Water Standards Improve

6 December 2012

Water consumers in Wales are seeing steadily improving standards as Costain proceeds with its AMP 5 framework agreement with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

Costain is just over halfway through the AMP 5 period, which is worth an estimated £50 million. With the previous AMP 4 period having seen a cluster of projects designed to ensure Welsh Water reached European water and wastewater quality standards, there is greater emphasis in this round on maintaining those standards, says Costain’s Framework Director, John Madden.

Among larger projects currently being tackled are the creation of a 25-million litre service reservoir outside Conwy and two large underground storage tanks at Heswall, on The Wirral.

The service reservoir is designed to create a large head of water that ensures pressure is maintained by gravity feed through the pipe network. This particularly helps consumers at the end of distribution networks who would otherwise suffer from low water pressure from their taps.

The two Wirral storage tanks will allow wastewater to be stored for treatment rather than being flushed straight out to sea, so that shellfish in the Dee Estuary are not contaminated by excessive effluent outflows.

One of the last major new facilities completed since AMP 5 came into effect was the Five Fords wastewater treatment works, the largest plant of its type in North Wales; Costain was responsible for the civil engineering works.

One noteworthy part of Costain’s work at Five Fords was construction of the digestion tanks, where bacteria break down waste. Gases given off by the process are collected and used to generate enough power not only to make the plant self-sufficient but also to export surplus electricity to the National Grid.