra levels of chlorine treatment ever since.
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Now the company have announced a “complex project” that will see the current Steeple service reservoir taken out of service, a full structural survey being carried out and then a new pumping station being installed “to maintain security of supplies.”
A spokesperson for South West Water said they are currently carrying out preparatory construction work at the site in moorland above St Ives and Carbis Bay.
The spokesperson said: “The plans we are putting in place are focused on us not disrupting the supplies to our customers in the area.”
She said the pumping station alone will cost around £100,000.
South West Water have said investigations at the site after July’s incident showed damage to the lining of the service reservoir that kept it free from contamination from the surrounding soil.
Their spokesperson said: “We issued the boil water notice as a precautionary measure and it was lifted after a few days. Initial external investigations identified a couple of areas where there appeared to be some damage to the membrane of the service reservoir which were immediately repaired.
“Since the incident we have been maintaining chlorine levels at a slightly elevated level and have been taking samples on an increased frequency.
“All of the samples since the incident have met the relevant quality standards. Once we have installed the pumping station we will be able to take the reservoir out of service for a full internal inspection.
The company were criticised by residents and one Carbis Bay councillor for their response to the incident at the time, but they insisted they responded quickly and effectively.
They said that when higher levels of coliform bacteria – used to indicate contamination in the water industry – were found at the covered reservoir, they immediately informed Cornwall Council and the Drinking Water Directorate.
Staff worked throughout the night with some families confirming they had ‘boil water’ notices pushed through their door as late as 4am and 5am.