The Tapping the Potential report identified a clear need for researchers and developers to test new water technologies and processes in facilities that represent realistic deployment situations. There is already a wealth of research and testing facilities spread across the UK, yet it has been difficult to locate information about such facilities without extensive searching.

Plynlimon Catchments

Plynlimon Open Air Laboratory, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

The new register of testing and demonstration facilities below has been commissioned by the UK Water Partnership to address this issue. Developed by WRc, funded by NERC and the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service (HNWIS), the facilities register allows technology developers and researchers to easily search and identify facilities that best meet their needs and to contact the owners and operators for access.

For further details about the facilities register, please refer to this brochure.

If you would like to add your own facility to the register, please complete this questionnaire and contact WRcSupported by:

hydronation logo                        NERC logo

TitleCategoryAddressDescription
Analytical Laboratories Imperial College London Imperial College London, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AZ Analytical laboratories provide facilities and instruments for testing and research concerned with environmental substances and processes and treatment/management technologies.
Aquifer Properties Laboratory British Geological Survey MacLean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom The Aquifer Properties Laboratory provides a range of core analysis services including: porosity; permeability; and, pore-throat size distribution measurement in support of aquifer characterisation and groundwater resource studies.
BE:WISE facility Newcastle University Birtley, Gateshead District, United Kingdom The facility – based at Northumbrian Water’s sewage treatment plant at Birtley, near Gateshead, will play a key role in improving how sewage is treated, by speeding up the transition from existing energy-intensive treatment processes to low carbon alternatives that have lower running costs.
Borehole geophysical logging facility British Geological Survey MacLean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom The British Geological Survey maintain a range of borehole geophysical logging facilities including: caliper; gamma; resistivity and spontaneous potential; temperature; flow logging; hydrochemistry monitoring and sampling; and, imaging for use in the field characterisation of aquifers and groundwater systems.
Distributed Water Asset Infrastructure Facility University of Sheffield Sheffield, S9 1ZA Containment cell 1200 cubic metres that can be flexibly divided to control soil and groundwater conditions around buried infrastructure with closed pipe systems (up to 6 bar) and gravity pipe systems (up to 200 l/s). Complex, cyclic surface loading (10 KN/square metre) and freeze/thaw possible. Full water quality and ancillary testing.
Environmental Chambers WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8YF WRc has two environmental chambers which can be used for various ambient temperature and humidity testing. Recent uses include testing of: condensate pipes at low temperatures, flow meters and level sensors in high temperature and humidity.
Environmental Technology Field Station University of Portsmouth Durford Road, Petersfield, GU31 4EZ The Environmental Technology Field Station (ETFS) is a unique testing facility on a Southern Water operational wastewater treatment site. At ETFS we can conduct a wide range of research projects from environmental monitoring to full scale assessment of pilot package sewage treatment plants.
Flume WRc WRc plc Frankland Road Blagrove Swindon Wiltshire SN5 8YF Facility comprises an open channel with a working section over 5 m long, width 300mm and variable fluid depth and slope. Flow can be pumped through at up to 50 l/s and is measured using a calibrated electromagnetic flowmeter on the supply. Water depth can be measured with a Vernier point gauge. Non-contact devices can be mounted from a fully adjustable frame over the flume. Flume is rectangular sectioned but other sections, such as round pipe sections can also be fitted. Flow and water temperature are monitored. A heat exchanger allows different water temperatures to be used.
General Purpose (GP) Flume HR Wallingford Howbery Park Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8BA The HR Wallingford General Purpose (GP) Flume is a volumetric flow flume with certified volumetric measurement capability. It is unique in the UK in terms of its size (25 m long x 2.4 m wide, operating depth 0.3-0.7 m) and flow measurement accuracy (±0.2%). Using the volume-time approach to measure flow rates, which is generally acknowledged to be the most accurate means available, it enables high accuracy data for the development of Standards. The flume is capable of generating flows up to 0.28 m3/s.
Geotechnical Beam Centrifuge University of Sheffield Centre for Energy & Infrastructure Ground Research Dept. of Civil & Structural Eng. University of Sheffield S1 3JD A 2.0m beam centrifuge. Suitable for simulating soil-pipe interaction behaviour in controlled model tests which represent full scale conditions at elevated gravity. Can be used for: (i) assessing burial conditions, (ii) impacts of surface loading on buried infrastructure (iii) interaction between existing and new infrastructure/construction (iv) assessing climate change impact of soils on pipes (v) leak onset and development (vi) ground water flow & contamination migration. All the above can be evaluated in short term immediate behaviour, or long term observations representing years owing to time scaling behaviour in centrifuge modelling. Maximum model capacity of 0.8m x 0.8m measuring 500kg can be tested up to 100 times earth’s gravity, this represents a physical full scale geometry potential of an 80m x 80m field problem.
Green roof research facilities University of Sheffield Sheffield, S1 3JD A variety opf (3 x 1 m) test beds, rainfall simulators, controlled climate testing facilities.
Groundwater Tracers Laboratory British Geological Survey MacLean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Analysis of chlorofluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride, noble gases and dissolved gas for determination of groundwater provenance.
Hydrostatic Rig WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8YF Consisting of hydrostatic columns capable of applying various head of water. This rig has been used to test pipe fittings and pipe repair methods (such as cured in place liners). Can also be used for tap hat tests.
Innovation and Smart Technology Centre (TWIST) Thames Water Reading RG2 0RP The site is the environment where new and existing technologies are tested in real situations. Within the site, all conditions for research are set up. It can be used in multiple projects due to existing synergies among them. TWIST is available - under T&C - for the installation of sensors and the implementation of technologies and software applications.
Innovation Centre Thames Water Kempton Park Water Treatment Works Snakey Lane Feltham Middlesex TW13 6XH Kempton Park Water Treatment Works. Large Building with access to reservoir stored water and sewer connection. Six 300m3 rectangular tanks on site. Plentiful power supply. Pilot hall and workshop. Outdoor research compound with pipe rigs. Water main sample storage.
Innovation Shop Window Anglian Water Newmarket, Suffolk, United Kingdom Our Shop Window is a real-world location where we drive innovation through collaboration across our business, supply chain and the entire man-made water cycle. By concentrating innovation in one physical place, we unlock synergies between new technologies and different ways of working.
Instrumentation Test Facticity WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8YF WRc has a test hall which can be set up to allow the testing of different instrumentation such as online water quality analysers for accuracy and usability. A variety of water sources are available and chemical labs for creating appropriate spiking solutions. Bench top analysers are also available for comparative analysis.
Jetting Rig WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove Swindon Wiltshire SN5 8YF The jetting rig allows for the impact of pressure jetting on pipes to be investigated.
Large Flow Loop WRc WRc plc Frankland Road Blagrove Swindon Wiltshire SN5 8YF Facility comprises a closed loop network with a sump tank. Water is pumped around the loop using a pump with a variable speed drive. There is an above ground working section of over 40m long taking pipes between 40 and 400mm in diameter. Flow range is up to 120 l/s, pressure up to 7 bar. Rig is fully instrumented for flow, pressure and temperature. Various pipe configurations can be accommodated.
Manhole Cover Wear Rigs WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8YF A rig for performing testing on manhole covers. Accelerated life testing can be performed with a variety of materials to allow the durability of the manhole cover to be ascertained. Skid testing can also be performed to understand the skid potential of the manhole cover.
New Meter Rig WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 8YF
Ozone demonstration rig Thames Water Kempton Park Water Treatment Works Snakey Lane Feltham Middlesex TW13 6XH Two ozone generators, and contact tanks designed to give 2 mg/l into 20 m3/h with 5 mins contact, and 2 mg/l into 5 m3/h with 20 mins contact.
Pilot-plant hall Cranfield University Building 251 - Sewage works Cranfield university Cranfield MK43 0AL The pilot hall was established over 10 years ago providing researchers with the unique ability to test, at scale, plants with real sewage. It is directly linked to Cranfield’s 3,000 population equivalent sewage treatment works and can also receive imported effluents. It is supplied with compressed air, potable water and electricity with a total floor plan of 210m2 and height of 8.7m.
Pipe loop - leakage and dynamics University of Sheffield Pennine Water Group University of Sheffield S1 3JD A ~150m long 50mm diameter plastic pipe loop with central leakage section that can simulate burial. Suitable for clean water studies. Designed for shorter term tests, including transients / water hammer.
Pipe loop - water quality University of Sheffield Pennine Water Group University of Sheffield S1 3JD A ~600m long, 78mm diameter, temperature controlled plastic pipe loop (typically run as 3 off 200m replicates) designed to study water quality changes within distribution systems. Suitable for clean water studies. Designed and set up for long term tests, including the interaction of infrastructure and bulk water.
Rapid Gravity filter rig Thames Water Kempton Park Water Treatment Works Snakey Lane Feltham Middlesex TW13 6XH Five distinct rapid gravity filter pilot rigs, containing a total of 21 RGF columns ranging in diameter from 150mm to 500mm. Seven large diameter columns fully automated with data logging and on demand backwashing. Twelve smaller diameter manually operated filters. Logging Flow, turbidity, chlorophyll a, and particle size analysis.
Research and Testing Facilities University of Oxford Oxford, OX1 3AN A range of research and test facilities which can be used for testing water. Including: multi-collector mass spectrometers, mechanical property testing and pathology labs.
Slow sand filter rig Thames Water Kempton Park Water Treatment Works Snakey Lane Feltham Middlesex TW13 6XH One tank divided into 10 No. 0.5m2 cells, in two streams, with nozzle floors for SSF media tests. Located outdoors, under a transparent roof.
Sludge & Energy Innovation Centre Thames Water S&E Innovation Centre Basingstoke STW Chineham RG24 8LL Sludge & Energy Innovation Centre - Basingstoke STW. Access to sewage and final effluent flow and to different sludge types from STW for pilot trials and testing of equipment and technologies. Full digestion plant available (e.g. 2x20m3 digesters, THP unit, dewatering unit) and lab scale set-ups (e.g. auto-digesters). On site mess room / toilets & fully equipped lab.
Small meter rig WRc WRc plc Frankland Road Blagrove Swindon Wiltshire SN5 8YF Facility comprises space for testing up to 40 small (household) meters in 4 rows of ten. Flow is supplied from a large reservoir via a variable speed drive pump fitted with plc control. This allows pre-programmed flow cycles to be run for extended periods to "age" meters. Water temperature and line pressure are logged and can be controlled within certain limits. Two pumps are available one high flow / low head, the other low flow / high head enabling a variety of different test regimes to be carried out.
Small Pipe Blockage Rig WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8YF The facility is for the practical testing of the transport of solids and development of blockages under different hydraulic conditions. In addition it can be used for testing commercial products such as wet wipes, colostomy bags, medical wipes etc. to establish if they disintegrate in the drain, how far they are carries by successive flow waves or whether and how they cause blockages.
Sunshine Rig WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 8YF A small enclosed space which allows the impact of sunlight on instruments to be investigated. Uses two light blubs 1 visible and 1 IR to simulate sunlight.
Temperature Controlled Annular Flume University of Sheffield Pennine Water Group University of Sheffield S1 3JD A 2.0m annular flume located in a temperature controlled room. Suitable for clean and wastewater studies. Can be used for short and long term testing.
Test Facility Thames Water Wood Lane Reading Berkshire RG41 4TS Arborfield STW WWI & WWNI Test Facility. Access to sewage flow from Inlet works and throughout the wastewater treatment process (e.g. settled sewage, final effluent) for temporary testing of equipment (e.g. flow monitors, flushing gates etc) and technologies. Various tanks available for pilot plant testing. On site mess room / toilets & potential lab space.
Test Facility Thames Water Reading STW Island Road Reading Berkshire RG2 0RP Reading STW WWNI Test Facility. Access to sewage and final effluent flow and to different sludge types from STW for pilot trials and testing of equipment and technologies. Various pilot units available (e.g. digesters, THP, dewatering press, aeration testing) and lab scale set-ups (e.g. jar tests, AMPTS). On site mess room / toilets & fully equipped lab.
Test Pit WRc Frankland Road Blagrove Swindon Wiltshire SN5 8YF The facility has been used on projects looking at backfill compaction and structural performance of pipe and pipeline repair systems. The structure itself has also been used for performance testing of material and structures and for investigations relating to pipeline operatives.
Tilting 300mm Diameter Pipe Facility University of Sheffield University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom, S1 3JD A 20m long, 0.3m tilting pipe test facility.
Treatment Process Pilot Lab WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 8YF Pilot scale evaluation of alternative filter media including recycled glass. Pilot scale testing of novel pesticide adsorption process. Small scale testing of activated carbon (GAC and PAC). Pilot scale evaluation of ozonation for water treatment. Instrument evaluation for MCERTS approval.
Ultrasonic level performance rig WRc Frankland Road, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8YF
Urban Observatory Research Facilities Newcastle University Wellington Streed, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne This facility is located on Science Central within, and outside, Newcastle University’s new state of the art Urban Sciences Building. The facility comprises a number of research and demonstrator components that provide infrastructure for testing of novel sustainable urban drainage (SUDS) technologies, Green Infrastructure (GI) and Natural Flood Management techniques. Experiments can test individual components or as part of a ‘treatment train’.
Wastewater testing facility Scottish Water Bo'Ness Wastewater Treatment Works Carriden Industrial Estate Bo'Ness Falkirk EH51 9NZ Scottish Water Bo’Ness Wastewater testing facility
Water Recycling Plant Thames Water Dace Road Bow London E3 2NW Old Ford Water Recycling Plant mines and treats raw sewage from the Northern Outfall sewer to supply reclaimed water to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London through a dedicated non-potable network for non-potable water applications only (toilet flushing and irrigation).
Water Treatment Scottish Water Wester Aberchalder Nr Inverness Scotland IV2 6UJ Gorthleck Water Treatment TS. Water testing facility