Durleigh water treatment centre

We’ve completed a £50 million project at Durleigh Water Treatment Centre to provide an improved water supply to customers in the Bridgwater area.

About the scheme

The massive refurbishment of the Enmore Road site, which got under way in 2019 after more than four years of planning, saw the old water treatment centre – which treats water from Durleigh Reservoir to the west – reconstructed to ensure that the highest quality drinking water would continue to be delivered to a population of more than 44,000.

Brought into supply in the autumn of 2022, it’s the largest single-value project ever delivered by our Engineering and Sustainable Delivery (ESD) team, after a three-year rebuild that came in on time, despite the additional challenges posed by Covid-19.

Why did we carry out the scheme?

The 30-year-old Durleigh site treats up to 30 megalitres a day of water, drawn from the reservoir, but it had outgrown its design capacity.

A reconstruction was required to update water treatment processes and ensure it would continue to meet increasing demands from a rising population, as well as reducing the high operating costs and tackle poor raw water quality, with high levels of algae during the summer and water that was often cloudy and murky in winter, that had continued to deteriorate over the past 20 years.


Aerial view of Durleigh water treatment centre undergoing improvement works
Aerial view of Durleigh water treatment centre improvements.

What improvements did we make?

More than 70 per cent of the old water treatment centre was demolished and recycled, with outdated equipment decommissioned and removed, while the rest of the site was repurposed or refurbished.

Two new wetlands created upstream from the centre will also improve the quality of water entering the reservoir and enhance wildlife and biodiversity, supporting the work we do with local farmers to reduce pesticides and silt entering the Durleigh Brook.

How did we make savings?

By using innovative developments in technology and project delivery, we made sure the scheme’s impact on the environment was reduced, as well as saving time, money and materials.

We also partnered with infrastructure consulting firm AECOM, which delivered the detailed design. They established some large structures and tanks that could be built offsite and craned into position, saving an estimated 20 per cent programme time and £1.1 million, as well as reducing construction waste on site by up to 20 per cent.

The success of the Durleigh project has resulted the creation of a dedicated Off-Site Build department at Wessex Water, at which equipment can be designed, manufactured and supplied pre-assembled, reducing labour, our carbon footprint and costs.


Wessex Water employee in a hi vis jacket inside Durleigh water treatment centre
Inside Durleigh water treatment centre.

Working with the community

Completing such a large reconstruction inevitably impacts nearby communities and we worked closely with Durleigh Parish Council to ensure they were kept informed about the progress of the water treatment centre scheme. We marked this close working relationship by donating a £6,000 defibrillator to the village and installing it at the entrance to the refurbished water treatment centre.