Current improvement programmes

Notice of Regulation: Fontburn Water Treatment Works – Chemical Dosing



Northumbrian Water Limited: Fontburn Water Treatment Works

Assets Affected
Fontburn WTW T0004769
N244 Netherwitton, Z0021443
N238 Fontburn, Z0021438
N239 Moorhouses, Z0021439
N240 Whitley Bay Z0021440

DWI Reference number – NNE3914


  1. has on 23 April 2017 received a report from Northumbrian Water Limited (the “Company”) dated 23 April 2017 (the “Report”) which states that there is or has been a significant risk of supplying water from Fontburn Water Treatment Works that could be unwholesome.
  2. GIVES NOTICE to the Company under regulation 28(4) of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 that it must satisfy the following requirements:

For risks associated with:-
Failure of treatment process – coagulation, lime, chlorine dosing.


(a) to maintain the following measures for the period specified in each case:

  1. Pre-planned and reactive maintenance of all aspects of the clarification stage.
    Date: Ongoing
  2. Use of flow meters and flow sensors on dosing lines.
    Date: Ongoing
  3. Validation and calibration of equipment and instruments.
    Date: Ongoing
  4. Water quality targets, sampling and analysis, raw water monitoring, online monitoring and alarms.
    Date: Ongoing
  5. Adequate staffing including standby personnel, supported by training and procedures.
    Date: Ongoing
  6. Co-ordination planning process.
    Date: Ongoing
  7. Manual works shut down and run to waste available from clarifiers, use of alternative supplies. Uninterruptible power supply (battery backup power).
    Date: Ongoing

(b) To review, revise and/or make operational and maintain, the following additional measures by the date specified below:

  1. Develop an understanding of best practice in the company with regard to failure and repair of equipment, and disseminate this across all relevant departments. This will take the form of a document detailing the current maintenance and asset investment process which will then be briefed to all relevant departments in the form of a Toolbox Talk at team meetings.
  2. Provide an improved chlorine dosing system for the gas and emergency hypochlorite system, to improve control of chlorine dosing following an outage. This will involve an Investigate and Design Phase. Included in this will be the integration of the motive water pumps into the control and monitoring system. The outcome of this phase will inform the timescale for the fully installed and commissioned upgraded system.
    Date: 31 October 2021
  3. Review and install sampling facilities to ensure that representative samples can be obtained from critical points in the treatment process and final water, under all circumstances, including when bringing the treatment back on line following run to waste. Review to be completed and identify work required. Work identified to be formulated into a delivery plan which will be provided to the inspectorate with commissioned timescales.
  4. Review and install monitoring of sample pumps condition on SCADA.
  5. Review procedures for running the clarifiers to waste, and for site shut down and start up. Ensure the site team are fully trained.
  6. Identify and implement steps to improve the resilience of the works to loss of process water.
  7. Provide a permanent upgrade of the lime dosing system.
    Date: 30 April 2021
    • To include the installation of a temporary dosing system to be used initially as an emergency backup system whilst the permanent installation is under construction.
      Date: COMPLETED
    • An Investigate and Design Phase for the permanent solution to be produced.
      Date: COMPLETED
    • Permanent upgrade of lime dosing system commissioned.
      Date: 30 April 2021
  8. Review and identify improvements required to the clarification dosing systems.
  9. Implement the measures identified in the review of clarification dosing systems.

(c) To audit whether the measures have been effective by the following means:

  1. Monitoring and signing off of third party delivered work
    Date: Ongoing
  2. The validation/commissioning and verification of final long term solutions.
    Date: Ongoing

(d) Not Applicable

(e) to provide the following information in the time and manner specified below to enable monitoring of progress towards the mitigation of the risk of supplying water that would constitute a potential danger to human health:

  1. Provide a progress report at key milestones:
    • Evidence of actions with completion dates up to the 31 January including confirmation of the installation of the temporary lime system
      Date: COMPLETED
    • Update on investigate and design phase of chlorine system to provide a date for the fully installed and commissioned upgraded system
      Date: COMPLETED
    • Update on investigate and design phase of lime system to provide a date for the fully installed and commissioned upgraded system
      Date: COMPLETED
    • Update following review of clarification dosing systems at Fontburn WTW and include standard operating procedures for the operation and management of these systems ensuring operator competency
      Date: COMPLETED
    • Regular submission of progress reports
      Date: Annually
    • Completion of all planned work:
      • Upgraded chlorine system installed and commissioned
        Date: 30 November 2021
      • Permanent lime system installed and commissioned
        Date: 31 May 2021
      • Sampling arrangements work completed
        Date: COMPLETED
  2. Review the risk assessment for Fontburn WTW and Water System Zone 04 and subsequently submit a revised Regulation 28 report. Report to be submitted approximately three months after the completion of all works.
    Date: Ongoing and by 31 January 2022
  3. Submit a satisfactory completion report
    Date: 30 November 2022

Failure by the Company to comply with this Notice may result in enforcement proceedings under section 18 of the Act.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State,
Milo Purcell
Deputy Chief Inspector
21 January 2021
DWI Ref. NNE3914
Version 4