December 2, 2015
Wessex Water's £39m project to improve Burnham's sea water 'on track'

Wessex Water has said this week that a £39 million project to 'significantly improve' the quality of sea water in Burnham-On-Sea is progressing well and on track.

Wessex Water is investing in various upgrades to its sewerage network in our area, as well as working with the local community to reduce pollution of the River Parrett, which feeds into the sea near Burnham jetty.

The firm says the project is made up of 12 individual schemes that are due to be completed in 2018.

The sewerage work involves increasing the capacity of the sewerage network and installing new ultraviolet equipment to treat waste to the highest standard in order to be released safely back into the environment.

Matt Wheeldon, Wessex Water’s general manager for waste strategy, told "For an area that relies so heavily on tourism, especially during the summer months, our work aims to support the local economy by ensuring that the bathing water at Burnham-On-Sea is of the best quality possible."

The water company is part of a wider partnership initiative, involving the Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Board, Catchment Sensitive Farming and other organisations, to determine other factors that are affecting the bathing water in Burnham.

A coastal officer will be employed by the partnership to act as an official liaison for the local community and provide advice and help on the project where needed, as first reported by earlier this year.

Ruth Barden, head of environment and catchment strategy, added: "Through the Coastal Engagement Officer we’ll be working alongside local businesses such as cafes and restaurants to detect any misconnected drains that could send fats, oils grease and possibly food waste straight into the watercourse."

"On a more community-based level, we’ll be speaking to groups of local residents, such as dog walkers, in a bid to reduce the amount of dog waste that finds its way into rivers and bathing waters."

Also see:
Tourism fightback starts after EU gives Burnham 'poor' sea water grade
New Burnham Coastal Officer appointed to improve sea water quality
Wessex Water

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