Defra-Funded Water Improvements On Track

Sewers in Hugh Town will be surveyed and repaired

Councillors have heard how a £1.5m grant from Defra is being used to improve water supply and sewerage facilities on St Mary’s and Bryher, the two islands that the Council covers as a Water Authority.

Chief Technical Officer, Neville Gardner, said planning permission had been received for replacement storage tanks at Buzza Reservoir on St Mary’s and on Bryher, although work can’t start on those projects until the end of the tourist season in the autumn.

Drilling of new boreholes on Bryher has also taken place.

And new projects brought before councillors include a replacement desalination plant as well as survey and improvements to the sewerage system in Hugh Town and Old Town, including the outflow pipes at the Atlantic Slipway and at Morning Point.

There have been problems in the past with the system, which has been liable to flood in heavy rain.

Neville told Councillors that, “everything they planned to progress is on schedule and moving forward.”

He added that costs will be within the scope of the funding already provided by Defra.

Councillor John Goddard questioned whether it was normal to keep such high sums in the water reserves, which currently stand at £545,610 for water and £699,405 for sewerage.

Neville said the Government had paid for the old desalination plant in 1993, as well as the newly-planned facility which is estimated to cost around £600,000.

He said it was unlikely that in 10 or 15 years time, a future Government would do the same, and building that level of reserve would ensure they could deliver large infrastructure projects in the future.