B&V Part of Award-winning Axbridge Project Team

A replacement raw water treatment works (RWTW) in which Black & Veatch, an engineering, consulting, and construction company, played a role in designing, has won a Civil Engineering Environmental Quality (CEEQUAL) Award, according to a recent press release.

The project at Axbridge RWTW, in the west of England, involved providing a replacement plant for the treatment of raw river water pumped from the River Axe and discharged into the Cheddar Reservoir. The Cheddar Reservoir is a nationally important water source for the thousands of waterfowl that winter there.

Completed in partnership with Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies and Costain, for client Bristol Water, the environmentally sensitive project was handed over two months ahead of schedule.

“The re-use of materials and existing structures to minimize environmental impact was a key factor of this project,” said Tony Collins, managing director of Black & Veatch’s UK water business. “Designing the new plant to fit onto the existing concrete base was a prime example of our engineers’ resourcefulness. This greatly reduced the amount of demolition and materials required.

“To have this award independently acknowledge their performance is fantastic for everyone involved at Axbridge.”

The Institution of Civil Engineers, promoter of the CEEQUAL scheme, presents awards to projects “where clients, designers, and constructors go beyond the legal and environmental minima to achieve distinctive standards of performance.” An environmental assessment completed by Black & Veatch was the basis of many of the ideas and suggestions that helped Axbridge RWTW win the CEEQUAL award.

To ensure the birds at the Cheddar Reservoir remain undisturbed, dark green cladding was used for the off-site prefabricated structure, blending the building with its surroundings. Extensive woodland planting was undertaken to provide additional screening for the new plant and increase the habitat for the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan Species.

Other aspects of the project that helped earn Axbridge the CEEQUAL Award included Black & Veatch’s suggestion that grasscrete be used instead of tarmac. Grasscrete reduces the chance of flooding by allowing water to soak into the ground, more closely mimicking the natural drainage path.