New state-of-the-art water treatment plant opens at Fowlmere
Adrian Page, Group Chief Executive of South Staffordshire Plc and board members; the Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chris Smith and Catherine May toast the new treatment works with fresh water from the plant.The Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chris Smith, visited Fowlmere to officially open Cambridge Water’s new water treatment plant on Thursday 16 May.
Fowlmere pumping station has supplied water to Cambridge since 1959, and this new treatment plant has been added to remove nitrates from the water supply and upgrade the existing treatment processes.
Nitrates are naturally present in soils, and are also added by farmers in fertilisers to improve their crop yield. As nitrates are soluble they can be washed into rivers and streams or seep through the ground into underground water sources.
Fowlmere is Cambridge Water’s fourth nitrate treatment plant, with water being pumped from boreholes, into the treatment plant where it is passed through vessels to remove the nitrates before being disinfected using chlorine and ultraviolet light.
Phil Newland, managing director of Cambridge Water, said:
“At Cambridge Water we’ve been providing high-quality water to all our customers for more than 160 years.
The new nitrate treatment plant includes state-of-the art technology to enable us to continue to provide some of the highest quality water in the UK to our customers.
Alongside this we are also working in partnership with farmers and landowners to reduce the use of nitrate-rich fertilisers on the land by providing grants and guidance on the alternatives.”
Fowlmere Pumping Station
Fowlmere was one of the largest parishes in South Cambridgeshire to receive a piped public water supply. Before the completion of the first borehole at Fowlmere in 1952, there were still 13 parishes without a full supply and less than 50% of households in the South Cambridgeshire Rural District received piped water.
The borehole at Dottrell Hall – now Fowlmere Pumping Station – provided the basis for completing water supplies to this area of Cambridgeshire.
Dottrell Hall was built and operated by South Cambridgeshire District Council in 1959 and was taken over by Cambridge Water Company in 1961, under a Statutory Order, designed to amalgamate a number of small water companies.
Today Fowlmere Pumping Station is a major hub in Cambridge Water’s supply network. Providing water to the local area as well as Cambridge, and via the integrated network, Ramsey and St. Ives in the north. Today, on average, 3.5 million litres of water are pumped from the site per day with a capability of pumping 5.4 million litres per day.