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Peacehaven Wastewater Treatment Works, United Kingdom




Key Data


Peacehaven Wastewater Treatment Works is an environmental improvement scheme at Lower Hoddern Farm in Peacehaven, East Sussex, UK. The project will treat 95 million litres (ML) of wastewater a day.

The £300m facility was proposed by Southern Water, the utility provider for water supply and wastewater treatment services in south-eastern UK.

The plant will treat wastewater generated from Brighton and Hove, Rottingdean, Saltdean, Telscombe, Woodingdean and Peacehaven.

Work on the project began in July 2009. The plant is scheduled to be completed and fully operational by spring 2013.

Purpose of the Peacehaven project

Southern Water has worked on several multimillion pound wastewater schemes across the south-east. Wastewater from homes in Peacehaven and Brighton and Hove, water from factories and rainwater are treated at Portobello wastewater treatment works at Telscombe Cliffs, East Sussex.

Wastewater at Portobello undergoes basic treatment after grit removal. It is pumped to the sea through a 1.8km outfall pipe. The Peacehaven project will ensure a cleaner discharge into the sea.

Background to the Peacehaven Wastewater Treatment Works

"Peacehaven Wastewater Treatment Works is an environmental improvement scheme."

In 1997 a proposal for a new plant at Portobello by Southern Water was refused by East Sussex County Council. Southern Water considered an alternative site. A total of 66 potential locations were identified and reviewed by the company and a local authority consultative group.

Peacehaven was selected and planning applications for the facility and infrastructure were submitted in April 2005. The proposed plant will cross administrative boundaries and serve the Brighton and Hove catchment area, along with Ovingdean, Telscombe Cliffs, Woodingdean, Roedean, Saltdean, Rottingdean and Peacehaven.

In July 2007 the plan was rejected by the government after a public inquiry. A new design with new features and landscaping was proposed. It was approved by East Sussex County Council in August 2008.

Planning permission for the works was granted by the council after consultation with the secretary of state in October 2008.

Construction of the English plant

The project involves the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, a sludge recycling centre and an 11km underground pipeline for transferring sewer water to the Peacehaven facility. A 2.5km outfall pipeline will discharge treated water into the sea.

Tunnelling for the underground sewer pipeline began in July 2010 and was completed in June 2011. The sewer pipe tunnel ranges from depths of 8m to 40m and was dug by two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) named Alice and Hollyblue.

The 2.4m-diameter TBMs have rotational cutting wheels at the front, which minimises disturbance above the ground. To connect local sewers along the route, shafts will be built. They will be covered by manholes. Pipejacking will also be used for some sections.

Two new underground pumping stations will be constructed to pump wastewater to the plant. The Portobello plant will be used as a pumping station and will be covered with a grassed roof.

Another pumping station, to be constructed at Marine Drive, will be enclosed in a domed structure to allow it to integrate with the landscape. Most construction work is expected to be complete by the end of 2011.

Technology incorporated into the wastewater facility

The Peacehaven plant will have a pre-treatment facility that will remove oil, fat, grease and grit from wastewater.

The facility will have Multifloä lamella clarifiers for primary treatment and Biostyrä biological aerated flooded filters (BAFF) for secondary treatment. The technology will be installed at the plant between 2010 and 2013.

Treated water will be released 2.5km offshore at Friars Bay, meeting regulations on chemical oxygen demand and biochemical oxygen demand. Sludge will be treated to generate agricultural fertiliser.

Key players involved in construction of the Peacehaven Wastewater Treatment Works

Southern Water has contracted 4Delivery (4D), a consortium of Veolia Water, Costain and Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH), for the project's implementation. In June 2009 a £225m construction contract was awarded to 4Delivery which will operate and maintain the plant for two years after the project's completion.

In November 2009 the consortium awarded a £10m contract to Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies to provide clarifiers and BAFF technology for the plant.

"It was approved by East Sussex County Council in August 2008."

In July 2011, ABB was contracted to supply more than 90 low harmonic and 6-pulse industrial drives.

Ranging between 1kW and 560kW these drives will be integrated into seven motor control centres (MCC), five of which are for the main works and two for the pumping stations at Marine Drive, Brighton and Portobello, Telscombe Cliffs.

MCS Control Systems has supplied MCCs which are scheduled to be installed at the plant by 2011 ABB industrial drives will be supplied by Sentridge Control, a member of ABB Drives Alliance. An 85mm insulated roofing boards were supplied by Rockwool.

Opposition to the project

Peacehaven is an area of natural beauty. A group, Peacehaven Residents Opposed to Urban Development (Proud), opposed the works.

Environmental impact

Southern Water has conducted environmental studies regarding the protection of reptiles, rabbits and foxes in the construction area. The plant is designed to blend in with the landscape.

The project will treat 95 million litres (ML) of wastewater a day.
Peacehaven Wastewater Treatment Works is an environmental improvement scheme at Lower Hoddern Farm in Peacehaven, East Sussex, UK.
Sludge will be treated to generate agricultural fertiliser.
Southern Water has conducted environmental studies regarding the protection of reptiles, rabbits and foxes in the construction area.
The plant has been designed to blend in with the landscape.