London 2012 Olympic Park to use recycled wastewater

A new £7m water recycling facility is set to turn Londoner's wastewater into non-drinkable water for flushing toilets and irrigating gardens at the London 2012 Olympic Park.

The Old Ford water recycling plant was officially opened by secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs Caroline Spelman last week (November 24), with the aim of helping the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) exceed a 40% water-efficiency target for the site.

It is also expected to support London 2012’s pledge to deliver the “most sustainable games possible” and reduce the use of freshwater where possible, as well as producing a lasting legacy.

Commenting on the project, Ms Spelman said: “Despite our reputation as a rainy country, we may face a future with less rainfall and less certainty about when that rain will fall. If we want to make sure we have a reliable supply of water in the future we all need to play our part now.

“Projects like this, which safely recycle water and prevent the need for fresh water to be used where it isn’t needed, have a crucial role to play. Next month, we will set out our plans to ensure there is safe and secure water supply in the future.”

The plant, which has been jointly-funded by the ODA and Thames Water, has the capacity to produce 570,000 litres a day of recycled water. This will then be pumped into the Olympic Park’s network of pipes specifically designed for recycled water, saving the park up to 83 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of drinking water each year.

In total, the plant, together with other water-efficiency measures is estimated to provide a 58% reduction in the use of tap water at the park.

ODA chief executive Dennis Hone, said: “Sustainability has helped shape and drive the London 2012 project forwards in setting new benchmarks for the industry.

“We have designed the London 2012 venues to be highly water-efficient and the opening of the Old Ford plant will mean a significant reduction in the use of potable water across the Olympic Park during the Games and for years to come afterwards.”

Carys Matthews

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