A BESPOKE £100,000 water pumping station has been installed in the grounds of St Ives' Tregenna Castle Hotel to supply homes in the town after a contamination outbreak in the summer.
The temporary installation will allow South West Water (SWW) to bypass Steeple tank for major maintenance. Steeple was the underground service reservoir at the centre of the "boil water" notice issued to 1,500 homes in St Ives, Carbis Bay, Nancledra, Halsetown and the surrounding hamlets in July after concerns about high levels of bacteria.
SWW staff worked through the night, going door to door to warn the public not to drink straight from the tap, after the scare at the height of the summer.
The notice stayed in place for four days and the water from the reservoir has been receiving extra levels of chlorine treatment ever since.
Now Steeple can be taken off-line for what will be a major construction job.
The company's acting head of drinking water services, Guy Doble, said: "Steeple service reservoir plays an important role in ensuring our customers have a continuous supply of tap water and it is extremely difficult to remove it from service without putting supplies at risk.
"During recent months we have designed and built a water pumping station at workshops away from the site and, over the past few weeks, we have installed the necessary pumps, controls and pipework on land owned by the Tregenna Castle Hotel.
"The proprietors of the hotel have been extremely supportive in giving their permission for the works to go ahead and we're very grateful for their help."
The temporary pumping station and overland pipes have enabled South West Water to link supplies in the area in order to bypass the tank and remove it from service for detailed inspection.
A spokesperson said: "This work should have minimal impact on customer supplies, although they may experience some minor variations in pressure.
"Once the tank is out of commission, it can be inspected in detail and remedial works scoped. This work will take several weeks to complete, so the temporary pumping station will ensure everyone keeps their water supply until the tank can be returned to service."
SWW said monitoring of Steeple had been stepped up since the summer.
The spokesperson said: "Since last summer's incident the supply leaving the tank has been monitored on an enhanced frequency. The quality of water leaving the tank is meeting all relevant water quality standards since the temporary repairs were made.
"However, initial inspections have indicated that the tank does require remedial works."
The company said it was grateful to customers for their patience and understanding during last summer's incident and during the works planned over the coming weeks.