Anglian Water started work in February to upgrade equipment and storage at their Caistor water recycling centre. The scheme marks a £7 million investment, as part of a larger programme of work totalling over £100 million across the region, which includes installing new storm water storage and Phosphorus removal treatment at 110 water recycling sites.
The work is targeted specifically at increasing resilience across the region, which is likely to see the impacts of a changing climate – like drought and flooding – more keenly than anywhere else in the UK. It forms part of the company’s Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) between 2020-2025.
The drains and sewers in Caistor transport used water to the water recycling centre off Navigation Lane, where it is cleaned before being returned safely to the local environment. In extreme weathers the local system can become overwhelmed and that is when flooding happens.
Nicola Harvey from Anglian Water explained: “We are investing £7 million to install new equipment to tackle the growing issue of extreme weather, as well as to strengthen the current water treatment process and upgrade the site to handle larger flows. The plan is to install new filters, dosing equipment and storage tanks to increase capacity by almost 300m³ litres.”
As a result of climate change, the region can expect more bouts of extreme weather, sudden downpours, and rising sea levels. The East of England is also the lowest and flattest part of the UK which means gravity helps far less than elsewhere to assist flow through catchments. Water stays where it falls and flows. Not only this, but there is a rapidly growing population meaning the region is expected to grow by 175,000 homes in the next five years. More homes mean more hard, impermeable surfaces and therefore an additional risk of flooding.
Nicola added, “All of these factors mean that we need resilient infrastructure that can rise to the challenge and help us protect the environment at the same time. Being able to store excess water on our sites means that less ends up in our rivers, seas and some of the unique habitats in our region.”
Work will be completed by August 2022 and will take place on the existing site so there will be minimal disruption to residents.