RSE has been engaged by South Staffs Water to design, build, install, and commission the world’s largest ceramic membrane plant at Hampton Loade Water Treatment Works (WTW), part of a £57 million pioneering refurbishment project. Hampton Loade WTW is located near Bridgnorth in Shropshire and has a capacity to produce 210 million litres of high-quality water a day to supply around 700,000 customers. RSE is undertaking the MEICA delivery to increase the capacity of Hampton Loade WTW, introducing a third water treatment process utilising PWNT ceramic membrane technology as an effective filtration solution.
Hampton Loade WTW treats raw water from Chelmarsh Reservoir, located approximately two miles north-west of the site. The reservoir is supplied by the river Intake Pumps located within the Intake Building immediately adjacent to the River Severn. The maximum flow that can gravitate to the works from Chelmarsh Reservoir is 130-135 Megalitres Per Day (MLD). To increase the flow from the works up to the design value, there are four Low-Lift Pumps which are also situated within the Intake Building.
The additional stage of filtration at Hampton Loade WTW will consist of new PWNT CeraMac vessels physically located between the Inlet Tower and the Super Pulsators. The new CeraMac plant is an interstage filtration system that will operate downstream of the existing clarification process and filtered water will be returned into the process upstream of the existing GAC filters.
The PWNT CeraMac solution was chosen as it provides an advantage over Rapid Gravity Filter (RGFs) due to the robust physical barrier it presents against particulates. This presents the opportunity to use the process as a disinfection stage over the existing UV process, which is associated with considerable operational and energy savings and has successfully attracted green recovery funding. The additional low carbon and environmental impact offered by the modular design, build and assembly of the plant will support the water sector in achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
In addition to the cost benefits, the CeraMac process produces effluent of a higher quality, and is less dependent on the influent turbidity, than the RGFs. This results in a process that is able to reliably produce high quality filtrate and is resilient against variable water quality.
The refurbishment project at Hampton Loade WTW is part of South Staffs Water’s current investment upgrade programme, designed to develop existing water treatment sites to continually improve water quality for customers across the region. The construction, installation, and commissioning of a ceramic filtration stage is due to be completed by the end of March 2025. After completion, the works will be the largest application of ceramic membrane technology in the UK and the first retrofit of an additional filtration stage to an existing water treatment plant.