Black & Veatch upgrades UK sludge treatment

The Thames Water facilities, located at Basingstoke and Bracknell in the south of the UK, will be upgraded with new technology from Black & Veatch designed to convert liquid treated waste into a sludge cake that offers a reduced risk of nitrate pollution run-off when introduced as a soil improver. Transporting sludge cake rather than liquid sludge off site generally requires fewer vehicle movements as well, and the companies state that lorry movements at Basingstoke will be reduced by 50% and at Bracknell by 80%. The sludge is then recycled for beneficial reuse purposes with the majority used as a nutrient-rich fertiliser for agricultural land use.

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

The upgrades are part of Thames Water’s £5 billion programme of essential works to improve water pipes, sewers and other facilities across London and the Thames Valley between 2010 and 2015. “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 Martin Ellis, Black & Veatch contract manager.