Upgrades on the way for Riverside Sewage Treatment Works

Apr 29, 2008

Plant will run entirely from renewable energy Thames Water is proposing to upgrade its sludge treatment facilities at Riverside Sewage Treatment Works, in Rainham, which will enable the plant to treat the solid waste left behind after the sewage treatment process and turn it into enough renewable energy to power the entire site.

Local residents had the chance to learn about the proposals, and share their views, at a Thames Water drop-in session last week at the Royals Youth Centre, Viking Way, Rainham.

Nick Fawcett, Project Manager for Thames Water, said:
"All the sludge which is currently produced at Riverside is pumped through an 8 kilometre underground pipe to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works where it is incinerated and used to generate renewable energy to power that site.

However, because of population growth in the area and proposals to extend the treatment works at Beckton, which will inevitably produce more solid waste, we now need to have better facilities to fully treat waste at Riverside. We are planning to digest sludge on site, using anaerobic digestion, which will let us recover enough energy to power the whole treatment works, rather than it being powered from the national grid. The process also produces fantastic fertiliser for agricultural use."

The proposed upgrade will be located entirely within the existing sewage treatment works and will involve refurbishing existing digestion tanks and building new sludge thickening, de-watering and storage facilities. All measures are being taken to ensure the works will have no effect on odour. All process tanks and sludge storage areas will be covered or enclosed in buildings.

A planning application will be submitted in May 2008 and subject to approval, construction will begin in early 2009 with works due for completion by 2010.

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