North West

Upgrading Bickerstaffe treatment works

A £63 million project to upgrade and improve Bickerstaffe treatment works continues to make progress.

The Bickerstaffe Treatment Works Upgrade project involves extending the existing plant to increase supply capacity, allowing the facility to serve up to 250,000 customers. The project began in 2012 and once work is complete the scheme will safeguarded future water supplies for the area.

United Utilities is working with KMI on the scheme at Bickerstaffe treatment works. United Utilities is one of the UK’s largest water and wastewater companies, supplying drinking water to seven million people in the North West.

Formed in 2002, KMI incorporates KMI Water and KMI+ was created to meet the future demands of the UK water and wastewater sector. Since KMI formed the company has undertaken more than £600 million of work with United Utilities, covering over 300 projects, valued between £0.1 million and £114 million. In addition, KMI has won more than ten industry awards, ranging from a Green Apple Award to Construction News Project of the Year.

Local residents were given the opportunity to view the proposals and speak to United Utilities representatives for the Bickerstaffe scheme in April 2011. A planning application was then submitted for the scheme in May 2011.

Work is being completed on the project in two phases. The first phase concentrates on extending the existing plant, whilst the second phase will see other existing plants retired.

Commenting on the project, a spokesperson for United Utilities said:

“This project is essential to meet future demand for water in West Lancashire and parts of Sefton. As populations continue to expand, we need to make sure that our water network is fully geared up to supply households and businesses.

“Around seventy percent of the area’s water comes from the River Dee. By tapping into new borehole sources, we have increased supplies and reduced reliance on the River Dee source.”

The first phase of the project has seen the Bickerstaffe plant given a radical reworking whilst at the same time has seen four boreholes at Melling brought back into operation. In late 2013, Aquarius Liquid Engineering installed four large borehole pumps at the Melling site, with the pumps supplied through Aquarius’ parent company, Caprari Pumps (UK) Ltd.

The four boreholes had previously been out of operation for sometime so a considerable amount of refurbishment works had to be undertaken. The installation of the pumps reduces the load on United Utilities’ infrastructure at the Liverpool North Trunk main whilst at the same time improves supply security.

Each borehole was fitted with a bespoke design of headplate and headworks, which all complied with the exact technical specifications as indicated by United Utilities. A Caprari Pumps (UK) Ltd commissioning engineer issued an extended warranty to meet the satisfaction of KMI and United Utilities.

Phase Two of the project – which is being carried out after 2015 – involves additional upgrades to the treatment plant, along with the exploration of new borehole water sources. As part of this phase of works, five smaller water plants in the area will gradually be retired.

Bickerstaffe is a Lancashire village and civil parish, situated close to the M58 motorway and just four miles west of Skelmersdale. The village is known for its annual music festival, Bickerstock, with its most recent festival taking place on the 3rd and 4th of August 2013.

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