Historically drinking water was supplied to Sennybridge training area in Powys from bowsers or jerry cans filled at the main camp and driven up onto the training ranges, a 3 hour round trip of 30 miles in some cases.
Britain’s third largest military training area now has a sustainable supply of drinking water, thanks to new boreholes delivered by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
Sennybridge is the third largest training area in the UK. Its 31,000 acres are used by around 120,000 troops a year.
But following a £1 million programme, the site is now supplied from seven boreholes.
The programme began in 2011, when DIO and Kelda Water Services Defence (KWSD) started work to replace this arrangement with providing potable water from boreholes on the ranges.
Water quality sampling and risk assessments concluded that the existing 15 boreholes and one spring were not wholesome and the water was not fit for human consumption, or indeed for any domestic purpose (washing or showering), due to the potential risk from waterborne bacterial infection.
Six new boreholes were drilled and one existing borehole was redrilled. A new water treatment works was installed at each of the 7 locations, including new chlorination units, UV disinfection and filtration systems: these new installations ensure that the water can now be used for drinking and washing.
Heidi Waggett, who managed the project for DIO, said:
We worked closely with KWSD and the units using the ranges throughout the project, resulting in a successful outcome for all stakeholders. The new boreholes and water treatment systems represent a significant environmental benefit and a sustainable long term solution for provision of potable water to this remote site.
Sennybridge’s Senior Training Safety Officer, Maj Ed Mahony, said:
The works cost around £1 million, but the value of having drinking water here is huge, not only for training soldiers, but for all the staff supporting the training effort across this vast geographical area. It greatly enhances training, reduces the cost and time of bringing water to the area and gives the site’s users freely available drinking water and hot showers. Achieving this on the third largest UK training area is invaluable.