Innovatively bringing defunct sewage tanks back to life

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Innovatively bringing defunct sewage tanks back to life

A state-of-the-art grabbing crane is being used to help revitalise a dormant sewage tank.

The clean-up operation at Thames Water’s Camberley sewage works will see the tank become a secondary digester, helping to transform sludge – a by-product of the sewage treatment process – into eco-friendly fertiliser.

The tank has laid dormant for five years, encouraging shrubbery and trees to grow, and the crane’s operators have been able to grab and remove the vegetation, and extract the sludge from the bottom to help clean it up.

Jamie Essery, site manager at Camberley, said: “As part of the renovation work at Camberley, we’re always looking at new ways to further improve our service, and at the most efficient cost possible.

“This crane allows us to do this, and has made some great improvements to the site already. The clean-up will be finished in the near future and we’ll be able to bring this tank back into action, overall improving the process.”

Camberley sewage works has been providing a crucial service to approximately 155,000 people in the Surrey area since it first opened 110 years ago in 1907.

At the site is also a primary digester, which extracts methane from the sludge during the treatment process, to be used as renewable energy.

It generates 9,000 kWh – enough to power 1059 homes for a whole year.

A team of four has been operating the crane, which has been supplied by specialists Cadman Cranes, and the clean-up has now been completed.

Cadman Cranes specialises in tank clearance, dredging, backfilling and material re-handling.

The state-of-the-art crane is capable of handling materials such as silt, stone, sand, grit, vegetation and the by-products of wastewater treatment, aerobic and anaerobic digestion.

To see the crane in action at Camberley, click here