University of Cambridge develops UK's largest water recycling system

The University of Cambridge has signed an agreement with Cambridge Water to support the UK's largest water recycling system at the University's North West Cambridge Development site.

The agreement between University and the water company will see two water supplies installed on the 150-hectare site – one which recycles rain and surface water to use for flushing toilets, clothes washing and garden watering, and another supplying high quality treated water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

Both supplies are designed to minimise the use of potable water on the development, which will include 3,000 homes, 2,000 post-graduate student rooms, a supermarket, hotel and primary school.

The water recycling system, in conjunction with water efficiency devices and fittings, should result in a potable water consumption of 80 litres per person per day, almost half the UK average.

The agreement is a vital part of delivering the sustainable urban drainage system across for the 150-hectare site, which will enable the University to meet its ambitious sustainability targets for the development.


North West Cambridge Development commercial director Brian Nearney said: “The agreement between Cambridge Water and the University is an innovative collaboration that meets the high sustainability targets for the development.

“The pioneering method of recycling rainwater in this region in particular is something to be proud of, given the relative water scarcity in the area.”

Cambridge Water managing director Phil Newland added: “The commitment to provide the UK’s largest water recycling system will help raise awareness of the need to conserve water, and seek to encourage other developers to consider water efficiency when proposing new developments.”

The first phase of the North West Cambridge Development is due for completion by spring 2017.

Mathew Beech

This article first appeared in edie's sister title Utility Week


| surface water | water | Water Efficiency | Water scarcity


Water | Waste & resource management

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