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PUBLISHED: 08:56 15 August 2013 | UPDATED: 08:56 15 August 2013

East beach at Lyme Regis - a nicer place to be since the sewage pumping station was built at nearby Cobb Gate. Photo by Chris Carson

East beach at Lyme Regis - a nicer place to be since the sewage pumping station was built at nearby Cobb Gate. Photo by Chris Carson

Archant

Lyme Regis’ underground sewage pumping station is being opened to the public

It’s an opportunity not to be sniffed at - the chance to discover exactly what happens after residents in Lyme Regis flush their toilets.

South West Water is inviting visitors on a free tour of Gun Cliff sewage pumping station as part of this year’s national Heritage Open Days programme, in September.

The works are hidden beneath the sea defence wall at Cobb Gate, where it discreetly transports waste from the town’s population further inland for extensive treatment.

The site was built as part of South West Water’s 1995 Clean Sweep scheme for the resort in order to remove the need for two crude sewage outfalls and improve bathing water quality.

The pumping station will be open to the public on Thursday and Friday, September 12 and 13 and visitors will be shown what goes into transporting and storing large volumes of waste water, particularly following heavy storms, before it is pumped uphill for treatment.

Manager Peter Turney said: “Most people who stroll along Lyme Regis promenade have no idea what is going on under their feet.

“This is a rare opportunity for visitors to look around our high-tech pumping operation which has improved the bathing water quality in Lyme Regis. Without this pumping station, crude sewage would still be going out to sea to the west of Cobb beach but instead it is taken inland to our sewage treatment works where it receives full biological treatment and is disinfected under ultraviolet light to reduce any remaining bacteria.”

Places on the free tours are limited and must be pre-booked. Tours run between 10am and 4pm and last for an hour. To book a place, contact South West Water’s Communications Team on 01392 443766 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Tours on Friday September 13 are already fully booked.


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