Hundreds of millions to be spent on South Bank water supply Anglian Water investment.
17th September 2018
Anglian Water has announced a £6.5 billion investment programme over the next five years, with hundreds of millions to be spent across northern Lincolnshire.
The huge spend on infrastructure includes £100 million to build new water treatment capacity in Grimsby and at Elsham, to increase resilience to droughts. It will come as nearly double that will be invested in a county-wide scheme to create new interconnecting pipes that can move water around the region wherever and whenever needed.
There will also be an £11 million project to protect the Anglian Water raw water borehole from agricultural pollution in Irby, described as an essential source for drinking water, as well as a £7 million spend on a new bio-digester at Grimsby’s Pyewipe Sewage Treatment Works. This will convert sewage into soil fertiliser for farms, while generating clean energy too.
All, and more, feature in the business plan covering the five year period from 2020-2025, to its regulator, Ofwat, and it is 30 per cent larger than the last period, and the largest ever brought forward. Lincolnshire is by far the largest focus of the spend.
Chief executive Peter Simpson underlined the importance and pace of growth of the region, often referred to as the ‘bread basket’ of the UK due to its key role in food production.
He said: “This is the most ambitious plan we’ve put forward yet with stretching goals that will see us push the frontier in many areas, like leakage, resilience and catchment management, and it’s the biggest investment we’ve ever proposed.
“We provide an essential public service, so it’s imperative our business responds to customer challenge. Thousands of customers have helped shape the plan – they told us what matters to them most, we’ve taken that on board and created a plan which reflects those priorities.”
The region receives only two thirds of the national average rainfall, putting further pressure on the supplier.
“The ‘Beast from the East’ and this summer’s heat wave are the kind of extreme weather challenges we’ll see more of in the future as a result of global climate change,” Mr Simpson said. “The plan we’ve proposed, and the millions of pounds of investment within will tackle these challenges head on to ensure that, despite the likelihood of lower levels of rainfall in the future, there are plentiful supplies of safe, quality water for our growing population.
“Importantly, our plans will deliver this with only a very slight increase in bills - less than one per cent over the whole five years with average bills at the end of the period the same as at the start. However, we recognise that for some customers even this miniscule increase is a challenge which is why we’re planning to help on average 475,000 customers every year with one of the most comprehensive support packages in the industry.
“Our plan proposes to accommodate all of this, and crucially, it will deliver this while protecting the environment, something that we agree with our customers is of paramount importance. We’re confident it’s the right plan for our customers and our region.”
- Reducing leakage by a further 22 per cent, with an investment of £240m which would make Anglian Water a world leader in leakage, as well as retaining its leakage crown in the UK too
- A Water Resources Management Plan totalling £630m, nearly eight times larger than the last period which will remove the risk of water restrictions for all customers – even during a severe drought
- Halving the average length of any interruptions to supply – despite an already leading score
- Completely eliminating serious pollution incidents
- £783m to support our spectacular environment through the delivery of our Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP), expenditure that is more than double the last period
- £650m invested to enable sustainable growth and allow for more than 200,000 new homes to be built in the region by 2025, through improvements to our water and water recycling networks
- £40m to protect drinking water quality through catchment management solutions that safeguard water in the natural environment.
Mr Simpson added: “We’re really confident our plan reflects what customers care about most and their guidance was clear: they expect us to act and invest now to improve the resilience of the region, not wait until costs may need to be higher to meet the challenge. It’s the right plan for our customers, and the right plan for the region both for today and for tomorrow.”
Also in the five year plan is:
- A large share of £237 million to significantly reduce leakage across the county and to help customers save water and money by fitting smart meters in targeted areas. Anglian Water already has the best leakage record but this investment will achieve new, ambitious industry lows.
- Around £7 million to reduce the risk of flooding in parts of Lincolnshire, around half of which will be spent on sustainable drainage schemes that use nature to slow the flow of rain entering the drains.
- £600,000 to upgrade water treatment processes and protect against lead at our sites in Gainsborough and Welton.
- £3.8million to work with farmers to reduce pesticide levels in the county’s raw waters.
- £435,000 to address ground water pollution from fertilisers and animal manures.
- £115,000 to prevent phosphate pollution that causes algal growth in rivers, which is harmful to fish and makes water harder to treat for drinking.
- A share of £200,000 to support partnership working with Catchment Based Approach groups in Lincolnshire to deliver community-led water quality improvement.
News Courtesy: www.humberbusiness.com