South West water has pledged to spend £159m over the next couple of years to upgrade water and sewerage systems in the region. The spend is part of the water company’s commitment to spend over £700m by 2015.

Some of the things South West water hope to achieve include:

• Expand their WaterCare programme
• Help customers using the £1m FreshStart fund
• Restore 500 hectares of wetland on Exmoor and Dartmoor
• Open a new reservoir near Bodmin moor
• Spend £10m on the repair and upgrade of sewer systems across the region
• Spend £14m improving drinking water quality

South West Water published their domestic and commercial charges on Friday, with an estimated 20,000 customers reducing the amount they pay by switching to a water meter this year.

Chris Loughlin the chief executive stated:

“We will be making a huge £159 million investment in the infrastructure and economy of our region when many other organisations will be reducing their spend. I am sure that will come as good news to hundreds of our suppliers and the thousands who work for them.

“Our investment over the last 20 years has helped underpin the South West economy while protecting its environment. We will keep doing that but in new ways such as our pioneering Upstream Thinking programme to restore wetlands. This will lessen the need to build more costly treatment plants by naturally purifying raw water long before it reaches us.

“We also know some customers do have problems paying their bills. That’s why we are offering water-saving packs to all our customers this year and using local Citizens Advice Bureaux and debt advisors across the region to get help to those in most need under our £1million FreshStart scheme.

“Our much-praised WaterCare scheme has already helped thousands and we will be expanding it to offer free energy audits and grants advice as well as water-saving devices, benefit and metering checks.”

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