Construction teams will move into the town’s water recycling centre on the Dorset/Hampshire border in June, to begin seven months of improvements designed to help enhance the quality of the nearby River Avon.
The work will substantially increase the capacity of the centre to store incoming water from sewers following heavy rainfall, buying valuable time for its careful treatment before it is safely returned to the environment.
The improved infrastructure will help ensure that instances where storm overflows, which operate automatically to prevent sewers that have been overwhelmed by rapidly increasing volumes of rain runoff and wastewater mix from flooding homes and businesses, are in use are reduced.
Wessex Water’s investment will boost the capacity to store wastewater by almost a third at the Ringwood site courtesy of a new storm tank, allowing nearly 1.5 million litres of water to be retained prior to safe treatment and return to the River Avon.
The work is part of Wessex Water’s £3 million a month investment in tackling storm overflows. More than £150 million is being spent to help complete nearly 100 projects to reduce the operation of storm overflows by a quarter, while supporting the environment.
Wessex Water project manager Kirstie Hearn said: “The Ringwood centre treats wastewater from the local population which is expected to grow in future years and by adding this extra storage we can make it more resilient during times when there are heavy storms, easing the pressure on the sewer system and reducing the occasions that overflows operate
“The new tank will make sure we can store more of this combined rain and wastewater before treating it and returning it safely to the environment.
“We’ll also be adding more monitoring equipment at the site to ensure the standards identified by the Environment Agency are complied with as we look to further enhance the health of rivers.’’
After receiving the planning application green light from New Forest District Council, the project will continue throughout the year and is expected to finish towards the end of December, the work all taking place within Wessex Water land.