WESSEX Water is spending millions of pounds to improve how waste water is dealt with in Somerset.

The company recently kickstarted a £9.5million project to to boost both the treatment and storage of wastewater in North Petherton, near Bridgwater.

The project aims to ensure that chemicals like phosphorus, ammonia and nitrogen, that are often found in many household products, are removed from wastewater

High concentrations of these chemicals can cause large growths of algae in watercourses such as streams and rivers, damaging plants and animals in those areas by depleting the amount of oxygen in the water.

Farm slurries, agricultural fertilisers and septic tanks can also be regular sources of these nutrients. 

A total of nearly £40 million has been invested in similar schemes across the county, at sites at Hardington Mandeville, near the Dorset border, as well as Martock, Crewkerne, Merriott, Langport and Ilminster. 

The investment hopes to help protect Somerset’s waterways from potentially harmful chemicals with efforts being stepped up this winter to enhance the treatment of sewage.

Wessex Water workers are also currently carrying out upgrades at two water recycling centres in Somerset.

The work at centres near Nether Stowey and Stogursey comes as part of of nearly £3 million worth of work to reduce the impact of nutrients found in wastewater on the local environment. 

Wessex Water engineers will upgrade equipment and install new processes so the water that arrives at the centres before being treated and released back into the nearby water eco-system will meet the highest standards.