Drinking water not up to scratch

PUBLISHED: 11:37 17 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 May 2010

WATER supplies to a cluster of North Somerset villages are not meeting Government standards. Drinking water inspectors have said villages such as Winscombe served by a treatment works in nearby Rowberrow are not getting a good enough water supply. The Gov

WATER supplies to a cluster of North Somerset villages are not meeting Government standards.Drinking water inspectors have said villages such as Winscombe served by a treatment works in nearby Rowberrow are not getting a good enough water supply.The Government department has imposed a legal requirement that the supply must be upgraded by April next year. Although the water supply, to villages including Sandford and Sidcot, is safe, it is not up to new standards being set by the Government.Bristol Water is responsible for the supply and wants to build two huge new pipelines across North Somerset to pump fresh water to the area.The company wants to pump water to the Rowberrow site from a treatment works in Castle Hill, Banwell, through a 3.5km-long pipe.Another 2.6km pipeline would then be built to run from Rowberrow to the cemetery in Sandford Road, Winscombe, where it would enter pipes which run into residents' homes.The company says the pipes would eventually result in the closure of the Rowberrow treatment works. It says building the pipeline network would be easier than upgrading the Rowberrow site.Because of the vital need for good drinking water, Bristol Water does not need to get planning permission to build the pipes. They would travel underground through fields surrounding the villages.Due to the size of the pipes an environmental survey may need to take place as they will run through important wildlife areas and the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.North Somerset Council will decide whether a survey needs to take place. If it decides there is no need for one, work could start on the project by September and finish by February - just in time for the Government deadline.But if it does decide a survey is needed Bristol Water will have to submit a planning application and the project could be delayed as a result.

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