Black & Veatch Corporation

Wastewater Treatment Works


Courtesy of Courtesy of Black & Veatch Corporation

Margate and Broadstairs, two of the principal towns in northeastern Kent, attract thousands of visitors each summer to enjoy the beaches and countryside within easy reach of London.

Such popularity comes with a cost. The infrastructure serving the area needs to be developed to keep pace with the rising population and the requirements of new UK and European Union legislation.

With the introduction of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, Shellfish Directive and Bathing Waters Directive, which are aimed at significantly improving wastewater treatment, particularly in coastal areas, Southern Water initiated plans to upgrade its wastewater management system to meet or exceed specifications.

In a joint venture with Costain, a UK-based company with experience in civil construction, a multi-office team from Black & Veatch was awarded the £80 million (US$95 million) environmental improvement scheme to upgrade the process for treating wastewater generated by nearly 100,000 Margate and Broadstairs summer visitors and year-round residents. Black & Veatch is providing design, mechanical electrical, instrumentation and control works services, while Costain is delivering plans for pipe and civil construction.

In the current system, wastewater from the area travels through local sewers to the existing Margate and Broadstairs wastewater pumping stations, where it receives basic screening and is then pumped through outfalls reaching at least two kilometres into the sea. This current system does not satisfy the new directives.

When completed at the end of 2007, the new system designed by Black & Veatch will consist of a wastewater pumping station upgrade at Broadstairs and a 2.3-kilometre pipeline to Margate, where all flows will undergo screening and grit removal. At Margate, a new 1.8-metre diameter storm outfall tunnel will be constructed and will run 600 metres out to sea.

The partially treated wastewater will then be pumped 11 kilometres through an underground system to a new 120,000 population equivalents (pe) wastewater treatment facility at Weatherlees to be built alongside an existing 120,000 pe works, where it will go through several stages of treatment, including a complete upgrade of the sludge treatment and disinfection using ultraviolet light. The cleaned wastewater will then be pumped back to Foreness Point near Margate along a parallel underground pipe and released as clear water along the existing long sea outfall pipe.

Black & Veatch is Building a World of Difference by helping to keep the Margate and Broadstairs coastal waters cleaner. The historic feel that makes these communities popular destinations will remain; but out-of-sight, cutting-edge technologies will be working to ensure the sea remains a clean and healthy place for people and marine life.

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