Creating a reliable wastewater treatment plant that works in tune with nature
Clifton Wastewater Treatment Works is a rural treatment plant that recycles wastewater generated from a small village in South Yorkshire. To meet new water quality objectives, additional infrastructure was required to reduce nutrient load to the environment.
We identified that the existing treatment site provided the perfect conditions for implementing an integrated constructed wetland (ICW): a low energy and environmentally friendly method of wastewater treatment. The site area was proportionally large for the treatment population (about three Olympic swimming pools), with a natural slope and impermeable clay layer—all ideal conditions for supporting a nature-based solution. The shallow ponds were filled with a variety of plants (25 species), some to promote ecological conditions for nutrient uptake, and some to promote a diverse habitat. In total, 20,000 plants were used.
Clifton ICW is a unique project which offered multiple opportunities for research across many areas, including climate impact, evapotranspiration. The best part? We now can gain understanding of how these sustainable treatment plants could be adapted across other rural or isolated locations and scaled up for larger plants.
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