Slow Sand Filters Floor Replacement

In October 2016, Stonbury as framework contractors to the Northumbrian Water Group and Essex and Suffolk Water were asked for their involvement with an Investigation and Design (I&D) project, aimed at understanding the poor performing slow sand filters at the Layer Water Treatment works in the Essex supply area With the expertise in civil engineering and operational structures within the water supply network, Stonbury were selected to provide an added value solution for these challenges. For the initial investigation and design, Amec Foster Wheeler who work extensively with NWG (Northumbrian Water Group) were engaged to review particular issues around the slow sand filters, whilst also providing a full market appraisal. The scope of the project required an understanding of the issues with the slow sand filters, in order to develop a solution that would increase the overall output of the WTWs. With the information from the investigation reports, Stonbury, leading the constructability element of the project and developing budgetary and programme options, were able to provide NWG and E&SW with the best options for delivering the programme. The Solution After on-site investigatory work, it was apparent that the existing brick floors, common to many slow sand filters of this age, had silted up, causing the output of the filters to be limited. This ultimately led to the conclusion that the slow sand filter floors were in need of a replacement, with a like-for-like brick floor. The concerns with this solution included a high-risk repeat of performance issues. Instead, a solution was considered for the installation of an alternative ‘brick’ floor. This method would require the lifting of the original bricks, to be replaced with an accepted market flooring system for slow sand filters. Stonbury proposed the use of a ‘U’ block, which met the design parameters and most importantly, DWI approved for installation within the water supply system. With the decision confirmed on the preferred solution, and using the progress from the I&D stages, Stonbury officially tendered for the construction phases of the project, achieving an approved final costed solution for the initial 4No. filters of 2500m2 each. At the end of January 2017, we were delighted to be informed by the NWG board and Essex and Suffolk Water, the award had been approved to Stonbury. The Works The NWG operational site team at Layer WTWs were responsible for removing the media and once completed, works begun in earnest to remove the existing brick floors. The old brick ‘waste’ was subsequently re-used by a third party as infill material, substantially reducing landfill waste volumes. During the brick removal process, it was noticed that the central collection channel cover slabs, had received damage over the years and were also in need of replacement. Due to the necessity for the structural capacity of plant movement, we opted to design and construct the slabs on site in a specially made formwork arrangement, reducing both transport and procurement costs and manufacturing time. Each slow sand filter of 2500m2 required the laying of approximately 48,000 new ‘U’ blocks. With a singular block weighing 14kgs and at 140mm x 240mm x 215mm deep, Stonbury operatives laid just over 2500 tonne of blocks by hand. With the commitment of all our stakeholders involved in the programme and the greatly efficient methodology developed in the early stages of the scheme, Stonbury are pleased to report that all 4No. slow sand filters were successfully completed ahead of schedule, completing almost one month ahead of programme. For any further information on the project or slow sand filter refurbishment schemes, please contact

New North West Offices

Due to our continued growth and commitment to delivering projects in the North West, we are pleased to announce the opening of our new premises in Skelmersdale The offices and storage spaces at Skelmersdale have been introduced to facilitate the framework with United Utilities and other water industry partners in the North West regions. To coincide with the new premises, we have also introduced a new regional delivery team, the Red Team, adding to our existing Blue, Yellow, Green and Orange Teams, who service our twelve other framework clients.  The Red Team, developed for their service and delivery to United Utilities projects, will head their operations from the new Skelmersdale offices. The new location will allow improved service and response times, with teams located local to the North West region.  Stonbury North West Offices Units 4 & 5 Greenwood Business Centre Gorsey Place, East Gillibrands Industrial Estate, Skelmersdale, WN8 9DB.

Stonbury Golf Day 2017

On Thursday 29th June, we were delighted to host our first Stonbury Golf Day at Stapleford Park After a hearty breakfast bap, our teams of mixed Water Company and Stonbury personnel, took to their posts for 18 holes of friendly golf.  We would like to thank all our guests and Stonbury staff that joined us for the day, making our first golf day social, a very enjoyable one. After the success of the day, we look forward to making this an annual event.  Congratulations to our very own Karl Veni, who took home Overall Tournament Winner.  1st Place Team Winners Shane Thorley Dave Ellis Dave Pallant Karl Veni 2nd Place Team Winners Stuart Brooks Carl Thomas Danny Nicholds Nearest the Pin Winners Callum McCormack Harry Baugh Chris Walker Longest Drive Winner Keith Shelley

New Appointment: Michael Campling - Technical and Innovation

We are pleased to announce that from July 1st, Michael Campling will commence in his new role as Technical and Innovation Manager for Stonbury Michael is our longest serving employee and has recently celebrated over 25 years' service with Stonbury. His experience both in the industry and with the company make him the best and most experienced person for this role.   The main duty of the role will be in the assurance that all materials applied in reservoirs by our teams, are fully compliant with the procedures required under the DWI Regulation 31, for use in contact with potable water. There will be an emphasis on ensuring that all the requirements and manufacturers conditions for application, as stated in the various IFU's, are strictly met at all times. This includes quality control in ensuring the correct volume of material is used and applied within the tolerances of temperature and relative humidity etc. Records during cure periods will also be observed, with the intention to pass this information back to our clients, before the structure is handed back for return to service.

Team Stonbury completes the Water Aid Mountain Challenge 2017

This month we sent the Stonbury team to Langdale in the Lake District in support of WaterAid In what was described as treacherous weather conditions, team Stonbury successfully completed the rugged, rocky and steep paths up the peaks of the Langdale Pikes. Contributing to the WaterAid mission to cover every Wainwright; Loft Crag, Pike O'Stickle, Thunacar Knott, Pavey Ark and Harrison Stickle were climbed, before making a steady descent back to the dry, warmth and flatland.  A big well done to all our team members who took part and completed in just over 4 hours!   

Water tower refurbishment creates new homes

A new set of speakers playing Swift bird call sounds will help to find some new residents for the 16 nesting boxes that have been recently installed on Essex & Suffolk Water’s Southwold water tower. The playing of call sounds during June and July has been proved to be very successful for attracting Swifts into new nesting boxes and it is hoped fun loving couples would enjoy moving in to the new properties with excellent views over one of Suffolk’s premier towns. As contractor for Essex & Suffolk Water, we carried out the work of installing the new nesting boxes, whilst the water tower received a £290,000 refurbishment to protect and maintain supplies to Southwold and ensure the highest quality drinking water. Alex Mueller, conservation advisor for Essex & Suffolk Water said: “Research has shown that new nesting boxes that use the call broadcasting system have up to a 60 percent success rate of attracting a mating pair of Swifts and this is proving successful in getting birds to use new facilities.” The water company has worked closely with SOS Swifts, a group established in 2014 to add support to the national effort to raise awareness of the threats faced by Swifts, and is a joint initiative between Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Suffolk Ornithologists' Group. Honorary President of the Suffolk Ornithologists’ Group and environmental campaigner and journalist, John Grant, inspected the playing of bird call sounds at Southwold water tower and unveiled a small plaque to mark the occasion.     “Swifts like to nest in small cracks and holes and on a water tower this might not be the best location for their homes. We are keen for them to use the nesting boxes so there is no damage to our buildings and the Swifts have a better place to bring up their chicks,” Alex said. “Supplying high quality drinking water to 1.8 million customers in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk means that our business is intrinsically linked with the natural environment. We work wherever possible to protect and enhance the natural world. Providing sanctuary for wildlife like this while we are carrying out improvement works is a great example of this,” she added.   The striking Art Deco designed water tower in Southwold stands at 26 metres tall and was constructed in 1937 and holds 150,000 imperial gallons or 681,000 litres of drinking water. That’s enough for 8,500 baths or two baths for every resident. SOS Swifts volunteer, Edward Jackson said: “Swifts are amazing birds. Apart from a few weeks each summer when they are with us raising their young, they spend the rest of the time in the air at heights of up to 3,000 metres, travelling between the UK and southern Africa  - and even sleeping on the wing!  Their screaming calls as they chase each other over the rooftops is one of the special sounds of summer.’ “Across the UK we have lost almost half our Swifts in the past 25 years. We believe this is mainly due to nest sites being destroyed as old buildings are demolished or roof repairs and improvements seal up existing nest sites.  Most people don’t realise they may have Swifts nesting in their roofs, as they are so fast and also very clean as well.” “SOS Swifts is working to help Swifts in communities all across Suffolk and is delighted to be working with Essex & Suffolk Water and Stonbury to provide 16 new nest sites on the Southwold water tower.  It may take several years, but we hope that young birds from the colony of Swifts that is with us in Southwold right now will find and use these new homes - and help secure the future for this most iconic bird of summer.”