Heigham Water Treatment Works

We have built Europe’s largest membrane filtration plant at Heigham Water Treatment Works, helping to secure supply for customers with this ground-breaking solution.

Europe's largest filtration membrane plant at Heigham Water Treatment Works

We have built Europe’s largest membrane filtration plant at Heigham Water Treatment Works, helping to secure supply for customers with this ground-breaking solution.

The £36 million scheme is the largest capital investment project within Anglian Water’s portfolio in the last five years, helping to ensure resilience of supply for decades to come, while protecting the local environment around the River Wensum, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation.

The state-of-the-art membrane filtration system is the largest submerged ultra filtration plant in the UK and boasts the largest surface area of reinforced submerged membranes in Europe. The membrane contains seven and a half million fibres with a combined surface area of 92,000m2 – the equivalent of nine football pitches, providing filtration on an impressive scale with the ability to filter out microbiological matter including the common cold.

This solution is not only industry leading, it has also helped drive down carbon by maximising the existing structures and processes. By adopting cutting edge technology to replicate the site digitally, the project team were able to robustly test supply continuity before construction began, saving £1.5 million and driving embodied carbon savings of 62 per cent.

The scheme has taken just over two years to complete, entering service at the end of 2019, ensuring the treatment of 57 million litres of water per day (668 litres per second) to supply a quarter of a million residents and businesses in and around Norwich.

Paul Naylor, Regional Supply Manager for Anglian Water said: “We’re planning decades into the future with this investment. This technology is vital to keep pace with the growing city’s needs. Norfolk is expected to be home to more than one million people by 2034 and many of those people will be coming to live and work in Norwich. This combined with being in one of the driest counties in the UK means that significant investment is needed to ensure we keep taps running and continue to power the economy. As importantly, this scheme will make sure the environment does not suffer because of future growth and is ready to cope with any increased demand on local water resources too.”

Friday 7th February 2020 saw the official opening of the Water Treatment Works, with guests including Chloe Smith MP, suppliers and competition winners from Wensum Junior School. Students from the school were asked to design a poster with ideas on how to save water. The students with the best posters, as voted by the Anglian Water Education team, were then invited to a very exclusive tour of the works, where they officially opened the plant with Chloe Smith MP. This engagement with the local school, all helps to educated and encourage the water custodians of the future.


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