The announcement comes during the ongoing £1.8m upgrade of Netley Mill water treatment works, which supplies 8,500 properties in Cranleigh and the surrounding villages via Hurtwood, Alderbrook and Lambswood reservoirs. The work will increase the resilience of the site and reduced the risk of supply interruptions.
Looking ahead, more than 8,000 new homes are planned for the Guildford area in the next five years. This will put added pressure on demand for water at a time when climate change is impacting its availability from the natural environment.
Thames Water head of water production Gareth Parry said: “Water is life’s essential service so making sure our customers have access to a reliable and safe supply is a top priority for us. It’s vital we keep investing in our network, particularly in and around Guildford where we heavily rely on a relatively small number of treatment sites and reservoirs to meet the needs of tens of thousands of homes.
“Space for new reservoirs is almost impossible to come by so we have to ensure those sites we do have are upgraded regularly to meet the increasing demand for water as the population grows.”
Future projects to be funded from Thames Water’s £55.7m investment pot will include improvements at Ladymead water works, to the north of Guildford, to increase the volume of water it can treat by up to six million extra litres per day. New pipework for villages including Cranleigh and Dunsfold will also be installed to accommodate growth, while protecting supplies for existing homes.
Guildford’s water supply network is currently made up of 1,343km of pipes – the length of more than 12,500 football pitches – and plans are in place to replace 14km of it in the next two years.
“A new 10km pipe is also planned to connect the water supply systems for east and west Guildford, which are currently not linked. This will enable water to be moved from one area to another to keep more taps flowing during operational incidents.