Aquifer storage and recovery project coming to Southern England

Utility Southern Water is planning an aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) project in the town of Worthing to help store drinking water for future use...

Worthing Asr Web

Utility Southern Water is planning an aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) project in the town of Worthing to help store drinking water for future use.

Although widely used in the US and with projects underway in the Middle East (see WWi article), other utilities such as Thames Water and Yorkshire Water are also evaluating the process.

For South Coast based Worthing, the ASR plan would involve taking river water during the winter, treating it and then transferring it to an aquifer to be stored until needed, for example in the summer months.

Southern Water’s pilot scheme would take place on the former Charmandean Quarry, near Lyons Farm retail park. It would involve drilling a new borehole on a working site of around 20m x 30m and laying a temporary water main and sewer.

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Worthing Borough Council and if successful, work on the ASR project would begin in early 2015.

The pilot borehole would take about four months to build, after which there would be a period of testing to help establish how much water a permanent scheme could supply, how sustainable it would be and the cost of building and running it.

The ASR project is part of the utility’s wider 25-year Water Resources Management Plan and was voted the most popular option for providing water, ahead of desalination by 1000 customers surveyed.

Meanwhile, in its Water Resources Programme, Thames Water said that ASR is “considered an important contingency option” and that there are a number of “sites in the Thames catchment were ASR could be viable”.

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