There are many different reliable and affordable sewage treatment plants available in the UK for residential, commercial and industrial properties. Here we talk you through our top ten based in the UK:
Beckton Sewage Treatment Works - 3.5 million people
Beckton is Europe’s and Thames Water's largest sewage treatment works, treating the waste of 3.5 million people. The site is used to allow the additional storm flows from the main tunnel, arriving via the Lee Tunnel, to be pumped out and transferred for treatment.
As the population of East London is projected to reach 4.5m by 2036 Beckton Sewage Treatment Works is building a 25km ‘super sewer’ under the Thames to cater to the population increase, as well as intercept spillages and clean up the river, city and general environmental wellbeing.
Blackburn Meadows - 444,000 people
Blackburn Meadows is a landmark biomass power plant, one of the largest in South Yorkshire. The plant discharges treated sewage from a population of 444,000 into the River Don Valley. The present dry weather flow (DWF) is 136,000 m3 per day, which is more than the rate of flow in the River Don upstream of the discharge in dry weather. The incoming sewage comes from the Don Valley interceptor sewer, Tinsley and Blackburn Valley.
Crossness Sewage Treatment Works - 564 million litres per day
The Crossness Sewage Treatment Works at Crossness in the London Borough of Greenwich is one of the largest sewage works in the UK. Operated by Thames Water, it treats the wastewater from the Southern Outfall Sewer serving South and South East London and is associated with the adjacent Crossness Pumping Station. Its activated sludge plant will include six aeration lanes of 69m with a total volume of 86,000m³ and a treatment capacity of 564 million litres per day.
Davyhulme Sewage Works - 55 million litres
The North West’s Davyhulme Sewage Works was set up in 1894 and has been at the forefront of innovation ever since. Now one of the biggest wastewater sewage works in the UK, it drains the entire western side of Manchester and serves 1.2 million people. The site operates 24 hours a day and processes flows of more than 30,000 litres per second. In addition to a massive 11 treatment tanks with a total capacity of 55 million litres, the plant has eight filter presses, pumping engines and sludge wells.
Deepham Sewage Treatment Works - 1.3 million litres
Deephams Sewage Treatment Works (STW), located in the London borough of Enfield near Picketts Lock in Edmonton, currently treats about 209,000m³ of sewage on an average day and about 1.3 million cubic metres during heavy rainfall. Between 2013 and 2019 it was updated to accommodate an increasing population of 989,000 with new treatment structures and plants, odour control plants, improvements to waste gas recovery, energy generation and new facilities for operations staff.
Esholt Wastewater Treatment Works - 750,000 people
Esholt Sewage Treatment Works is one of Yorkshire Water’s biggest sewage treatment works serving a population of around 760,000 people in Bradford and Leeds. It is Yorkshire Water’s second-largest wastewater treatment plant, second only to Knostrop in Leeds and processes over 30,000 tonnes of sludge. It deals with incoming flows to works of 13,500l/s and peak flow to treatment in excess of 3,200l/s.
Knostrop Sludge Treatment Facility - 4 million litres a day
Engineering company Black & Veatch Ltd were selected by YWS to design, construct and commission Yorkshire’s largest wastewater treatment plant; Knostrop Sludge Treatment Facility in Leeds. The anaerobic digestion plant treats all the indigenous sludge (primary & SAS) from Knostrop WwTW.
The site works as a regional sludge treatment facility and receives imported sludge in both liquid and dewatered cake forms. The facility processes 48,000 tonnes of dry waste every year which generates up to 100mw hours of electricity per day.
Mogden Sewage Treatment Works - 790 million litres a day
Mogden sewage treatment works are Thames Water's third-largest treatment works. It treats the wastewater from roughly 1.9 million people served by three sewers in North and West London. The plant’s current (2021) up-gradation works doubled the treatment capacity of the Mogden STW from its current capacity of 790 million litres a day and once complete will meet the needs of the expected 6% population growth of London by 2021.
Riverside Sewage Treatment Works - 8.9 million litres a day - 405,000 people
The Riverside Sewage Treatment Works (STW) in Rainham, London Having caters to a population equivalent of approximately 2.24 million. The digestion facility has a thermal hydrolysis plant that uses steam and pressure to heat and breaks down the sludge. Anaerobic bacteria then digest the pre-treated sludge in refurbished, closed tanks.
The hydrolysed and digested sludge provides better quality biogas, used to power combined heat and power (CHP) engines. The CHP engines supply enough electrical power to run the entire Riverside plant and allow for export to the UK National Grid during times of low flows.
Stoke Bardolph Sewage Treatment Works -1.2 million litres a day
The Stoke Bardolph Works in Nottingham uses a biomethane plant to turn the gas produced by the digestion process into biomethane. Once this is processed, it is then supplied to the national gas network. The plant runs continuously and produces around 500 cubic metres (18,000 cu ft) of biomethane per hour from 1,000 cubic metres (35,000 cu ft) of biogas. The gas is washed, compressed and an odour is added to it before it is pumped into the gas network.
Now that we’ve gone through the top 10 current sewage treatment plants, let’s take a look at some honourable mentions that once were.
Wanstead Sewage Works
Wanstead Sewage Works, also known as Redbridge (Southern) Sewage Works, was a municipal sewage treatment works located on a site in the London Borough of Redbridge, historically within the county of Essex, England.
Incoming sewage was screened and then held in settlement tanks where the liquid was passed onto the surface of land which had been specially prepared with under-drainage at an average depth of eight feet. The sewage gradually percolated through the soil into the underdrains, and from these, the purified liquid, described as "clear and bright", was released into the River Roding.
Once the sludge from the tanks was run into a sludge bed, this was dug out and ploughed as manure into a land more than a quarter of a mile from the river, in order to reduce the risk of river pollution.
The Wanstead sewage works were in operation from 1 March 1884 to December 1977. The works operated until December 1977, after which it became derelict, controlled by the Thames Water Authority, and then the site passed to the Department of Transport in the 1980s for use as "exchange" land for road building and improvement which would affect Epping Forest.
In July 1993 the Department of Transport offered two areas totalling about twenty acres to Epping Forest and a degree of landscaping work was undertaken; eleven acres of this was in exchange for forest land used for the M11 link road.
Perry Oaks sewage works
In 1989 the Perry Oaks sewage works site was closed and the land reclaimed for Heathrow Terminal 5 with new sludge dewatering was provided at nearby Iver South.
Terminal 5, Heathrow, has been one of the biggest construction projects in the world. Prior to construction, the site was excavated by a team of over 90 archaeologists revealing that the land was occupied as far back as 6500 BC.
T5 was one of Europe’s largest construction projects. With 16 major projects and over 147 subprojects