“A remarkable piece of civil and constructional engineering” is what members of the Rotary Club of Seaford called Southern Water’s wastewater treatment plant at Peacehaven.
Eleven club members visited the plant on January 22 and said it sits ‘unobtrusively and almost invisibly in the rolling South Downs behind the town’.
The plant has a huge grass-covered roof, gleaming pipes and miles of cables in its up-to-date design.
The club was shown a video describing the site from its origins to the present state as well as the processes which the wastewater goes through.
The project is the largest attempted to date by Southern Water and encompasses pumping stations in Brighton and at points along the A259, which join the old Victorian sewer system in Brighton to the new plant and then to the long-fall sea outlet.
Currently it is in the process of being tested prior to the final handover but it is working as it will do when fully commissioned.
The pumps, filters, bacterial degraders and dryers are fully automated and managed from the control room. The water reaching the sea is cleaned to current EU standards.
Suitable solid waste product is bacterially cleaned, dried and turned into industrial soil improver and unsuitable material is separated and sent for disposal at designated sites. All this is achieved with the minimum of human intervention.
The club thanked the guides and those who had created the imaginative and environmentally friendly complex for such an ‘unpleasant necessity’.