Horsley Water Treatment Works Upgrade

A £46M project to upgrade Horsley WTW has now reached a key milestone. We have selected our partners, a joint venture partnership with Doosan Enpure and Interserve Construction, to upgrade the treatment works.

Project updates

Update by Shafqat Akbar

Hello. In today's progress update, I want to concentrate on the civils works particularly surface water drainage and concrete footpaths.

We are continuing with installing the surface water drainage along the Central Corridor. We are making steady progress as there are a lot of underground services in this area.

We have started constructing footpaths around some of the new structures. We are working on the west and south elevations of these new structures.

We are continuing with the MEICA installations. We are connecting many types of plant and equipment into the control centres.

The site team is progressing well on many work fronts at the Horsley site. 



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Update by Shafqat Akbar

Hello everyone. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year break. I want to update you about our return to work.

The site will work in line with the latest Covid restrictions issued by the Government on Monday 4th January 2021. We already have a safe system of work in place for these difficult times.

Site works restarted after the end of year break yesterday. We have an ambitious programme of works to deliver. The civils, MEICA and commissioning works have all restarted.

We are continuing with the hard landscaping works. This photo shows the new equipment that are being installed on the new concrete slabs south of the Rapid Gravity Filters.

The electrical and mechanical works are progressing well at serveral areas of the site. We will be testing the new installations shortly.

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Update by Shafqat Akbar

Good afternoon,

After discussions with a very small number of customers who had spotted a rat in their gardens, we wanted to take precautionary steps to reassure our customers, and asked our rodent contractors to do a little bit of investigating.

They discovered that there were no signs of any rats at our site, and assured us that this not something that would cause a big problem for residents. The experts suggested that the rats could be attracted to bird feeders in gardens within the vicinity, so in this update we wanted to give you a little bit of friendly advice!

We have found some great suggestions from the experts at Birds Life. Here are their top tips on how to keep those unwanted guests out of your garden 

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Update by Shafqat Akbar

Hello. In this update I want to share some suggestions from the Northumbrian Water team on how to discourage rodents from people's gardens.

Bird feeders don’t actually attract rats; it is the easily available seed and other types of bird food at ground level that keeps the rats coming. Discarded seed thrown out by birds and poorly stored seed are probably the most common causes of this. Fortunately, there are easy ways to help stop the rats.

Stop Feeding Birds For A Few Weeks

As already mentioned, the easiest way of seeing less rats in your garden is to remove all sources of bird food. This method goes against everything we want to do as birders or bird feeding enthusiasts. Why can’t we feed the birds without rats getting involved? Unfortunately, the two go hand in hand. If you can bear to remove your feeders for a short while, it may just do the trick… but their return is almost inevitable if they live in your area.

Make Your Garden Less Rat Friendly

Rats like to hide out in dark corners, under sheds or in holes near to those places. Making your garden as clean and exposed as possible will help to deter rats from living there. They may still visit but at least if they are not permanent residents you are in with a chance of seeing them less. Close up any easy entry points to your garden – under fences, between plants. Run something around the base of the shed to prevent rats getting under there and taking shelter. Check for holes in building walls; plastic air bricks are easy for a rat to gnaw through, have them replaced with stone ones if possible.

Good garden hygiene is also key. Don’t leave any scraps of food on the ground after a family BBQ. Brush away and tidy up any discarded bird food under your feeders. Don’t overfill your feeders in the first place. Keep bins and bin areas secure and inaccessible to rodents.

Stop Using Incorrect Seed Or Feeders

A main cause of seed appearing on the ground around a bird feeder is the feeder allowing seed to fall out. There are specific types of feeder for certain types of seed. Don’t use a feeder with large feeding ports. As the seed either falls to the ground as rodent food, or collects around the outside of the feeder making a mess.

Avoid Seed Husks

A popular favourite among many birds is the black sunflower seed. Unfortunately, they can be messy. The problem is the husk, which birds do not eat and have to peck off to get to the edible content inside. The husk falls to the ground and leaves a noticeable mess. Maybe choose an alternative seed type.

Move The Feeder Away From Branches

If you are getting rats on your bird feeder they may not have to climb the pole to get there. If your feeder is near a tree branch or other place a rat can jump from, move the feeder away. By doing this you are eliminating at least one way a rat can access your feeder.

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Update by Shafqat Akbar

In this update, I want to share the good progress we are making on the mechanical, electrical and process installation. The site teams are working in a number of locations on site installing, testing and commissioning plant and equipment.

We have completed the installation of the chlorinated and unchlorinated tanks and booster sets.

We have received our first chemical deliveries of lime and PALC. We have completed the back washing of the filter beds at the rapid gravity filters. Progess has been very good. 

The electrical testing is complete in many of the MCCs. 

We have started the installation of the compressor and surge vessels at the pumping station. The MEICA works are progressing very well. 

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Update by Shafqat Akbar

Hello. I want to give you a quick update on the weekend works at the Horsley site. We had a successful weekend and completed all of the programmed works.

Progress continues on site at a good pace. 

The installation of the major plant is substantially complete. We are fitting the MEICA plant and equipment.

We have started on the hard landscaping works in several locations. 

We are installing the mechanial and electrical equipment inside the new de-alk building.

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Update by Shafqat Akbar

Hello again. Yesterday I told you about the works we plan to carry out at the weekend. We are ready to start the weekend works. I will update you next week on the progress.

We have made good progress on the construction of delivery slabs and chemical slabs. This slab is located near the inlet works.

The installation of new pipelines is progressing well.

The new construction works near the main Northumbrian Water offices are progressing well.

The MEICA installation at the new structures has started and progress is good.

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Update by Shafqat Akbar

Hello. We will be working at the Horsley site this weekend on some pipelines. We will post letters to the properties in Horsley village to let them know we will be working.  I have copied the letter here for your information:

Our Ref: WT011/0226

4 December 2020

Dear Customer,

Work at Horsley Water Treatment Works


As part of our on-going investment to upgrade the works and to secure water supplies into the future, I’m writing to let you know about some additional work this weekend which may generate some low-level noise from our site.

On Saturday 5 December from 8am to 5pm and Sunday 6 December from 8am to 4pm, we need to carry out work on an underground pipe which may generate some noise from a generator and compressor running.

Please be assured that we will use practical means to make sure that any noise is kept to a minimum and I would like to offer my apologies for the short notice in letting you know about this essential work.

We have sought approval from Northumberland County Council to carry out the work this weekend and while we have no future plans for weekend work, if the need does arise, we will let you know.

We will do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum and I would like to thank you for your patience as we continue to work within your community. There will be no disruption to your water supply.

If you have any queries about this work, please telephone our customer contact centre on 03457 171100 or tweet us @nwater_care. You can also find out more information as work progresses at and follow the link to the Horsley page.

Yours sincerely

Mike Foster. Project Manager



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Update by Shafqat Akbar

Hello again. The site team at Horsley has achieved another milestone. We received our first bulk chemical deliveries.

This is a tremendous achievement. The site team can progress the testing and commissioning works.

These photos show the delivery vehicles on site.

Some of the silos adjacent to the chemical building and the actiflow building have received chemicals.

The site team are preparing for the next phase of deliveries. Progress on site is good.


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Update by Shafqat Akbar

Hello. We have carried out a lot of work in November. The project is making very good progress.

The cladding to the new building have been installed.

The external cabinets are being fitted out. 

The works at the southern end of the site are progressing well.

The external steelwork in the sludge area is complete.


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