South West Water switches on ‘world’s first of its kind’ treatment plant

It uses Dutch ‘cutting-edge’ treatment processes, designed to produce ‘impeccable’ drinking water and to be more sustainable than a traditional water treatment plant

South West Water has switched on a new water treatment facility at Roborough, claimed to be the first of its kind in the world.

The water company says the Mayflower Water Treatment Works, located north of Plymouth, uses “cutting-edge” treatment processes, designed to produce “impeccable” drinking water and to be more sustainable than a traditional water treatment plant.

The Mayflower – which will provide a quarter of a million people across Plymouth with drinking water – takes over from the old treatment works at Crownhill, which has been serving the city since the 1950s.

The treatment processes were designed and developed by Dutch water technology company PWNT and tested at a prototype facility at Crownhill from June 2013 until June 2015.

Suspended ion exchange, inline coagulation and ceramic membrane microfiltration are used to produce more water, more efficiently and at a lower cost than traditional technology – the first time these combined technologies have been used to produce drinking water anywhere in the world.

The £60 million project was the biggest single capital investment in South West Water’s 2015-2020 business plan.

James King, South West Water’s Director of Operations – Drinking Water Services, said: “It has been years in the making – planning, building and commissioning – but today is a truly significant milestone for South West Water, our customers and the wider water industry.

“We already produce some of the highest quality drinking water in the UK but Mayflower does so extremely consistently and efficiently. Mayflower will meet the needs of Plymouth’s growing population and provide a secure, high-quality drinking water supply for the wider Plymouth area for generations to come.”

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