Capital Projects
Case Study: Cranfield University

Quote

“ Avoiding operational disruption during installation, the new systems have significantly improved the ability of the pumping station and treatment works to deal with periods of heavy flow. ”

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The Background

Design

The Background

At its campus in Bedfordshire, Cranfield University faced two interrelated sewage management challenges in relation to its on-site pumping station and sewage treatment plant.
The pumping station was designed to collect sewage from across the whole campus (including halls of residence) and pump it to the treatment plant situated 500m away. However, at periods of high flow and particularly during occurrences of heavy rain, the pumping station couldn’t deal with the demands placed upon it. This resulted in sewage backing up in the drainage network and the need to contract tanker services to prevent flooding.
Problems were also experienced at the nearby treatment works. During periods of high flow, limited flow balancing was leading to insufficient treatment time within the works. As a result, there was a risk that the effluent would be discharged that didn’t meet specified standards.

The Service

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The Service

To meet the demand of high-flow periods, Alpheus designed and installed a new above-ground pumping station which used two surface-mounted chopper pumps. As well as increasing capacity, these also created a system which was easy to maintain and less prone to blockage and breakdown. A new 500mm rising main was also built to carry waste from the pumping station to the treatment plant.
Responding to the issue of high flow at the sewage treatment plant, the original tender had called for the installation of a large balance tank which would capture peak flows and feed them back through the works at times of lower flow.
Alpheus took this idea and evolved it to the next level. The new approach involved converting the existing primary and secondary settlement tanks into a balance and storm tank, and providing new primary and secondary settlement using lamella technology. By converting existing assets, it was possible to improve flow capacity while minimising costs.

The Implementation

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The Implementation

The key challenge with this multi-faceted project was to keep the complete system operational while the work was being undertaken. To meet this key aim, the new pump station was built adjacent to the existing site and fully tested before switch-over. The new rising main was installed and pressure tested before making cross-connections. For the sewage works, Alpheus hired temporary equipment to ensure the plant remained operational during the installation of new equipment.

The Outcomes

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The Outcomes

The new pumping station and improvements to the sewage treatment works were completed in April 2011. Avoiding operational disruption during installation, the new systems have significantly improved the ability of the pumping station and treatment works to deal with periods of heavy flow. Alpheus subsequently won the contract to operate and maintain the plant, and has now provided these services at Cranfield University for 6 years.