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Yorkshire Water's Withernsea Aero-Fac® Nature Based WwTP Wins Another Award, the 2024 International ICE Award “Resilience Champion".

The extraordinarily low carbon footprint Aero-Fac® wastewater treatment system is becoming the key solution to eliminating CSOs, odour, sludge handling, all whilst reducing the carbon footprint and embodied carbon — and dramatically cutting both OPEX & CAPEX costs by employing a well-proven Nature Based Solution.

Yorkshire Water’s Aero-Fac® Wins “Resilience Champion" Award

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) recently recognised 31 individuals with the new title of Resilience Champions for demonstrating that their projects are helping to build an inclusive, resilient and sustainable world. The programme aims to showcase best practice and inspire others working across the infrastructure and built environment industry. The first cohort of ICE Resilience Champions represent various organisations, including Gurney Environmental, Stantec, Yorkshire Water, Ward & Burke (the group behind Yorkshire Water’s Withernsea Aero-Fac® WwTP), and others.

Second Recognition by ICE for Aero-Fac® Sustainability

In 2023 the ICE Edmund Hambly Medal for “Design for Sustainable Development” was awarded to Yorkshire Water’s new 15,000 PE Aero-Fac® WwTP at Withernsea (Hollym, Myers Lane). The international award underscores the unusual sustainability along with OPEX and CAPEX cost savings of the project as compared to past traditional options — plus the ability to operate with little ongoing manpower, energy, maintenance — and all with a substantially lower carbon footprint.

Stantec now features a section on their company's international website highlighting “Nature Based Solutions” using the award winning Yorkshire Water Aero-Fac® as an example.

The ICE Edmund Hambly Medal – Creative Design for Sustainable Development
The Edmund Hambly Medal aligns with ICE’s commitment to address how we build resilience and mitigate the significant effects of climate change. It is an award for the creative design of an engineering project that makes a substantial contribution to sustainable development. The award emphasises the important contribution that civil engineering makes to the wellbeing of mankind and the environment. This year the award will seek to recognise the creative design of an engineering project that contributed to mitigating and adapting to the significant effects of the climate change.

Fourth Recognition in 2023-2024 for Aero-Fac® Sustainability

In another recognition, in 2023 Stantec and Yorkshire Water were finalists for an award at this year’s Water Industry Awards for the Net Zero Carbon Initiative for their work as partners with Gurney Environmental in the design and construction of the innovative Aero-Fac® WwTP at Withernsea.

Gurney Environmental, Yorkshire Water, Stantec and Ward & Burke were also announced as finalists in the 2023 British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards for Environment & Sustainability Initiative of the Year for the Aero-Fac® WwTP project at Withernsea/Hollym, Myers Lane. Judges worked through hundreds of entries, reviewing against strict criteria and attributing scores aimed at rewarding and recognising the very best in project excellence. The British Construction Industry Awards has the most prestigious and rigorous judging process and have built up an outstanding reputation for recognising only the very best projects and companies in the industry.



Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change with a Time-Proven Low Carbon Footprint Option

Aero-Fac® is a Nature Based Solution that is uniquely suited to meet the many challenges of climate change, including meeting new legal requirements for stormwater overflow containment. Aero-Fac® offers an extremely low carbon footprint, dramatic energy savings, no sludge production or handling, plus energy-free disinfection, thereby making effluent suitable for irrigation water re-use or safe-bathing waters whether discharged to river or sea.

As a dramatic example, the recent 2018-built Aero-Fac® WwTP at Northumbrian Water’s Waren Mill has been operating odour-free with over 10x peak flows/loads, automatically handling surges without operator intervention or problematic discharges. Yorkshire Water’s 15,000 PE Withernsea Aero-Fac® has been designed to automatically accommodate a 2x flow/load condition without operator intervention.

A Proven Track Record Over Two Decades of Performance in the UK

Twenty four years ago in 2000, Montgomery Watson Projects (now Stantec) constructed the first Aero-Fac® WwTP in the UK for Tayside Regional Council/North of Scotland Water Authority (NoSWA) at Errol, Scotland. In 2023 the Errol WwTP was inexpensively refurbished and expanded to handle a 50% load increase for another 20 years of low energy, low carbon footprint operations — a remarkable reinforcement of the sustainability of the Nature Based solution offered by Aero-Fac®. The Errol WwTP during its initial 20 years of OPEX saved enough in both CAPEX and 20-year OPEX to completely recapture the construction costs and 20-year OPEX — effectively a net zero cost as compared to the activated sludge option originally considered (see cost data below).

The Errol WwTP was the first of several Aero-Fac® WwTPs built for Scottish Water and other water companies around the UK. Read the complete story in the new Special Edition of CLEAN WATER.

In 2019 Gurney Environmental and Stantec along with Yorkshire Water initiated work to develop Yorkshire's new 15,000 PE Aero-Fac® WwTP at Withernsea as an alternative to the activated sludge plant that had been initially proposed. Yorkshire Water had spent considerable time and effort researching various options, but saw excellent benefits from the well-proven and time-tested Aero-Fac® technology, a true Nature Based Solution that has been successfully used elsewhere in England and Scotland over the past two decades and has now been twice recognised by awards.


Data supplied by Yorkshire Water for 15,000 PE WwTP


Extraordinary Flow Variation Capability

In 2018 Gurney Environmental developed the new Waren Mill Aero-Fac® wastewater treatment system for Northumbrian Water to meet a normal winter population of 200, but rising to a summer population of almost 3,000. This dramatic variation in flow from winter to summer can create serious issues for many WwTP designs. At this particular location, Northumbrian Water had been tankering away excess wastewater flows over the 150-pe SAF design with an associated high operating cost and carbon footprint.

In the analysis by Northumbrian Water’s consultants, Aero-Fac® offered a well-proven and time-tested Nature Based Solution with the flexibility and robustness of operation to be able to cost-effectively and easily accommodate this large flow variation.

Since construction, especially with the covid pandemic, the nearby caravan site was full, so the WwTP had high load summers. However, with the new Aero-Fac® system, Northumbrian Water have finally been able to eliminate expensive tankering.

Highly Sustainable, Low Carbon Footprint Wastewater Treatment Solutions. An Extraordinary 40-yr Solution.

When Gurney Environmental talks about truly long-term sustainable, low carbon footprint wastewater treatment options, we mean it. Our faster and less-cost-to-construct Accel-o-Fac® and Aero-Fac® WwTPs utilise wind powered aeration and can operate with zero-to-low energy costs, almost no labour, no odour, no sludge handling or disposal costs, no CSOs, and little in the way of ongoing O&M.

Sustainable? After 22 years of low cost successful operation — with no CSOs, no odour, no sludge handling or disposal, and effluent meeting compliance for 2 decades — Scottish Water’s Errol Aero-Fac® has been inexpensively expanded for a 50% load increase and refurbished for another 20 years of sustainable low CAPEX and OPEX use.



Several Unique Nature Based Wastewater Treatment Solutions from Gurney Environmental

Gurney Environmental offer several complete Nature Based Solutions as well as specialised equipment that include:

    • Full 100% treatment, standalone solutions (Aero-Fac® and Accel-o-Fac®);
    • Pretreatment systems to solve issues and expand existing filter plants (Aero-Fac PTS); and
    • Standalone sludge digestion systems (Aero-Fac SDS).

The very unique and economical Accel-o-Fac® system, as an example, utilises a mostly windpowered option to offer a zero-to-low energy solution that provides incredibly low OPEX with very low initial CAPEX. In many cases, no energy costs plus no sludge handling costs or complexities make Accel-o-Fac® extraordinarily sustainable and economical initially and long-term. Accel-o-Fac® has been used for over 17 years in the UK at such locations as Holkham Hall and Village.

READ MORE about our technologies here.



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Excellence & Awards

  • Net Zero Carbon Initiative Finalist
    Stantec & Yorkshire Water Finalists in 2023 Water Industry Awards for the Withernsea Aero-Fac® WwTP

  • ICE Award
    The Withernsea Aero-Fac® WwTP has won the 2023 Institution of Civil Engineering's Edmund Hambly Medal (Design for sustainable development).

  • Green 100
    Gurney Environmental has been named a Green 100 company for Norfolk and Suffolk, England.

  • Certificate of Accreditation
    Gurney Environmental has been awarded a certificate of accreditation within the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) having demonstrated compliance with and sound management of current basic health and safety legislation.

  • Business Award
    Gurney Environmental were awarded a finalists place in Eastern Daily News Business Awards 17, a UK regional newspaper's business awards event.

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