South West Water scheme named regional Project of the Year
South West Water's innovative sewage treatment scheme in Polperro, near Looe, has scooped a prestigious regional award from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
It was announced as the Major Project of the Year at the ICE South West annual dinner and awards ceremony in Bristol.
The technically challenging project cost £6 million and took over a year to complete. It included a sewage screening station at Scilly Cove and a 375-metre-long outfall. It was completed in September and has resulted in a major improvement in water quality in Scilly Cove and the surrounding area. Before the project was undertaken, untreated effluent was discharged directly into the sea below Reuben's Walk.
The scheme was designed by Halcrow and developed by contractor Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering (previously Dean & Dyball Civil Engineering).
After a long consultation and planning period, the screening building was located at the bottom of a cliff, just outside the entrance to Polperro Harbour, as a suitable site over existing sewers within the confines of the village or harbour could not be found. Building materials were transported to the site by sea from Par, eight miles away. An extensive, temporary, steel working platform was erected to support a 100-tonne crane to help with the construction work.
The site is within 100 metres of the Polruan to Polperro Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest. The reinforced concrete screening building was coloured to match the adjacent rock and given a living roof to reduce its visual impact. The lift that provides access to the screening station was designed to reduce visual impact on the coastal footpath. The lift car is housed in the screening building when not in use.
The annual ICE awards aim to recognise construction projects of particular merit, physical achievement, innovation or ingenuity, which promote the excellence of the engineering profession.
The judges said: "This was an innovative and bespoke design solution and construction methodology, in response to a very sensitive and physically constrained site. Providing a visually discreet scheme in this important tourist area is of particular merit."
South West Water's Director of Engineering, Graham Murphy, said: "We are absolutely delighted that the scheme at Polperro has been recognised for its excellence by the ICE. It was a challenging scheme and it was the final phase of South West Water's £2 billion Clean Sweep programme, which modernised sewage treatment in the South West. As a result of the programme, around 250 crude sewage outfalls have been closed and the quality of the bathing waters all around the peninsula has been transformed."
Notes to editors
- Clean Sweep was South West Water's £2 billion project to transform the region's bathing waters and sewerage network. It was started in 1989, with the first major project completed in 1992.
- The ICE South West awards are given annually for South West projects completed within the previous calendar year. One award is made to a major project, costing over £1 million, and one is made to a minor project, costing under £1 million. The dinner was held at the Bristol Marriott Royal on 22 June. The awards were presented by ICE President Richard Coackley.
Published: 2 August 2012
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