OCU Group Limited, has announced the appointment by Affinity Water of OCU onto its Water Retaining Structures (WRS) Framework for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contracts.
OCU will deliver new Service Reservoirs to increase storage capacity as identified within Affinity Water’s Strategic Supply 2040 Programme and improve water supply resilience to communities in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire as part of its Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP).
OCU will work under the WRS Framework for the design and build of new Service Reservoirs at a number of Affinity Water sites including Preston, Hitchin and Hertfordshire.
The new reservoirs will increase storage capacity and ensure less water is taken from the region’s chalk aquifer – following Affinity Water’s strategy showed that water supply resilience in communities needed to improve.
The new service reservoir at Preston will provide an additional 20 million litres of storage at an estimated construction cost of £8.5 million. It will also help to build the long-term resilience of the storage systems while mitigating against possible loss of supplies to customers in these areas.
OCU will be responsible for the design, planning, project management, construction and commissioning of multiple projects, with an expected start later in 2023 for completion by the end of 2024. The OCU subsidiary company OCU Services Limited will deliver the projects.
Vince Bowler, Managing Director of OCU Services Ltd, said:
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the Affinity Water team to construct and commission these reservoir projects in line with the MRC Framework and EPC Contracts. The appointment to both projects represents a significant step in OCU’s ambition to become a leader in the delivery of critical network infrastructure across the UK”.
OCU’s involvement in the initial suite of network critical projects will support Affinity Water’s commitment to reduce groundwater abstractions, expand storage capacity and the resilience of its network as part of its contribution to reduce the impact of climate change on the UK.
Jaymin Chauhan, Senior Asset Planning Manager at Affinity Water, said:
“Achieving planned sustainability reductions will help to reduce our footprint on our local chalk stream ecosystem and will result in more water being left in the environment. This scheme is needed to support our plans to mitigate the impact of sustainability reductions already in place and those planned for the next five years.
“Our Water Resources Management Plan sets out our plans to provide a reliable, resilient, efficient, and affordable water supply to our customers between 2025 and 2075. It highlights the challenges we face and how we intend to maintain the balance between water supply and demand, while protecting our environment.
“Our region is home to around 10 per cent of the UK’s chalk streams, a globally rare habitat. We know that 65% of our water sources that we supply comes from ground water sources such as the chalk aquifer, the same aquifer that chalk streams rely on for their flow. Schemes like Preston will help build the resilience of our systems and protect the environment”.