A £228 million scheme to improve resilience by expanding its supply grid has won Wessex Water two awards for technical excellence from expert UK bodies, the Pipeline Industries Guild and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Due to be completed in 2018, the new water supply grid scheme includes a pipeline linking the southerly part of Wessex Water’s region in Dorset to Salisbury in Wiltshire, via Blandford Forum and Shaftesbury, and is more than 200 kilometres (124 miles) long. The eight-year project comprises more than 50 individual schemes across Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset to allow Wessex Water to redistribute surplus water to where it is needed.

The expanded grid will provide resilience to meet the demand for water over the next 25 years while reducing abstractions in areas of low river flows. Painstaking care has been taken to ensure construction is carried out in a sustainable manner that enhances the sensitive rural environment.

The Pipeline Industries Guild has awarded the grid its Utility Concept award, which recognises the challenges overcome in the delivery of land-based pipelines. The Institution of Civil Engineers presented Wessex Water with its New Build award, seeing off competition from across the engineering and construction industries.

Drummond Modley, grid programme manager, said: “What gave us the edge for both awards was the recognition by the judges of our development and application of new digital technology. The ‘Optimiser’ flow control system efficiently manages the flows through the new grid system to provide our customers with a resilient supply 24/7.”

Image: Construction of the grid pipeline in progress at Blandford Forum, Dorset. Photo: Wessex Water