Articles & Case Studies

Plastic Solutions Provider is First Choice for £150 Million Wastewater Treatment Project

Posted: Wednesday 17th December 2008

One of the UK’s largest wastewater treatment works has chosen a pioneering alternative for its wastewater pipe systems which will help improve the wastewater infrastructure to over 1.8 million people in the West Midlands.

Severn Trent Water’s £150 million project at Minworth Sewage Treatment Works, near Birmingham, which is the second largest in the UK, has selected leading water management solutions provider, Asset International Ltd (Asset), to provide more than two miles of pipe for the multi-phase project. The site is due for completion in March 2010.

Contractors Biwater and North Midland Construction, in partnership as the ‘BNMAlliance’, (BNMA), have opted to use Weholite, the high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe manufactured by Asset, instead of more traditional materials such as concrete or ductile iron.

The large-scale project will use various diameters of pipe across all phases of construction but a maximum size of 1.8 metre will carry wastewater from massive distribution chambers after a new inlet works. At times the pipes will carry over 12,000 litres of wastewater per second from the distribution chambers.

Aside from traditional piping formats, Weholite has also been used in additional parts of the project. BNMA required a lightweight and easy to install material for manholes and as Weholite pipes are made to order and prefabricated, they were quickly and simply placed, reaching depths of up to five metres underground.

The extensive project often has as many as 400 workers on site at any one time so a comprehensive health and safety approach is crucial. As the Weholite pipe reached diameters of up to 1.8 metres, Asset, working with BNMA, ensured the pipes were delivered in strict stacking heights providing easy and safe access for offloading from delivery lorries.

Pat Heffernan, BNMA site manager, said: “Because Weholite is both lightweight and flexible it’s helped to reduce a number of health and safety issues. The pipes are easier to handle and because they are prefabricated, they arrive ready to use, giving us quick and easy access to the chambers”.

Mark Lee, project manager at Minworth for BNMA agreed:
“The handling of the pipes is much easier as plastic is lightweight and therefore much quicker to handle. This means there is a reduced risk of accident, which really helps with our health and safety performance”.

Paul Fisher, Project Manager at Minworth for Severn Trent Water said “We believe that Minworth is currently the UK’s largest Water Industry project with hundreds of men on site. Asset’s quick delivery and ease of installation has certainly helped to keep our costs down”.

Simon Thomas, Managing Director at Asset International added: “We continually strive to offer a versatile service for all our orders. Our pipes are made to order and coupled with a rapid manufacture time we offer a number of benefits to projects that require a quick turn around on materials”.

“As Weholite allows for swift installation, another advantage is the significant time and cost savings, especially when compared with other traditional materials”.

For more information about Weholite please call Asset International 01633 273081 or visit

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