Water schemes for the Isle of Wight

Oct 09, 2006

Millions of pounds worth of work is under way across the Isle of Wight to secure the island’s water supply and to meet the growing demand for it.

In the south of the island, Southern Water and its contractor 4Delivery (4D), are carrying out a £2.1 million scheme to extend a water pipeline. The water main link from Chillerton Water Supply Works to Chale Green is being extended to St Catherine’s Reservoir, enabling the water from the reservoir to come from two separate sources. This will improve the quality and security of the water supply to residents in Chale, Niton and The Undercliff.

As part of the work, a 150mm diameter water main pipe is being laid using traditional trench techniques.

Southern Water is also building a new booster station at Chale Street and modifications are being carried out at Chillerton Water Supply Works to make sure that a regular flow of water reaches the water main pipe.

Work started on the new pipeline in April 2006 and should finish this autumn. During the work, the supply of water to customers is being maintained by the existing water mains network.

To the north, work is under way to construct two new pipelines, from Lepe in Hampshire, across the Solent to Gurnard, to ensure demand for water continues to be met over the next 25 years.

Southern Water contractors 4D and Visser & Smit Hanab have begun work on the £15 million scheme, which is expected to finish by next summer.

The current 4km cross-Solent twin mains supply the Isle of Wight with more than a quarter of its drinking water and even more than this during the summer when there are more visitors on the island. Once work is completed, 8 megalitres more water could potentially be pumped to the island every day.

Trevor Clark, Southern Water’s Drought Manager, said: "As an island, water resources need to be managed very carefully on the Isle of Wight. Investing in schemes such as the South Wight and Cross Solent Main is vital to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers and the thousands of visitors to the island every year."

Further schemes to protect water resources due to begin soon include work to replace the water main that serves Winford and Apse Heath. The current pipe is prone to bursts, which can waste water and potentially cause flooding. The new pipe will begin to be laid in mid October.

At Sandown Water Supply Works, a planning application is being submitted for work to improve the efficiency of the treatment process. The works treat water abstracted from the River Yar and the planned improvements will enable an extra 5 million litres of water to be treated, which can then be put into supply for customers in Sandown, Shanklin and Brading.

These projects are being carried out for Southern Water by 4D, a consortium comprising United Utilities, Costain and MWH. The consortium is carrying out £750 million worth of environmental improvement and water quality schemes for Southern Water across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight between 2005 and 2010.

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