WELSH Water’s £8 million investment to upgrade a wastewater system, which should in turn improve the river Lugg water quality, is ahead of schedule.

The first phase of the major system upgrade in Presteigne and Norton, on the Herefordshire-Powys border, should be finished by the end of October – two months ahead of schedule.

The second phase, already underway, should then be finished by June 2022, Welsh Water said.

The work by the not-for-profit company, which provides water to Wales and most of Herefordshire, should improve the quality of the water which is released to the environment.

Welsh Water previously said that this in turn would boost water quality in the pollution-plagued river Lugg, as well as the Norton brook.

Herefordshire Council put a moratorium on housing development across the River Lugg sub-catchment due to the high levels of phosphates, thought to mainly come from farming.

The work by Welsh Water, and contractors Morgan Sindall, started with the first phase getting underway in Norton last year.

This involved building a brand-new pumping station which would pump waste to Presteigne Wastewater Treatment Works, where it would be treated before being safely returned to the environment.

While the majority of the work took place within the site and private land, some work has been carried out within sections of the B4355 road.

It was anticipated that the work in Norton will be completed by the end of December this year, but that should now be October.

The second phase, at the Presteigne Wastewater Treatment Work, started on Monday, June 7.

This involved upgrading the existing assets to improve the way the waste is treated and will be carried out solely within the existing Welsh Water compound.

To help minimise disruption for the local community, a temporary access track was constructed through private land off the B4362, and work should be complete within 12 months.