Peace of mind with quick turnaround

When it comes to chemical dosing systems, more and more water and wastewater businesses are using the option of hired in services. In these difficult times, choosing a provider that can meet even unexpected demands, quickly, is essential.

The reasons businesses choose to hire chemical dosing systems are many and varied and include the need to: Hire equipment

  • Solve an emergency – when equipment suddenly stops working, a hired system keeps things going, giving time to identify the cause and carry out repairs
  • Support planned maintenance – when the original dosing system undergoes a planned shutdown for maintenance, refurbishment, upgrading or expansion, a hired solution can keep things moving
  • Test and evaluate new treatment strategies and processes – to meet more stringent regulations and reduce operating costs, hire systems enable the completion of tests and field trials to choose the best way forward
  • Meet changing needs – demand or treatment requirements are subject to changes and a hired system gives the flexibility to adapt site capabilities rapidly and cost-effectively
  • Overcome budget challenges – dosing equipment hire is a relatively low monthly payment on the operating expenditure budget
  • Bring in external expertise – as specialists in their field, the chemical dosing equipment provider brings knowledge, skills, and capacity to install and maintain dosing equipment.

Although most water and wastewater businesses invest in their own chemical dosing equipment, as can be seen from the list above, there are times when hired systems become a welcome problem-solving option.

Bigger, in this case, is better

Due to the fact that WES Ltd has the biggest fleet of chemical dosing units for hire in the UK – with 350 individual assets – the company is well-used to meeting customer hire needs quickly and effectively. This response speed is especially important in the event of expected breakdowns or emergencies.

WES – a helping hand in an emergency

The team of experts at WES understands the potential damage a dosing system breakdown can have, particularly for wastewater treatment plants, where a failure can potentially lead to environmental damage and significant fines. WES has the ability to deliver a pre-configured system – often within the same day a hire-call is received – that can be installed and operating within hours, ensuring critical processes continue to function.

So, in these times where so many things are proving difficult to get hold of, WES is ready and able to meet any chemical dosing system need you have – be that planned or an emergency.

For further information on WES’ hiring service, click here

The importance of bunding for funding

Incidences of pollution will have a significant impact on funding throughout AMP7. It’s, therefore, vital that businesses involved in water and wastewater treatment focus on preventing chemical leakages. Hiring or purchasing bunds, structures that underly and wall-off areas containing hazardous chemicals or liquids, thereby providing containment in the event of leaks, represents a small investment. However, it drastically reduces the risks associated with storing chemicals.

Businesses have an array of choices to make when it comes to selecting a bund suitable for their needs. They can opt for a permanent bund, built directly on the treatment site or manufactured off-site, transported and then installed. Temporary or portable bunds, used for smaller volumes, meanwhile, are made from lighter materials. They include intermediate bulk containers (IBC) bunds, which when constructed for movement by forklift trucks are often referred to as pallet bunds.

The most suitable material for the bund must be considered and selected based on several factors, including the size of the storage containers, the nature of the chemical stored, and the bund’s position and environment. The decision is also strongly affected by whether it will be built on-site or manufactured off-site.

The most traditional permanent bunds are built with concrete, brick or block walls, standing on concrete floors. These materials, and any mortar used in the masonry walls, must be watertight and capable of resisting the chemicals.

In recent years, as off-site bund manufacture has grown in popularity, different materials and construction methods have become more common. One alternative for permanent bunds is prefabricated steel. However, this is susceptible to both atmospheric corrosion and attack by the stored chemical, so a special resistant coating must be applied to it.

Together with the growth in off-site and modular manufacture of chemical dosing systems, there has been a considerable evolution in bund construction methodology and design in recent years. For packaged systems up to around 30,000 litres, fabricated polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) bunds with a rectangular footprint are now commonplace. However, certain design issues must be addressed if they are to be considered viable alternatives to civil-engineered bunds constructed on-site.

When it comes to choosing the capacity of your bund, the UK WIMES: Water Industry Mechanical and Electrical Specifications stipulate that it should be 110% of the total storage capacity of the largest tank or 25% of the total capacity of all tanks, whichever is the greater. However, requirements for outdoor bunds may differ a little between individual water companies. Thames Water, for example, insists on sizing at 110%, while Yorkshire Water extends this to 130% in its own specifications.

Finally, bunds must be protected from the elements and rigorously maintained if they are to function correctly in the long term.

Taking all of this into account, the safest approach is often to buy or hire complete chemical storage and dosing equipment set-ups from WES. They come with the most appropriate bunds, as well as all necessary filling and safety systems, and all components are pre-assembled and pre-tested. For easy installation and integration with the plant’s existing operation, each delivery is also accompanied by the right pipework, connectors and control features.

Click here to download our full guide on bunding.

A large dose… an innovative approach to eutrophication

Phosphorus in wastewater is a key cause of eutrophication which is the over-enrichment of lakes and other surface waters from mineral and organic nutrients. It stimulates excessive growth of microscopic algae and plankton, creating a dense algal bloom, where the subsequent death and bacterial decomposition strips the water of its oxygen and creates an unhealthy environment. Eutrophication is a huge concern as many waterways and lakes in the UK are currently failing to meet the strict standards set for nutrient levels under the nation’s Water Framework Directive.

Agricultural fertiliser run-off from fields, detergents from household drains, and waste from various industries, are the main causes of phosphorus in the water. The levels in the discharges from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants must be controlled to minimise eutrophication issues. Such issues include increased purification costs to diminished recreational and wildlife conservation, loss of fish and other livestock, and potentially lethal effects from toxic algae in drinking water.

Drivers and challenges
Pressure from environmentalists and legislative demands in the UK to reduced phosphorus levels in discharged wastewater have been key drivers for one of WES’s key customers, Wessex Water. But how could the utility company find a new water treatment to tackle these issues, that was both cost-effective and practical, as well ensuring health and safety remained a focus?

One effective and commonly used step in the removal of phosphorus is to dose water with ferric chloride. And, so seeking increased or upgraded ferric dosing at multiple locations, Wessex Water issued a framework tender call, to which WES Ltd responded.

The first challenge for WES was to create a dosing system flexible enough to meet all control requirements and other product standards relating to Wessex Water, other water utilities and approved suppliers. An aspect essential to the system’s practicality was its size and weight. Every detail of the design also had to be weighed up in terms of its cost, to ensure the overall price was competitive. Ensuring they were resourceful and efficient with timings due to the potential risks poor weather might impact the project, were crucial considerations too.

WES established that it was able to answer these challenges and had the necessary equipment and capacity to manufacture, handle and transport units of each size. After presenting an outline plant design, its specialists worked closely with Wessex Water’s internal Engineering and Construction project team on developing it to meet their specific operational needs.

A package for all sites
Their innovative approach and thinking resulted in a cost-effective, compact and versatile package. Furthermore, its standardised approach, with broad applicability, enabled just two size variants, 5,000 and 10,000 litres, to address the different circumstances required at a large number of sites.

The use of a common rather than bespoke design contributed to the solution’s cost efficiency. Further time and expense were saved by fully constructing and testing each package in the controlled conditions at the WES factory in Basingstoke, before delivery, instead of assembling them on site.

Even the largest units could easily be handled in one lift and safely transported on a single, non-articulated, flatbed truck. Meanwhile, easy carriage and there relatively small dimensions gave them flexibility for installation on disparate sites, where space was often at a premium and the terrain could prove to be challenging.

The advantages of reducing time and labour costs meant that the number of personnel needed on site was also minimised. Moreover, the duration of their exposure to associated health and safety risks was especially welcomed, in view of the added hazards and complexities sometimes posed by adverse weather conditions.

Successful co-operation
Design, delivery and installation of the ferric chloride and ferric sulphate units initially ordered by Wessex Water took 9 months and the project was completed in summer 2018. Since then, WES Ltd has received dozens of orders for the supply of 5,000 and 10,000 litre systems by water utility companies and their contractors.

To WES, this project was particularly important as it established the company’s first formal framework co-operation with Wessex Water. For the water industry, that co-operation has produced a practical, affordable and adaptable answer to the challenge of complying with legislation aimed at reducing phosphorus levels. Its positive environmental impacts should be far-reaching.


For further information on how to remove phosphorus more cost-effectively, please see our white paper on the subject.

mega contracts

Maintaining Mega Contracts

mega contracts

United Utilities has moved away from its previous reliance on a single supplier with the award of the AMP7 maintenance contract to seven separate suppliers. United Utilities believe it will improve customer service and offer flexibility. But what are the other benefits? As one of the awarded suppliers, Sapphire, say: “the new contracts aim to bring efficiencies through innovative ways of working”. Yet, could it be that maintaining a mega contract is easier to manage if broken down into smaller parts and therefore the planning is more proactive and less likely ‘run-to-failure’?

There’s been an increasing trend of reactive maintenance where businesses operate reactively rather than proactively, and this is the case in water and wastewater as much as anywhere else. Taking the system and arranging it into smaller manageable sites is one approach that could make all the difference to successful maintenance and servicing.

This is encouraging and heartening to WES. As a company that’s worked with water and wastewater companies for decades providing chemical dosing solutions, we pride ourselves on being both flexible and innovative in our approach to each of our customers. We also pride ourselves on taking a proactive methodical approach to service and maintenance.

We have always been on hand to respond to a client emergency with WES’ Hire Service and units ready to be deployed with immediate effect. But it’s the maintenance and servicing of assets where we are able to add so much more value to the supply chain. It’s fair to say, that repairing is often trickier than manufacture or creation which is why regular servicing is vital. We have been involved in site-based mechanical installations for almost 30 years and remains a firm advocate of effective planning and site management as the key to the success of any site installation.

Whilst we are advocates of fully works built and tested systems, our service doesn’t stop at the workshop gates; Our fully trained engineers deliver, install, commission and service dosing systems in accordance with the requirements, as well as offering an emergency callout service.

When you’re managing a mega contract, having the service and maintenance planned from the outset means less likelihood of mains bursting, leaks and risk to customers and environment.


CHEMUK 2019 provided WES with two days full days of excellent contact and opportunities

We look at the highlights of the inaugural event and successful show.

We were delighted to attend CHEMUK 2019 and can positively say that it’s an event we’ll be repeating.

The inaugural two-day show was held at the beginning of May and was a resounding success.  Our pre-event plan was to showcase our extensive portfolio of products as well as converse and share our knowledge with visitors to the stand.

Excellent number of visitors

With more than 2,500 visitors and 600 exhibitors, that’s exactly what we did.  Our stand was at its busiest from 10.30 all the way through to 15.30 with a constant stream of people interested in our dosing products.  We were delighted to help potential customers understand the different products that we make and distribute to help with their business needs and specific projects.

Emergency planning a hit

We found an incredible amount of interest in our hire systems with visitors impressed at the speed at which we can expedite chemical dosing systems and products in emergencies.  Experts from our hire division were regularly quizzed about our ability to bring in a pre-configured system that can be installed and operational with hours.

Our latest product, DosingCube E, took centre stage on the stand and attracted many a curious eye.  Our knowledgeable staff were able to demonstrate how these products can be quickly installed to existing storage vessels as well as acting as an interchangeable modular solution.  Delegates also witnessed the product’s key features, such as the clear inspection window, spray shield, digital dosing pump and flow control signals which allow for complete visibility and control.

A discussion point for many was the fact that our bespoke systems can handle up to 10,000 litres of dosing per day.  A requirement that isn’t needed by many, but an eye-opener for plenty of visitors for sure.

Looking forward to 2020

In summary, this event was a huge success.  The exhibition was a good size with excellent participants from a great variety of companies.  Over the two days, we met so many fascinating people and we’re looking forward to contacting them as we work our way through the business cards. Already, we’re looking forward to 2020 on the 29th and 30th April in Manchester. We hope to see you there!