A UK first for utilities | Mace

A UK first for utilities

  • The pioneering initiative is the first of its kind in the UK

Mace's collaboration with Southern Water and its supplier Morrison Utility Services has featured in an article in Utility Week, where Mace project manager, Morné Cloete, outlines a pioneering scheme to relieve the effects of drought and the subsequent water use restrictions introduced by seven water companies in the UK since April 5. The scheme, the first in the UK, is helping Medway Council keep the region green during the drought by recycling chlorinated water, normally used to disinfect water mains, and turning it into reusable water.

The water comes from Southern Water's Chatham Mains Replacement scheme, a project which aims to replace almost 50km of water mains across the Medway region to reduce the risk of water leakage and damaged pipelines. This scheme is part of the project management of water and wastewater projects for which Mace was appointed to assist Southern Water in improving their programme and project management skills over the last 15 months.

With the south officially in drought and water restrictions in force across Kent and Sussex, utility firms like Southern Water are looking at other methods to save water. Research by the team identified that water typically flushed into the sewerage system could be collected to help nurture green spaces and sport pitches across the area. Medway Council has backed the scheme by providing two 2,000 litre containers that will help recycle up to 3,000 litres of water a day.

The move followed a prolonged period of low rainfall in 11 of the past 18 months; the period October 2010 to February 2012 has been recorded as as the driest since 1922.

Morné Cloete, Southern Water's Project Manager for the Chatham Mains Replacement said: "Southern Water is helping conserve water supplies to beat the drought in a number of ways but this is a new method for us. The initiative will help ensure that water used in our Chatham Mains Replacement scheme is put to good use helping Medway stay green in the drought and it is great that we can team up with the council to do this."

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council's Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: "I'm pleased that this recycled water means the council can continue to provide residents with grassed sports areas, and maintain the flower displays and trees which add value to the appearance of the area, even during the drought."

Brian Buckle, Operations Manager from Morrison Utility Services, which is carrying out the Chatham Mains Replacement work, said: "The idea sprang from Southern Water's ongoing challenge to us to save waterand as we're currently experiencing a drought I really wanted to think big. Recycling chlorinated flushed water will provide around 3,000 litres of water a day. It's great that this can all be used on the upkeep of Medway's green spaces and flower beds for the benefit of the local community."

For more information on drought and water restrictions, please visit the Southern Water website here. 

To read the article in Utility Week, please click here.