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Visit to Old Ford

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Old Ford site visit

The Water Reuse Technical Committee were invited to visit the Old Ford Water Recycling plant by Thames Water.   The objective of their visit was to familiarise themselves with the blackwater recycling process.

Date & time: 22nd January 2015 at 13.00 hours

A short description of the plant and its processes follows:

The Old Ford Water Recycling Plant on the Olympic Park demonstrates how wastewater and clean water process technologies are combined in an innovative new application to provide a supply of reclaimed water.  The 574 m3/day supply of reclaimed water from Thames Water’s Old Ford Water Recycling Plant is used for a variety of non-potable purposes on the Olympic Park including extensive landscape irrigation, toilet flushing and topping-up rainwater harvesting systems. The system enabled the ODA’s (Olympic Delivery Authority) ambitious 40% potable water reduction sustainability target to be achieved.

Key technology
The technology train employed at Old Ford consists of a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR), followed by granular activated carbon and disinfection with sodium hypochlorite.  Although the use of MBR technology is a fairly recent development in sewage treatment, is it becoming more common.  However in this novel ‘sewer mining’ application an MBR has been combined with clean water treatment technology to provide the UK’s largest community-scale recycling scheme. The plant went into supply in April 2012.

Demonstrating new approaches: - The scheme is unique to the UK and as a practical demonstration of what water recycling can achieve, it should assist adoption of similar approaches into new developments. Through the associated research programme, more specific information on areas such as costs, energy use and customer’s attitudes to using reclaimed water will add the knowledge in this area.

Identifying areas to aid implementation of future schemes: -
  • To date, in bringing the recycling scheme to fruition, many learning points have been recognised, these include: 
  • The importance of communication at all stages of the design and build process
  • The need for improved guidance material
  • The accessibility and lead-time of  suitable products through the supply chain (e.g. WRAS-recommended coloured pipe)
  •  The benefit of more clarity on appropriate water quality standards and regulations

> Event Archive
> Minimising Water Impacts of the Built Environment
> Glasgow Workshop
> Berlin Field Trip
> Coventry Field Trip
> Visit to Old Ford
> ICT for Water Efficiency
> Global Trends in Water Efficiency
> Water Reuse Event
> BRE Master Class
> London Master Class
> Study Trip: Water in the City
> Valencia Study Trip
> National Lift Tower tour
> Water Recycling and Reuse event
> Creating the Digital Story of Water - Retail/Wholesale Separation