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Three UK water utilities have agreed orders for the installation of a total of six conical settlement tanks from wastewater treatment specialist WCS Environmental Engineering (WCSEE). The equipment will be used in the primary and secondary stage of the wastewater treatment process. 

The contracts with Northumbrian Water, Southern Water, and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water demonstrate growing demand for this adaptable wastewater treatment technology that gives utilities greater flexibility in meeting the needs of growing populations and tightening regulatory standards on phosphorus.  

Utilities are also driven by the need to upgrade final settlement tanks to increase flow capacity or to replace kit that is no longer fit for purpose, having been based on historic designs. Adapting wastewater treatment plants (WwTPs) with modern conical tanks futureproofs sites, ensuring that they keep pace with demand, minimises site downtime and reduces the risk of failures.  

WCSEE is working closely with Northumbrian Water and delivery partner Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB) on the installation of two conical tanks at WwTPs in the villages of Wark on Tyne and Slaley in Northumberland.  

WCSEE utility manager Andrew Haywood said, “The four conical tanks installed at Wark on Tyne and Slaley wastewater treatment works are specifically designed for the primary and secondary stage of the wastewater treatment process. Within a week of installation, the conical tanks will be fully operational.” Both WwTP’s will have one 6m diameter tank for primary settlement and another for the secondary stage humus. 

WCSEE is also providing two conical tanks to Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, working closely with Morgan Sindall Infrastructure on the upgrade of WwTPs in the villages of St Nicholas in the Vale of Glamorgan and Clyro in Radnorshire, Powys.  

A further tank is being installed at Southern Water’s WwTP serving the hamlet of Forest Green, south-west of Dorking in Surrey. WCSEE is working closely with contractor Galliford Try on project delivery.  

Haywood said, “WCSEE is proud as a main UK provider of  conical settlement tanks and has been selected by these three utilities to meet their challenges on population growth and the tightening regulatory landscape. WCSEE has long been an approved supplier for Northumbrian Water, Southern Water and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, and we look forward to developing these relationships further by working closely with them on these expansion and upgrade projects.” 

WCSEE’s patented conical settlement tank shape allows easy extraction of sludge that has settled to the bottom of the cone, and the complete drainage also allows for the removal of chemicals used in the treatment process.  The tanks come supplied complete with internal launders, diffuser drum, scum board, and piping with the added option that WCSEE can customise the tank design for above ground installation and scrapers to enhance desludging, if needed. 

With sizes ranging from 2.4 - 6m diameter, the tanks can handle variable flows and loads, making them ideal for seasonal and variable demands. The modular design, glass-fibre-reinforced plastic composition, and smaller footprint over comparable technologies, make WCSEE conical tanks versatile and flexible for deployment in a wide range of locations.  

The 2.4m and 3m diameter conical tanks can be assembled entirely off-site in controlled conditions and are easily transported to site ready for installation to reduce health and safety risks, minimise onsite disruption, and optimise site footprint. The 4m and 5m conical tanks can be partially assembled on site, while the 6m conical tank can only be assembled on site. 

Even with the larger tanks, assembly, installation, and commissioning can be delivered in under two weeks.  

“The flexibility of the conical settlement tanks makes tailored designs and site-specific configurations possible. It is also possible to rapidly augment or retrofit existing plant processes,” says Haywood. 


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Click on the image to learn more about conical settlement tank technology

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