News | May 10, 2011

Thames Water Engages Black & Veatch To Upgrade Two Treatment Facilities

Upgrade to works will optimise sustainability in wastewater treatment

Black & Veatch has been appointed principal contractor for a programme of works that will enhance and expand sludge treatment operations at Thames Water's Basingstoke and Bracknell Sewage Treatment Works.

The major upgrades will convert liquid treated waste into a sludge cake that offers a reduced risk of nitrate pollution run-off when introduced as a soil improver. Additionally, transporting sludge cake rather than liquid sludge off site requires fewer vehicle movements resulting in cost and waste management efficiencies whilst reducing the treatment centres' impact on the environment and neighbouring communities.

The improvements will help ensure compliance with nitrate pollution prevention regulations that govern the application of nitrate containing fertilisers.

Lorry movements at Basingstoke will be reduced by 50 percent and at Bracknell by 80 percent.

The upgrades will reduce the carbon footprint associated with the treatment of sewage sludge whilst increasing the capacity of each to accommodate future population growth.

Lawrence Gosden, Thames Water's head of capital delivery, said:

"This essential work will help us maintain high performance at the plant, comply with new European regulations and reduce our impact on the environment by substantially reducing lorry movements to and from the site.

"These upgrades are part of our £5bn programme of essential works to improve water pipes, sewers and other facilities across London and the Thames Valley between 2010 and 2015."

"Sewage sludge is the solid waste left behind after the sewage treatment process," said Martin Ellis, Black & Veatch Contract Manager. "Thames Water recycles all of its sludge for beneficial reuse purposes, the majority of which is used as a nutrient-rich fertiliser for agricultural land use."

The facilities at Bracknell in Berkshire and Basingstoke in Hampshire form part of the utility's sludge management strategy.

"These are innovative, high-profile schemes to enable Thames Water to meet their regulatory compliance while maintaining the continued high performance of each facility," said Ellis. "We have set up an integrated UK/India design team which, combined with an experienced construction and management team, is focussed on delivering the agreed solution to accomplish this goal."

The work builds on Black & Veatch's 20-year relationship with Thames Water in supporting the water company's need to meet regulatory requirements and fulfil customer expectations with an efficient, high-quality water and wastewater service.

About Thames Water
Thames Water is the UK's largest water and sewerage company, serving 13.6 million customers across London and the Thames Valley.

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is a global leader in the consulting, engineering, construction and operation of what the world needs now and in the future in the crucial areas of energy, water and telecommunications and in providing up-to-the-minute services in the fast changing federal and environmental markets. Founded in 1915, the employee-owned, $2.3B company operates out of over 110 offices worldwide and has completed projects in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Black & Veatch