Articles & Case Studies

Intelligent savings at Southern Water's Steyning WwTW by installing the first MCC and Real-Time control

Posted: Monday 15th January 2007

In a first for Southern Water, an "intelligent" Motor Control Centre (MCC) has been installed at its Steyning Wastewater Treatment Works by 4Delivery (4D), saving them six per cent on the standard cost. Steyning has also adopted real-time control to monitor the activity of plant equipment. This will maintain a maximum level of performance and is expected to further reduce operating costs.

The installation at Steyning treatment works in West Sussex is part of a 3 million scheme being carried out by 4D (a consortium of United Utilities, Costain and MWH) to further clean wastewater from 11,000 people before it is recycled into the environment.

4D/MWH Principal Electrical Engineer, Colin Cumming explained the significance of the achievement; saying "This is a great step forward in terms of effectiveness and cost-efficiency. It is our first MCC on a 4D scheme and it not only worked successfully during tests at the factory - but it can now also be seen installed and working successfully at Southern Water's Regional Control Centre in Worthing."

Karl Taylor, Southern Water's Programme Director, said: "We are very pleased with progress to date. We believe the strategic application of the latest technologies is increasing our operational effectiveness and reducing our overall costs. At the same it is increasing the sustainability of the solution by delivering cleaner wastewater back to the environment. This pattern is set to continue as the 4D process engineering team have also been hard at work modifying standards which have resulted in further cost efficiencies and introducing new technology into the programme to meet new challenges."

One example of the use of new technologies is nitrifying sand filters. These filters can grow bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrate (which normal sand filters don't do), as well as filtering out any remaining solids from the wastewater. 4D/MWH Principal Process Engineer Ajay Nair comments: "We continue to develop design initiatives, they often cost less and can be more effective - i.e. nitrifying sand filters combines two processes into one. Also for the first time at Southern Water, we have adopted the use of high-tech machinery called real-time control which can monitor the activity of plant equipment, such as pumps and valves, to make sure they are all working at their best - and if they aren't, instant mechanical adjustments can be made to optimise performance and reduce operating costs."

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