Water board want Beer locals for taste test

Beer residents have been invited to a public meeting to find out more about a project to improve the taste and smell of drinking water in the village.

Water quality scientists from South West Water are also hoping to recruit some locals with super-sensitive taste buds to help them monitor the success of the trial.

At the meeting next Thursday in the Mariners Hall, residents can find out more about changes to improve the water treatment process at the Bovey Lane works, which supplies Beer households with their drinking water.

Chris Rockey, South West Water’s scientific and reporting manager, said: “We currently use free chlorine to disinfect water as it leaves our treatment works.

“However, we know that our customers do not like drinking water that smells or tastes strongly of chlorine.”

He said the company are looking at several initiatives to reduce the concentration of free chlorine in people’s taps.

He explained: “In Beer we will be installing ultraviolet disinfection and using chlorine dioxide instead of free chlorine.”

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Mr Rockey wants to encourage local people to go along and help out with their research into whether the water will taste any different. He added: “We believe that most people won’t notice a difference in the taste of their water, but we want to recruit some villagers with extra-sensitive taste buds to help us monitor the trial by filling in a questionnaire before and after the changes.”

Both chlorine dioxide and free chlorine are extremely effective disinfectants, but chlorine dioxide does not have a distinctive taste or smell, so scientists from the water firm will continuously monitor the quality, taste and smell of the water treated using chlorine dioxide.

At the end of the trial they will look at the evidence and decide whether to keep using chlorine dioxide or revert to free chlorine at Bovey Lane Water Treatment Works.

The meeting is at 6pm on Thursday 13 October at Mariners Hall, Beer.

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