A LANDMARK 1950s water tower which can hold almost a million litres of water is getting a £300,000 revamp to start running again in December.

The Berinsfield water tower will be given a new lease of life during a renovation by Thames Water to improve supplies and reduce leakage.

Standing at 30 metres tall – which is as tall as 10 giraffes – the village landmark can be seen for miles around the South Oxfordshire countryside. 

Built in 1959, it supplied all 850 properties in the village but was taken out of service two years ago when regular inspections became too difficult due to problems accessing the tower.

The village’s water supply is currently piped in; however, the pressure needed to do this can put a strain on where two sections of pipe meet, which has the potential to cause leaks.

Bringing the water tower back into action will have several benefits for the village.

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A water tower works by gravity, so there will no longer be a need to pump water which will in turn reduce the risk of leaks in the area.

Work is set to start this month on the 1950s water tower and will include replacing the existing ladders with a safer staircase, along with improvements to the access road and security.

The landmark water tower is expected to be back in operation and providing water to the village again in December.

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Rob Searle, Thames Water project manager, said: “Reducing leakage remains one of our key priorities, and bringing Berinsfield water tower back into service will help us achieve that.”

He added: “We’re currently pumping water at a higher than normal pressure but with the tower back in action we can reduce the pressure in the network and the strain on the pipes.” 

Thames Water announced in June it had achieved the water industry’s biggest reduction in leakage this century.

The company said it achieved this by using data from nearly 450,000 smart meters find and repair a 'record number' of leaks, hit its regulatory target and reduce overall leakage from its 20,000-mile network of pipes by 15 per cent in one year. 

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Thames Water says it now has 'ambitious' plans to continue modernising the region’s network.

The plans include revamping the use of advanced digital technology and smart data to achieve a further 20 per cent reduction in leakage by 2025, and 50 per cent by 2050. 

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The company says it has also cut supply interruptions – where customers are off water for more than four hours – by half over the last two years and recorded some of its best water quality scores. 

Steve Spencer, Thames Water operations director, said: “We’re determined to build on this momentum for another 20 per cent drop in leakage over the next five years, and then go much further as part of ambitious long-term plans to re-plumb London and the Thames Valley.”

He added: “We know there’s no room for complacency as we face even tougher targets, and that’s why we’re investing in our people and the best technology to keep upgrading our network.”