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24 June 2012, 06:00
A £9.6 million project to install two underground pumps in Melchbourne in Bedfordshire has been carried out by Anglian Water.
Along with another set of pumps at Wellingborough, they will be able to move an extra 40 million litres of treated drinking water each day from Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire to places like Milton Keynes, Bedford and Northampton.
Steve Swan from Anglian Water’s special projects team, said:
“Initially, the project was designed to take pressure off our drought-hit reservoir at Pitsford, which was very low following two dry winters. However, exceptionally heavy rainfall in April – the wettest in 113 years of records – has seen levels in the reservoir return to normal.
“Nevertheless, this scheme and others like it are vital if we are to increase the ability of our network to deal with any future droughts.”
Grafham Water supplies up to 320 million litres a day, with around 80 million litres serving parts of Northamptonshire. When needed, the new pumps will increase that supply, conserving stores at Pitsford and the nearby reservoirs at Ravensthorpe and Hollowell.
Anglian Water say that despite lifting the hosepipe ban, some of the region’s groundwater levels remain lower than they would ideally want going into the summer.
They are asking customers to still be aware of how much water they are using and reduce it where possible.