A pilot project to explore whether ‘smart’ rainwater harvesting could help keep improve Combe Martin’s bathing water quality is being restarted following the coronavirus lockdown.

The new smart water butts being trialled in parts of Combe Martin will have a solar powered mini computer.The new smart water butts being trialled in parts of Combe Martin will have a solar powered mini computer.

South West Water is working with SDS Ltd to study whether remotely controlled water butts could help smooth the flows of water into the waste water network and contribute to reducing storm overflows.

A total of 30 will be installed at houses in Rectory Road, Knowle Gardens, Park Crescent, Tom Sanders Close and Corner Lane, Bowling Green Lane and Sunnyside.

The butts will have a solar-powered mini computer which will provide data about the amount of water collected and used, and also enable SDS to remotely empty the tanks before a rainstorm, enabling more water to be stored during storm conditions.

Dave Pateman at South West Water said the company is committed to working with the community and other agencies to improve the bathing water in Combe Martin.

He said: “We are supporting a range of measures, including this pilot project to help us understand the extent to which the installation of smart water butts could help.”

Neil Sewell, from SDS Ltd, added: “We’re grateful to every resident who has contacted us to express an interest in this project.

“We’re focussing on one area of Combe Martin so that we can more accurately measure the impact the water butts will have on surface water entering the wastewater network.

“We hope that, if we can demonstrate the benefit, we will be able to offer the water butts to more customers in the village at a later stage.”

Staff from SDS will be out and about over the next few weeks signing up residents in the target area, conducting surveys and installing water butts.

If you live in one of the target roads and you haven’t already expressed an interest but would like to, email sym.cs@sdslimited.com or call 01934 244990.