Seven-figure boost for river protection at Ilminster

A multi-million pound project to help protect the River Isle, near Ilminster, is closing in on completion this autumn.

Work to further preserve the health of the 14-mile waterway in south Somerset by strengthening the removal of chemicals from wastewater got under way at the end of last year.

Construction is expected to conclude in October, followed by a period of testing and minor mechanical and electrical work until January of next year.

The £7 million scheme will see the site to the north of the town heavily upgraded with fresh equipment and processes to take phosphorus, which is found in many household products, out of the wastewater arriving at the site.

New storage tanks, pumps and monitoring equipment will also ensure that the centre can cope with the increasing amount of sewage arriving and continue to treat it to the standards set by the Environment Agency before being returned to local waterways.

It continues Wessex Water’s drive to ensure its water treatment centres continue to safely treat wastewater before it is released back to the environment. As this scheme finishes, two further treatment and storm storage projects totalling more than £12 million will start up in the west of the county in September.

Wessex Water project manager Sam Richards said: “By investing in our processes for water recycling at the centre serving Ilminster we will make sure that it is treated fully and safely before being released back to the environment.

“We treat hundreds of millions of litres of sewage from customers across our region every day and we’re constantly reviewing the equipment at our water recycling centres to make sure it is properly cleaning the wastewater to the correct standards.

“We’re spending hundreds of millions of pounds to upgrade equipment to meet these standards, improve water quality and protect the environment.’’