The nitrate levels in the Shapwick and Sturminster Marshall catchment remain high and are close to exceeding the Drinking Water Standard of 11.3 milligrams of nitrate per litre (mgN/l). Drinking water compliance is maintained by blending water from all the boreholes across the site.
The combined site is one of our major public water supply sources. It needs to be operating at its capacity to provide resilience across our supply network.
We aim to reduce nitrate loading into groundwater to prevent the need to build a nitrate treatment plant or extend the lifespan of a treatment works.
Over the last few years, our activity in the Shapwick and Sturminster Marshall catchment has been limited. However, given the site’s importance and increasing nitrate levels, we have allocated additional funding until March 2025 to support farmers to reduce nitrate losses to meet Environment Agency (EA) targets.