CEEQUAL rating of Excellent for new sewage treatment works in Reading

CEEQUAL rating of Excellent for new sewage treatment works in Reading

The design and build of new sewage treatment works in Reading earned a CEEQUAL rating of Excellent for adhering to every item on its environmental checklist.


Design and construction of the new Reading sewage treatment works was undertaken by an alliance consisting of the client Thames Water Utilities Limited, Taylor Woodrow and Black & Veatch. The main drivers for the £80m project was to meet new regulated standards for effluent discharge and sludge disposal in addition to eliminating odour nuisance. The project was awarded a CEEQUAL (now known as BREEAM Infrastructure) rating of Excellent.


Thames Water, is responsible for the water supply and waste water treatment in most of Greater London, Luton, the Thames Valley, Surrey, Gloucestershire, north Wiltshire, far west Kent, and some other parts of England.


Although a somewhat detailed design was required for planning purposes, which constrained total design freedom, the scheduling and tracking of decisions on all environmental design matters ensured that nothing ‘slipped through the net’.

The ‘environmental design checklist’ was reviewed every two months and all decisions and changes signed off once implications and agreements are reached. This process, and the results from it, is a further contributory factor to the high scoring in the CEEQUAL assessment.


The foundations for the project’s CEEQUAL success lay in Thames Water’s determination to set very high standards of environmental performance as one of the initial project objectives – a fact illustrated by the contractual emphasis on environmental management and the presence in the project team of a dedicated Environmental Manager.

A thorough environmental impact assessment, completed prior to commencement, contained extensive mitigation measures for the construction phase and enhancement proposals as part of the scheme design; these important environmental aspects of civil engineering were highlighted by the CEEQUAL process. Examples of the former are the air quality and landscape strategies agreed with Reading borough council, whilst enhancements include creation of mounding as invertebrate sub-strate and the planting of over 20,000 native trees.

From the early days of extensive site remediation, when an unexpected colony of water voles was successfully relocated under a licence from English Nature, to site controls as part of the EMS, the project to date has a very good environmental record.

Summary for Case Studies


Thames Water
Faber Mausell (now AECOM)
Black & Veatch and Taylor Woodrow Construction
Bill Wood
2, Aug 2003 | Reading, England
CEEQUAL rating:
Excellent (79.5%) – Whole Team Award

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