Work begins on Suffolk water treatment project


Essex & Suffolk Water will upgrade its water treatment works (WTW) to improve the quality of drinking water for around 75,000 people

Water running from a tap.

The upgrades to Barsham’s WTW will include a new underground reservoir that will hold and supply 20 million litres of treated water to Beccles, Bungay, Lowestoft and Southwold towns.

Essex & Suffolk Water has partnered with civil engineering contractor Farrans to deliver the £49 million project. 

Farrans expects to complete the work by March 2025. 

Inside the scheme

Along with the underground reservoir, Farrans will install the following equipment, according to New Civil Engineer

  • An interstage pumping station.
  • A contact tank for the existing river works flow. 
  • A high lift pumping station for the combined flows.

These features will allow Essex & Suffolk Water to treat the full license of the main abstraction bores and the emergency chalk bore. 

Additionally, the new equipment will replace part of the existing work that treats water from the five boreholes on the site.

By improving the boreholes, the water firm can reduce the need to extract water from the river. 

Also, Farrans will add new pumps, filters, tanks, and chemical dosing and plant washing facilities for further water treatment. 

To facilitate construction, Essex & Suffolk Water has installed a new haul road to bring deliveries to the site without road congestion. 

Full scope 

Water companies are launching water resilience programmes nationwide amid the recent push to reduce sewage spills in UK rivers and seas

Affinity Water and Severn Trent Water are developing a water transfer plan to distribute treated water from the Midlands and the South East, with Mott Macdonald and Adams Hendry as planning partners. 

Water supplier United Utilities launched a $14 billion framework to tackle sewage spills and climate-related challenges. 

On Barsham’s improvement works, Mark Hopwood, Essex & Suffolk Water’s Project Manager, said: “This is a huge investment in water supplies for Suffolk and one that will not only help to ensure a resilient supply of water for our customers, but also which helps to protect our local watercourses by enhancing our borehole works.”

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