Confidence key for Wessex

Wessex Water has opted to rebuild the water treatment works at Maundown. The £25M project has been tasked to Purac-Faber Maunsell. When finished, the facility will treat raw water flows from Clatworthy and Wimbleball reservoirs.

When Wessex Water Services awarded the design, construction support and commissioning contract for the water treatment works reconstruction project at Maundown to the Purac-Faber Maunsell Design Team last November, it was a major decision.

Maundown is the water utility’s largest and most strategic water treatment works and serves a population of some 200,000 living in the Taunton area of Somerset. The rebuild project is valued at £25M reflecting its importance.

The new works will treat raw water flows from Clatworthy and Wimbleball reservoirs, and will be designed to a specification that will treat a flow of up to 82.4 million litres a day.

The project spans a three-year period, and is split into four distinct phases covering:

* Detailed design

* The provision of design support to Wessex Water during its procurement and construction periods

* Design, supply and installation of a DAFRapide plant

* Wet commissioning of the completed works and plant operation during a 28-day takeover test period.

Wessex Water Services’ decision to reconstruct Maundown WTW, located near Wiveliscombe – 14 miles from Taunton – was driven by a requirement for improved water quality and the need to reduce geosmin concentrations, a by-product of algal blooms in the treated water, particularly at certain times of the year.

There is also a need to increase the peak output of the works to reflect higher demands for water caused mainly by the increasing population in this area of the country.

Design engineering

Purac is undertaking the project with Faber-Maunsell as its civil engineering design sub-contractor. Wessex Engineering and Construction Services will construct the plant, using Purac’s DAFRapide technology.

WECS will be carrying out pre-commissioning of the new works, with Purac undertaking the full wet commissioning and operation up to the point of takeover.

Malcolm Wilkinson, Purac’s managing director, is delighted to be working with Wessex Water.

Wilkinson says: “Winning this major contract reinforces our design engineering credentials in the marketplace, and sees us utilising our DAFRapide technology on behalf of Wessex Water.

“Our design team will be co-located in Wessex Water’s head office in Bath to enable us to meet the demands of the scheme quickly and effectively.

“We hope we can move forward, demonstrating to Wessex our abilities and teamwork skills so that this contract will give an opportunity for further work on their behalf in the future.”

The core engineering team that started the project in Bath has now been supplemented with additional engineering resources in Exeter and Kidderminster to drive the project forward as it enters its next phase of detailed design.

Richard Soloman, contracts manager at Wessex Water, says: “This is a very important project for us and we need to be confident of the input from our selected contractors.”

Soloman continues: “Purac-Faber’s design team is working very closely with us to ensure we achieve the high standard of design we require for the success of this


The project is expected to be completed in December 2008.

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