Glencorse Water Treatment Works Part 1

CEEQUAL Excellent (84.0%) – Whole Project Award
Version 4, Nov 2011 | Penicuik, Scotland, UK

Winner – CEEQUAL Outstanding Achievement Awards 2013 – Relations with the Local community & Other Stakeholders

Client: Scottish Water
Design: Black and Veatch, ERM, BDP
Construction: Black and Veatch

Assessor: Neil McCulloch

Project summary

The Glencorse Water Project is set to replace two ageing water treatment works in Edinburgh and provide Scotland’s capital city with clearer, fresher drinking water for generations to come. The project team is committed to providing a sustainable project with particular emphasis on sympathetic landscape design, on-site renewable generation and high levels of stakeholder engagement.

The project will provide a 175-million-litre-per-day water treatment works, over 15 km of new large-diameter water mains and a 90-million-litre clear water storage tank. Construction of this £130m project commenced in summer 2008 and will be completed in summer 2011.

The site for the new water treatment works was carefully selected to allow the raw water to gravitate to the works and also gravitate from the works to Scottish Water’s customers and avoid the need for energy-intensive pumping.

Sympathetic landscape design

The chosen site offered the best natural screening to reduce the effect on the local landscape. The design allowed the works to be largely buried while the parts of the structures remaining above ground are carefully screened, using recycled materials, and covered with grass roofs to keep visual impact to a minimum. All of the buildings and structures will be covered with grass and the main treatment building has Scotland’s largest grass roof.


Efficient use of space and an innovative method of treating water via two treatment processes in the same cell minimised the footprint of the building.

Low-carbon pipelines

The 15 km of 1.2-metre-diameter pipelines that take treated water from the new works to customers are made from polyethylene. The manufacture of polyethylene pipelines requires a fraction of the energy used in other pipe materials available. The project went one step further to reduce carbon emissions by setting up the world’s first mobile pipe production plant.



Manufacturing the plastic pipe on site saved 1,500 tonnes of CO2 and saved over 1 million miles of road transport in a rural community.

Community engagement

From inception, a key priority for the Glencorse team has been to minimise disruption to the local community. Moreover, regular site visits for schools and neighbours to ‘Archaeology Open Days’ revealing centuries of local history have provided a positive experience.

Stakeholders are kept informed through the project website, regular letters, leaflets, presentations and personal visits. From planning to construction, the project team have built solid relationships with stakeholders who now see Scottish Water as a trusted part of the community.

The education programme developed for the Glencorse project has received an enthusiastic response from schools and universities and created unique learning opportunities for more than 300 young people.

On-site power generation

Excess energy in one of the raw-water supplies to the Glencorse works has been harnessed with inclusion of a 250kw hyrdo turbine, generating approximately 30% of the energy required to power the works.


One of Scottish Water’s objectives for this project was that it would not only have strong sustainable objectives but also be able to demonstrate how well these have been met.

CEEQUAL provided the most appropriate and comprehensive assessment of the sustainability of this project. By using the Interim Award we were able to demonstrate that the project was on track to achieve the sustainable objectives set by the client.