Cash windfall of £300,000 to improve bathing water quality

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: WELCOME NEWS: Chris Loughlin, chief executive of South West Water WELCOME NEWS: Chris Loughlin, chief executive of South West Water

LYME REGIS is to benefit from a share of a £15million handout to improve bathing water quality.

South West Water (SWW) will pour more than £300,000 into the town and Uplyme as part of a major investment programme.

At the same time, the company has revealed it will freeze customer charges until April 2015.

The investment between 2014 and 2015 is the final instalment of the company’s pledge to invest £700million over a five-year period, and SWW predicts a total of £430,000 a day will be spent improving water and sewerage systems.

Around £15million has been set aside by the firm to improve bathing water quality in the area’s most troublesome spots, including Lyme Regis. As part of the planned works, £319,000 will be spent in Lyme Regis and Uplyme to increase storm water storage capacity at Uplyme Sewage Treatment Works to reduce the number of storm discharges, and improvements will also be made to the combine sewer overflow at Mill Lane.

Chris Loughlin, South West Water chief executive, said: “A price freeze does not mean an investment holiday for us. We’re investing £430,000 a day in our infrastructure to improve tap water quality, help the environment and protect people from sewer flooding – especially as we are experiencing wetter winters.

“We will be investing in protecting customers from sewer flooding across the region and in particular we’re pleased to be trialling our ‘Downstream Thinking’ approach to managing storm water, working with nature to store water and prevent it from overloading our sewers and flooding homes and gardens.”

The company, which provides water to the whole of the south west of England, has announced a price freeze on standard tariffs and standing charges until April 2015.

It has also pledged to invest a further £160million into the company’s infrastructure across the south west which includes improving bathing water quality, tap water quality, sewage treatment works and research into more hyrdo-electric renewable energy schemes.

As well as the price freeze, SWW also predicts around 13,000 customers will save on average £300 to £400 per year by switching to a water meter system, though this will vary on an individual basis.

A £50 subsidy per household bill will also help to reduce the cost of water this year.

Mr Loughlin said: “At a time when household budgets are under pressure, we’re pleased to have been able to confirm a price freeze for customers and businesses until April 2015, as well as our proposals to keep average bill rises below inflation to 2020.

“Along with the freeze, customers will continue to benefit from the £50 government contribution, so many will see their water bill reduce.”

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