Siltbuster, the leading water treatment specialist, has provided a bespoke wastewater treatment solution for Berkeley Homes, the leading property developer and housebuilder, at its site in Hollyfields, near Tunbridge Wells.

The modular systems were deployed to manage excess surface water runoff generated onsite in the rainy season. They are tasked with removing all suspended solids in wastewater before it can be safely discharged to the local watercourse.

The new housing development site is nestled at the foot of the North Downs in an AONB. The beauty of the surrounding area is a big pull factor for families looking to move to a rural setting with easy access to country walks, cycling routes and woodland. In addition, the Hollyfield’s site will feature three newly established ponds and a wetlands area to boost the local ecosystem and provide habitats for countless natural species.

Andy Lewis, Construction Manager at Berkley Homes, comments: “We’ve been absolutely committed to building with the environment in mind throughout all stages of the project. The 44-acre site is situated in the heart of the glorious Kent countryside and we want to give residents the opportunity to live harmoniously in a rural setting that is looked after. This is why we decided to work with Siltbuster at an early stage to manage any wastewater created onsite.”

Chris Radegonde, Technical Sales Engineer at Siltbuster, explains: “We often work with housebuilders to deal with potentially polluting wastewater created from surface water runoff in the rainy season. At the Hollyfield’s site, we deployed a treatment system to prevent wastewater laden with suspended solids from being discharged to the local surface watercourse before it was treated, as this would harm the environment and aquatic ecosystems.

“The challenge we faced was that we were dealing with vast volumes of turbid waters generated by large areas of exposed topsoil and clay. This meant that attenuation lagoons, designed to hold excess wastewater and allow time for suspended solid material to settle, would not be able to hold the water for a long enough residency time for them to do their job. Plus, even if clay particulates are settled, minor disturbances can put them back into suspension – no good. We realised that to cope with the rainy months, there would be a need to treat and discharge wastewater that couldn’t be dealt with alone by attenuation lagoons.”

Siltbuster installed a three-stage chemical treatment process onsite. This involves the controlled flow-proportional addition of a coagulant followed by a flocculant to agglomerate particles together and improve settling rates of suspended solids. The simultaneous process ensures that the pH of the water is within consent limits.

The modular solution includes Clarity, Siltbuster’s real-time water quality monitoring system. This is equipped to provide SMS alerts to site personnel if the wastewater starts to adopt any unfavourable characteristics.

Also, a telemetry tool with pH and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) sensors is connected to the feed pumps of the system. This means that if the pH or TSS of the wastewater go out beyond discharge limits, the feed pumps are automatically cut to prevent polluted waters from being released into the environment.

Chris adds: “The Environmental Agency rightly set strict discharge criteria in order to protect the environment in the UK. We are proud to be using our expertise to work with Berkeley Homes, designing a modular wastewater treatment solution adept at protecting the integrity of the environment surrounding the Hollyfield’s site.”

Andy concludes: “Due to the nature of the building site, we quickly realised that we were going to need an advanced method of treating our wastewater. We called in Siltbuster to discuss the project and the particular challenges faced onsite. From here, Siltbuster specified a bespoke solution tailored to the unique demands present onsite, and was brilliant in giving our staff practical training on how to operate and maintain the system. Siltbuster has also been extremely responsive with any calls or issues we have encountered onsite since.”

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