MBR Wastewater Recycling Plant, Stonehenge

The opening of the new Stonehenge visitor centre has marked the completion of the wastewater treatment and recycling plant provided by Nijhuis Industries UK & Ireland after works began on site in August 2013. The state of the art Membrane Bio Reactor plant was identified as the technology to achieve high level stringent consent and enable recycling of the final effluent for non-potable uses, reducing the site’s environmental footprint and providing wider sustainability benefits.

On 18 December 2013 English Heritage unveiled the first phase of the long awaited £27 million make-over of the site’s facilities. The new visitor centre located a mile and a half away from the monument showcases the history of the famous World Heritage site like never before with many objects found on site for the very first time. With over one million visitors from all over the world, English Heritage sought to provide a visitor centre which was not only sensitive to the landscape but also environmentally sustainable.

Vinci Construction UK was the principal contractor undertaking the project and the wastewater recycling plant was awarded as a design and build subcontract to Nijhuis Industries UK & Ireland. The company’s scope of supply was inclusive of design, supply of equipment, mechanical and electrical installation, commissioning, service and maintenance.

  • Stonehenge1
  • Stonehenge2

Plant performance:

The quality of the discharge is required to be extremely high as it is recycled for use within the facility buildings. A nitrate level has been imposed to protect the ground water extraction which is particularly important due to the fact that the drinking water is sourced from the ground water. The following treated water parameters are expected after total treatment:

  • ≤ 5mg/l BOD
  • ≤ 5 mg/l TSS
  • 5-11 pH
  • ≤ 50 mg/l Nitrate NO3
  • ≤ 5 mg/l ammonia

Due to the high profile status of the site, Nijhuis was faced with the following challenges:

Challenge 1: Short contract timescale.
Solution: Pre-fabricated modular units.

Challenge 2: No below ground structures due to the site’s protected status as a World Heritage site.
Solution: Above ground bespoke containerised units.

Challenge 3: Low odour emissions.
Solution: Sealed tank technology.

Challenge 4: Low noise emissions.
Solution: Acoustic based and buffered electrical mechanical components.

Upon completion, the high profile project achieved runner up success as ‘Water Resource of the Year’ nominee at the Water Industries Achievement Awards 2014.


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