Water recycling at its best

The new £2.9 million Community Fire Station in St Albans, Hertfordshire, incorporates numerous sustainable elements within its design, making it one of the most environmentally friendly facilities of its kind.

At the heart of the station is a state-of-the-art wastewater processing recycling plant that separates oil and contaminants from the grey water harvested from rainwater, training water and the wash down area. The water is then filtered and disinfected to almost potable standards and re-used for flushing toilets and washing down the vehicles.

Mace Limited carried out the detail design of the building and services with the consideration to provide a system to catch, contain and treat wastewater created by vehicle and equipment washing operations, together with natural rainfall, to provide a sustainable, clean, recycled water supply, removing hydrocarbons and solid contaminants, to supply water for further washing operations and to provide suitably treated grey water for the flushing of toilets and urinals.

Charged with this brief Mace Building Services Engineer, David Forward, investigated many options but was already aware of The Mi-T-M Corporation, as a producer of specialist wastewater treatment and recycling systems for the industrial, transport, golf course and amenity grass markets, providing both mechanical filtration and biological digestion systems for treating waste water in numerous different situations. For the task at St. Albans he settled for the Mi-T-M WLP Series mechanical filtration wash water recycling system from Ringwood, Hampshire based Hydroscape, Mi-T-M’s exclusive UK distributors.

The project has been financially supported and endorsed by Three Valleys Water and David Forward at Mace comments: “The design of this building can be used as a model for future buildings of its type and as a practical example of how it is possible to introduce environmental systems at relatively little cost. We currently believe the recycling plant will pay for itself in less than three years.”

It is estimated that these recycling measures now in place within the Fire Station will equate to approximately five million litres of water being recycled per year.

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