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Work complete on upgrades to water for over a million people in Essex


A £14m project that will enhance the resilience and quality of drinking water for more than a million people across Essex has been completed.

Essex & Suffolk Water has doubled the capacity of its ‘washwater’ facility at Hanningfield Water Treatment Works (WTW), which will also help to protect the environment.

Hanningfield WTW supports water supplies for up to 1.2 million customers as part of the company’s network.

The investment has seen the installation of two new 1.25 Megalitre tanks, along with a new pumping station to support the additional water flows. The new facility has been constructed by Essex & Suffolk Water’s partner, Farrans Construction & TES Group. The solution was developed by Stantec.
The washwater facility takes water that has been used for cleaning the site’s filters, so that it is not sent straight back into the environment.

Once it has been given time to settle, samples are taken, with the cleanest water being returned to Hanningfield Reservoir, with the remaining sludge going into the site’s reed beds.

These reed beds were a first for sustainable solution for water treatment sludge, representing a saving of 70 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, compared with the traditional system. They provide a natural method of dealing with the sludge, recycling the water back into the reservoir for re-use and removing the need for mechanical or chemical processes, along with the associated maintenance, labour and power.

Steve Haviland, Contracts Manager for Farrans Construction, said: “There have been a number of excellent innovations in the water sector in recent years which will have a significant impact on the environmental sustainability of washwater facilities in the future and we are proud to have been involved in this one at Hanningfield.

“We led the construction of two new washwater tanks, a new pumping station, emergency lagoon outlet structure, buried pipelines, new access road and hardstanding. We worked closely with our partner the TES group during the M&E installation on the new works, and also on the refurbishment of the existing two wash water tanks and pumping station. The new treatment works are built for the future, with capacity and conservation at the heart of the design. The project was an excellent example of collaboration throughout from design to commissioning.”

George Mok, Northumbrian Water’s Project Manager, said: “This has been an interesting project, because investment is not only helping ensure we can deliver the highest quality drinking water for more than a million people, but it also benefits the environment by utilising our innovative reed bed facility.
“This has been a project that has required great teamwork from across our business, from colleagues in Operations, to Regulation, to Conservation, as well as with the team at Farrans & TES, and we are really pleased that the newly expanded facility is now in action.”