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Major Water Project Nears Completion

21 February 2013

The team behind the project to ensure Cleaner Seas for Sussex is now on the final straight as the Peacehaven Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) nears completion.

Only minor works remain to be undertaken on the £300million project to improve the last area in the UK that failed to meet the EU water treatment directive.

Completion means that the wastewater produced by residents of Peacehaven, Telscombe, Saltdean, Rottingdean and Brighton and Hove is now being treated to the highest standards.

The project, which has involved drilling 11km of tunnels and laying a 2.5km sea outfall pipe as well as moving over one million m³ of earth at Peacehaven alone, is about to undergo its final test.

“We’re getting ready for 28-day compliance testing,” says Senior Project Manager, Graham Sugrue. “We put the plant into automatic operation and let it run itself.”

Among the challenges that Graham’s team – which numbered around 400 at its peak – had to meet was compliance with 66 planning conditions, delivering 30,000m³ of concrete through one small access road and allaying the concerns of a local community over the new WWTW.

All those challenges have been overcome. Additionally, the project has achieved 2.5 million RIDDOR-free hours.

Both Southern Water and the local councils involved are happy, adds Graham, for whom the project has occupied his life for the past four years. “I recall standing in the middle of the site in June 2009 with a couple of my guys, saying ‘In three years’ time we’ll have installed 2,000 tonnes of steel, poured 30,000 tonnes of concrete and moved a million cubic metres of material here.’

“If I look back at that and look at the time-lapse photography on how the site has progressed I get an immense sense of achievement and pride.  It’s been a good project to be part of.”