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The Glencorse Water Treatment Works is Making a Strong Environmental Statement

The Glencorse Water Treatment Works is Making a Strong Environmental Statement

Project Name
Glencorse Water Treatment Works
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Scottish Water

On a green field site in the Pentland Hills of Scotland, only 7.5 km (4.7 miles) to the southwest of Edinburgh’s suburbs, Glencorse Water Treatment Works (WTW) provides nearly 500,000 residents with a greatly improved water supply.

For one of the largest water supply projects in its history, Scottish Water selected Black & Veatch as design and construction partner. The project included a 175 megalitre per day (46.2 million gallons per day) WTW, and 15 km (9.3 miles) of 1,200-mm (four-foot) diameter supply pipes.

The treatment plant’s green-belt setting required careful planning and design to reconcile the large buildings and reservoir with the beauty of the surrounding area. The solution was to provide a buried treatment structure, with a low-silhouette and the largest grass roof in Scotland. The buried reservoir also has a grass-covered roof.

“The vision was that we would leave something that would be a lovely green, sustainable legacy, and that was going to be the hallmark of the project. We’ve got massive grass roofs and all the tanks are buried and covered with grass. These are huge structures; yet, at the end of the day, it’s not an architectural statement that’s been made – it’s an environmental statement.”

Kenny Naylor, Senior Project Manager, Scottish Water

Using Gravity

Minimizing the environmental impact is central to the project. The ability to use gravity, rather than energy-intensive pumps, to drive flows from the WTW to Scottish Water’s customers dictated the choice of the site. An additional environmental benefit of the gravity flow is the ability to generate electricity by installing a turbine to harness the water’s kinetic energy, powering the facility.

In construction, as well as design, the project includes innovative measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. One of the most significant steps was to manufacture the large high-density polyethylene pipes onsite.

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