WATER company bosses have revealed a £15.2million plan to make sure Gloucestershire's taps do not run dry again.
It comes on the fifth anniversary of the flooding in July 2007 that led to 350,000 county people losing their water supply for 17 days. This was caused by the Mythe Water Treatment Works at Tewkesbury being flooded following the freak weather.
Severn Trent Water plans to start work on Monday, July 23, on laying a five-and-a-half mile new pipeline from Coombe Hill to Churchdown.
It will be used in the event of loss of supply at Mitcheldean Water Treatment Works.
The project, due to finish at the end of March, will guarantee water for 89,000 people served by Mitcheldean – mainly in the Forest of Dean.
Three people from Tewkesbury died during the floods following the heavy rain on July 20, 2007; Mitchell Talyor, 19, and father and son Bram and Chris Lane. As well as no water for many, 4.500 homes were flooded.
Alan Payne, Severn Trent's general manager, said: "We'd like to thank the people of Gloucestershire for bearing with us while we put a whole host of these schemes in place to both secure water supplies for the area and also to alleviate flooding problems."
The pipeline will transfer water from the treatment works at Mythe in Tewkesbury or the one at Strensham into the Mitcheldean supply area. It involves laying the pipeline to its Churchdown reservoirs. It will also include a new booster pumping facility at Brookthorpe capable of supplying 35 million litres a day through an existing pipeline to support Mitcheldean.
In 2007, people queued to collect water from bowsers and the Army helped dish out bottles of water.
Severn Trent is confident this would not happen again. Mr Payne added: "We are convinced we have delivered or are in the process of delivering a much more reliable water and waste service for customers."
Schemes completed include a £5.5million flood wall at Mythe and a £13million new back-up water supply pipeline from Strensham to Coombe Hill.
Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper MP said: "I welcome this move by Severn Trent Water to strengthen their system and help protect the water supply of Foresters for years to come."