Skip to content
Morval Parish Council
Views over the parish of Morval Parish

Full News Report

29th February 2024

South West Water responds to Widegates complaints

WITHIN hours of being advised of yet more problems with water pressure in Widegates, Cornwall County councillor Armand Toms was calling on South West Water’s owners to take action.

It was during Morval Parish Council’s February meeting debate on the possible development of Hockey’s Field, Widegates, that residents raised fresh concerns over existing water supplies.

The very next day, Cllr Toms, the independent member for the Looe East and Deviock ward, which includes Morval Parish, highlighted the issue with South West Water, telling the Exeter-based authority’s Tracy Symons that the problems of low water pressure had not been resolved, despite being reported on previous occasions.

“The low pressure relates to an intermittent pump problem,” replied Ms Symons. 

“This usually occurs if there is a power surge, or during adverse weather. The village is supplied via a pump set at Bindown service reservoir; Morview is at the highest point on this system and, as such, the top six or eight properties may notice a drop in pressure when the pump trips.”

But she assured Cllr Toms that South West Water would always respond to any pump failure as soon as possible to ensure the continuity of supply.

Cllr Toms also complained to Richie Adams, the head of South West Water’s Drinking Water Supplies (DWS) Network, who apologised for any inconvenience that supply interruptions may have caused and promised to get his team monitoring the issue.

Said Mr Adams: “The main causes for interruption to the Bindown station will be loss of electric supply and power blips which can be affected due to adverse weather, such as the recent storms.  

“During these occasions we will get notified via our remote monitoring systems and will despatch manpower to rectify; this usually is a reset of the pumps but in extreme situations may mean we have to hook up a mobile generator or undertake repairs.”

Mr Adams described the Bindown facility as a water booster station “which, in essence, boosts the water pressure to the higher elevations of the network which cannot be fed by gravity means. 

“For obvious reasons, when there is an interruption at this station some of the customers will experience low pressure and the highest elevation properties could experience no water.  

“Having spoken to my local team I have been told there have been four number of interruptions – a burst in May, which should have been a reasonably short disruption for the majority, because we utilised a water tanker to bring back into supply all but those directly fed from the main we were repairing.

“In September we had a pump failure where we dispatched our engineering team to fix.

“And lastly from the 5th to the 21st of December we were carrying out some essential main flushing to the network, which we do to ensure we maintain exceptional water quality and specifically to help minimise discolouration effects.  

“During that work, and on the 6th and 7th of December particularly, we had some calls of low pressure and so we adjusted our operation accordingly to allow the completion of the work.”

Mr Adams said that he had studied the pressure graphs for the system and (outside the situations to which he had already referred) he was satisfied that there was regular and sufficient pressure.

But he promised: “I will continue a review with my team to ensure we look at any improvements that can be made and specifically around communication.”

Cornwall County Councillor Armand Toms