Keeping the water flowing in rural Somerset

Water supply in west Somerset is being enhanced by a £600,000 investment project getting under way this month.

Just under a mile of water main near the village of Stogursey, west of Bridgwater, will be replaced in the opening phase of a major Wessex Water overhaul taking place south of Hinkley Point Power Station.

The 15-week scheme, which begins on 10 July, will see nearly 1,300 metres of plastic pipework being laid in private fields, replacing the decaying cement main that feeds villages such as Stogursey, Carrington and the surrounding rural area, but which has been prone to increasing bursts in recent years.

A further phase, to replace a further 1,265 metres of the main over the coming years, taking the total modernisation length to nearly 3,000 metres, is currently in the planning stage.

Wessex Water is continuing to invest in the supply network by renewing ageing water mains as well as maintaining and improving facilities that help store and move water around the region to supply its customers, with around £12 million spent each year on a regional network spanning more than 12,000 kilometres.

Project manager Nathan Storey said: “This main replacement will take place almost entirely within fields near Stogursey and we’ll be using open-cut and directional drilling methods to keep any disruption to a minimum.

"By replacing the older unstable main, we’ll be able to ensure our customers can enjoy improved water quality and a more reliable supply and reduce leaks from what are currently ageing and degrading pipes."

Wessex Water supplies more than 282 million litres of water every day to 1.4 million customers and 44,000 businesses.

The company currently spends £16 million a year on managing and reducing leaks and repaired nearly 15,000 leaks between April 2022 and March of this year.