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SWW's Mayflower water treatment works takes over from Crownhill

South West Water's Mayflower water treatment Works at Roborough, just north of Plymouth, has taken over from the old treatment works at Crownhill, which had been serving the city since the 1950s.

The works is the first of its kind in the world. It uses cutting-edge treatment processes, designed to produce impeccable drinking water and to be more sustainable than a traditional water treatment works.

The innovative treatment processes at Mayflower were designed and developed by Dutch water technology company PWNT and tested at a prototype facility at Crownhill from June 2013 until June 2015.

The new technology features SIX suspended ion exchange, ILCA inline coagulation and CeraMac C90 ceramic membrane microfiltration. It is the first time that this combined technology has been used anywhere in the world.

Mayflower is the first full-scale installation of SIX outside the Netherlands, the first full-scale installation of ILCA globally, and the first installation of ceramic membranes on a large scale in the United Kingdom. It is also the first installation using an ozone system for membrane cleaning to keep them operating efficiently.

Mayflower has been producing treated water since August, which has been blended with water from Crownhill to ensure a smooth transition for customers. The proportion of Mayflower water going into public supply has been gradually increasing over the last three months.

Today, Crownhill will be officially retired and 100% of Plymouth’s drinking water will be supplied by Mayflower.

South West Water’s director of operations – drinking water services, James King, said: “It has been years in the making – planning, building and commissioning – but today is a truly significant milestone for South West Water, our customers and the wider water industry.

“We already produce some of the highest quality drinking water in the UK, but Mayflower does so extremely consistently and efficiently.

“Mayflower will meet the needs of Plymouth’s growing population and provide a secure, high-quality drinking water supply for the wider Plymouth area for generations to come.”

Work to build Mayflower started in 2016 with the main construction work complete by the end of 2018. Between 50-100 people were employed during build and 150 people at peak build.

The £60m project was the biggest single capital investment in South West Water’s highly-rated 2015-20 business plan.

The works is designed to treat up to 90 megalitres of water a day, from sources including Burrator reservoir, the River Tavy and the River Tamar.

The name was suggested by South West Water’s late Managing Director, Dr Stephen Bird, and was the clear winner of a South West Water staff vote.

A formal celebration of the opening of the new works is being planned for when the current Covid situation eases.

Topic: Drinking water quality
Tags: water treatment , drinking water , operations , South West Water , treatment , technology


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