West Wiltshire water transformation hits the target

A five-month project to revitalise systems carrying water to and from homes and businesses in west Wiltshire has been completed on schedule.

The £600,000 upgrade to the water supply and sewer network in Southwick, west of Trowbridge, got under way in January, part of Wessex Water’s multi-million pound investment in the region’s water network.

Back-to-back schemes saw more than 1300 metres of sewer pipes repaired and relined reducing the risk of leaks, blockages, and potential sewer collapses, while more than a kilometre of degrading water main was also replaced with new plastic pipes to reduce the risk of bursts and supply disruption for customers.

The 20-week programme centred around the main A361 Frome Road running through the village and a number of adjoining roads, all of which are now fully reopen following the completion of the work, much of which was completed without digging up the roads.

Robots and specialist equipment working deep underground helped to complete the sewer repairs, with only a small amount of excavation needed to help lay the new water main, further reducing disruption.

The projects have continued Wessex Water’s substantial investment in water infrastructure throughout the region, with more than £8 million a year currently being spent on replacing ageing water mains. An additional £3.4 million a year is also being spent on relining sewers to maintain their condition for at least another 50 years.

Wessex Water’s sewer scheme project manager Helen Tivenan said: “This was a major investment in water services in the Southwick area, ensuring our network will be resilient for decades to come and reducing the risk of disruption to our customers.

“Relining and sealing sewers in this way helps protect the environment, preventing foul water escaping and groundwater entering sewers, which can lead to flooding or storm overflows automatically discharging into rivers if the system becomes overwhelmed.

“We’re continuing to invest millions of pounds into enhancing the network throughout our region.’’

Water supply project manager Jamie Prangle added: “This is a well-used road in and out of the Trowbridge area so as well as working closely with Wiltshire Council, we spoke to businesses most directly affected by the work as well as updating customers throughout about the programme and its progress.

“By doing this and removing traffic lights from the road in the evenings, we were able to keep disruption down as much as possible and we would like to thank our customers and the local community for their patience while this important work was completed.’’