Letter: Keeping Cornish sewage at bay

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The Independent Online
Sir: I must reply to the letter from Patrick Heron (27 January) headlined: 'St Ives prepares to taste life in the sewer'.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sewage problems that St Ives has suffered for many years will be eradicated by South West Water's coastal sewage treatment scheme, now well under construction in west Cornwall.

The planning inquiry to which Mr Heron refers has given South West Water the go-ahead to build a pumping station. It will enable the town to be linked to a system that will carry crude sewage currently flowing into the waters around St Ives to our waste water treatment works at Hayle for treatment to high-quality standards.

Indeed, the standard of treated waste water, which will be discharged through a 2.65km outfall, extending beyond the limits of the bay itself, will be virtually the same as that discharged to inland rivers in many parts of the country.

When complete, the scheme will represent the biggest single environmental improvement seen in this part of west Cornwall, eliminating 47 crude sewage outfalls and helping to ensure local bathing waters meet European standards. This can only be good news for local customers and for the many thousands of visitors to the area.

It is ironic that Mr Heron should refer to the Tate Gallery and the many extra visitors who are attracted to St Ives because of it. It is because of such growth that the work we are planning for St Ives becomes increasingly more urgent. Of course, we recognise that a scheme such as this cannot be put in place without causing some disruption to everyday life, and we shall do all in our power to keep inconvenience to a minimum.

We place great emphasis on keeping in touch with our local customers, both in the planning and construction stages of our schemes. We already have a successful liaison forum for our west Cornwall scheme, which meets on a regular basis. We shall be setting up a local group for St Ives.

We are looking forward to being able to start work at St Ives to provide the town with a precious asset - clean bathing waters - for which it has been waiting for too many years.

Yours sincerely,


Engineering Director

South West Water


27 January