River protection goes with the flow in north Dorset

  • £4 million project will help to enhance quality of River Stour
  • Scheme will boost water treatment near Somerset/Wiltshire border

Protection of the River Stour in north Dorset is being handed a further significant boost courtesy of a seven-figure rural project due to get under way this winter.

The water recycling centre near the village of Bourton, on the border with Somerset and Wiltshire, will be enhanced by a £4 million investment that will boost the capacity to treat wastewater.

The upgrade will ensure the centre can meet the demands of the local area, by continuing to properly treat incoming flows from the sewers before it can be safely returned to the environment via the nearby river.

The project, which will get under way in November, comes hot on the heels of a £3 million investment in Gillingham's water recycling centre to the south.

That enhancement saw the capacity to store water following heavy storms almost doubled and beefed-up equipment for monitoring the chemicals within sewage installed.

Similar environmental protection projects in Dorset have seen a £4 million upgrade of the water recycling centre at Wimborne – also helping to protect the River Stour - and a further £1.8 million being spent on the site at Ringwood on the Hampshire border.

This summer alone, Wessex Water has also boosted its protection of rivers and coastlines in Dorset further by investing more than half a million pounds in relining nearly a mile of sewer pipes in the county.

The company's site project manager Jason Gammon said: "It's important that we continue to monitor and update centres like the one at Bourton to ensure they continue to meet the needs of treating wastewater from the local population and that's what this investment is all about.

"By further increasing our capacity to treat wastewater arriving at the site and ensuring our equipment remains up to date, we can continue to play an important role in enhancing the health of our rivers, like the Stour nearby."

The scheme, which is taking place entirely within the boundaries of the current water recycling centre, is expected to be completed by the end of next year.