News Update

January 2018

Rotating Biological Filter refurbishment

Rotating Biological Filter refurbishment

Stately Home's rotating biological filter refurb......

SPE have recently completed the refurbishment on the Treatment Plant belonging to a Stately home on the outskirts of Bristol.

The first phase of the work consisted of resealing settlement tanks and chambers with butyl liners and some electrical control work.  The remaining phase was to refurbish the rotating biological filter mechanism and bring the plant back up to full working order.  This work was completed at the beginning of January, is working well - and looks very pretty if we do say so ourselves!


January 2018

Happy Retirement to Steve Lees from SPE Ltd

Steve Lees and Richard Smith

Steve Lees retires......

Friday 22nd December 2017 marked the retirement of Steve Lees from SPE Limited.  Steve had been with the company for around 5 years and was the point of contact in the offices for both customers and suppliers alike.

Steve was known and much appreciated for his calm and helpful attitude when the proverbial was quite often literally hitting the fan - such is the nature of our business!

All the company came together, plus Steve’s wife Sarah and some local suppliers and clients, for a buffet and some drinks, plus a small presentation which included a rather good bottle of scotch, Steves tipple of choice. We would like to wish Steve the very best in his retirement and hope the list of jobs that Sarah has made for him doesn’t get too much longer…

December 2017

Merry Christmas from SPE Limited


We wish you a merry Christmas......

Everyone at SPE Ltd would like to thank our customers and suppliers for your custom and support throughout 2017 and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

We had our Christmas Party outing on Saturday 16th and thought you may like to see how well we all scrub up!

See you in 2018......



December 2017

Trevor Underwood joins SPE Ltd

SPE welcomes a new member to the team

Today SPE Limited welcomes a new member to the team, Trevor Underwood.  Trevor is joining us as Office Administrator, and will be replacing Steve Lees who retires on Friday 22nd December.

Trevor comes to us from Interserve where he was a Facilities Management Co-ordinator and brings with him a wealth of experience.  He has a son, a daughter and three grandchildren who keep him on his toes when he's not enjoying his fishing as a National Anglers Council Instructor.

"I have been looking forward to joining the team and learning about the business" commented Trevor. "It is something quite different to what I have been used to dealing with, but the sheer variety of type of work, customers and suppliers that the company deals is very exciting and I am eager to get stuck in."

Steve Lees has been with the company since September 2013 and has been the central point of contact for SPE's clients and suppliers over that time. Steve is looking forward to his retirement, although he says "the list of jobs at home is already growing longer and longer...!"

Picture: Left to right - Trevor Underwood, Steve Lees


November 2017

WWII filter Bed refurbishment by SPE Ltd

Completion of WW2 Filter refurbishment

SPE has completed the refurbishment a Rotating Biological Filter dating back to World War II.

The filter shown is one of two, both of which are part of a sewage treatment works in Blockley, Moreton-In-Marsh. The system was originally built to serve a hospital during the war and after 1948-1965 became the largest Polish Refugee camp in the country. The site is now used as a business park.

This project was started back in June 2016, with SPE stripping, re-engineering and re-assembling the rotating assembly for one of the filter beds, which had seized; several of the arms had corroded and collapsed.

This year, we completed the project by refurbishing the rotating assembly on the second bed and commissioning the system back into full operation. SPE called upon their years of expertise and understanding to design and manufacture the parts required for the rebuild. In conjunction with a local precision machiners, we were able to produce the replacement components required for the rebuild.

The system has been running problem free since the refurbishment of the first filter bed in 2016, with it being maintained by SPE on a monthly basis ever since. Now the second system has been fully restored we look forward to seeing the complete system continue to run for many years to come.


August 2017


We were called to see a prospective customer who wanted to take out a Service and Maintenance contract with us.  Upon arriving and inspecting his installation, we were horrified to see that the control panel had been sited INSIDE the tank……

Not only didn’t the installation comply with DSEAR’s, (The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002) but a whole host of other regulations too!

Imagine the gases that build up inside these tanks from what is put into them…..and then imagine a spark inside the control panel when one of the pumps kicks in.  Like the title says - Ka-BOOM!  The mess doesn’t bear thinking about ;-)

August 2017

“Flushable” Wipes can seriously damage your pumps!

Two large and expensive burned out pumps illustrated to one of our clients recently the importance of not flushing “Flushable” wipes down the toilet. These wipes DO NOT disintegrate in the same way that toilet roll is designed to do, and so will build up and cause blockages.

It was cheaper and quicker to simply replace the pumps rather than remove them for repairs, which took a week as the pumps had to be shipped in from overseas.  Meanwhile a tanker had to be called in on a daily basis as the installation could not be shut down.

An expensive lesson to learn, so take note all you wipes users…..!



July 2017

Wax on.... wax off!

Pumps, pipe, and guide rails delivered to site for SPE to build a new
pumping station serving 4 executive new build homes.

The 4x4 capability of SPE's new VW Fourmotion van came into it's own on this soggy building site, especially when manouevring the large trailer required for the delivery.

Bucket and sponge will need to be at the ready when this job's finished!


May 2017

Compliments on our installation

One of our suppliers was so impressed with a recent installation we undertook using their products, that they have featured it on their website as a "textbook installation".

They say: "We don’t often get to see where and how our Secoh pumps are installed, but a recent project displaying an in depth understanding of the product caught our attention......"

Thanks Bibus!

Click here to go to the full article.



May 2017

Stately home sewage treatment plant liner

Stately STP brought up to date

A stately home on the outskirts of Bristol had been converted into apartments and the original sewage treatment plant, which was sited in the middle of a neighbouring landowner’s field, was failing.

SPE was called in to consult and make proposals for remedial works required to bring the plant back into working order and, upon our recommendations, we were awarded the order.  The work carried out included resealing the primary settlement tank and syphon chamber with butyl liners.

Also, the syphon in the syphon chamber had rusted to pieces and, as there was no access to an electrical supply on the site, we installed a solar panel and battery back-up system which would run a pump, dosing the filter bed with effluent.

The plant’s outfall is now being monitored on a regular basis, with samples being sent to the Environment Agency for analysis.


May 2017

A dodgy control panel can damage your pumps…

A client whom we had been advising for over 12 months to upgrade a defective control panel, called us 2 days before a Bank Holiday weekend to say that his system had failed. 

When we attended site we found that both pumps had been running continuously due to the faulty panel and, as a consequence, both pumps had burnt out.

Instead of just replacing the panel, we had to also replace two large and expensive pumps, plus the client had to cover tankering costs until the new pumps were delivered and could be installed.


May 2017

SPE installs new pumps and control panel in Stratford-on-Avon

Telehandler solves weighty problem

An out-of-town shopping centre in Stratford-upon-Avon was having problems with its storm water pumping system.  Upon inspection, we found that one of the pumps had failed, and the other was on the way out. 

We also found safety issues with the control panel which needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

We considered and quoted for several options, including repairing the pumps and panel, but the client favoured a complete replacement and upgrade to two new pumps, a new control panel and new switchgear.  The job needed quite a bit of planning as it involved shutting off an area of public car parking, plus the requirement of a telehandler to lift, remove and replace the pumps, each of which weighted 350kg.  

End result: one working, safe pumping station, one happy client!



April 2017

SPE buys new vehicle for fleet

New vehicle already proving its worth...

SPE's latest addition to its fleet is a FourMotion VW van - and its off-road capability has already been tested!

Some of the sites that our engineers have to visit are difficult to access, and can be across fields or down rough tracks.  Wet grass especially has always been a nightmare to drive across, especially when on a slope - even the slightest of slopes.

On a recent service visit to a site that historically he has either had to use a Land Rover to access, or had to walk to and carry heavy tools and supplies, Senior Engineer Matt was delighted to report that his new vehicle drove faultlessly.  Needless to say he is still smiling!


March 2017

SPE buys new vehicle for fleet

VW chosen for new vehicle on the fleet...

SPE has updated it's fleet, taking delivery of a new VW Fourmotion van this week - and Senior Engineer Matt can't stop smiling!

Signwriting and racking are booked in for next week; we are looking forward to see the finished result. Many thanks and high recommendations to Listers Droitwich VW Commercials whose comms were excellent throughout and they made the process a great experience.





February 2017

Care Home RBC and kiosk

Care Home RBC problem solved within tight budget!

SPE was called in to advise on what could be done about an old RBC (Rotating Biological Contactor, aka Sewage Treatment Plant Disc Unit), which was not working.  The treatment plant serviced a Midlands-based charity-financed care home which did not have a budget large enough to cover a replacement plant, which they had been advised they needed.

Upon inspection, SPE found that the plant was not big enough to cater for the premises, whose requirements had grown over the years. SPE were able to offer a remedial solution that they felt would work, which included replacing the rotating shaft in the plant, and installing media and air blowers to help with efficiency.

The plant is now under a regular maintenance contract, visited on a quarterly basis and is meeting the required standards.

"This was an interesting project" said Richard Smith, MD of SPE Ltd. "We were very aware of the budget restraints and so researched a variety of avenues in order to find the best and most cost-effective long-term solution for the client.  New is not always better!"


November 2016

Hinkley Point C Contract completed and handed over

The work on the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station sewage treatment plant and pumping station has now been completed, commissioned and handed over. This treatment plant has been installed as a temporary measure, to service the newly-built offices for the construction staff.

Hinkley Point C Sewage Treatment Plant UV isolating switches

Hinkley Point C Sewage Treatment Plant Control Kiosk

The work included the design and fit of a large electrical control kiosk, the supply, fit and wiring up of pumps, blowers and UV filters plus all the control systems, the design and installation of a sampling point and finally the writing and supply of the O&M Manual.

"This job was undertaken over a very short period of time, especially considering the size of the project.  Working on Nuclear Power Stations requires a high level of workplace professionalism and in-depth knowledge of EDF procedures, and I am proud to say that our team of Engineers have delivered a first rate piece of work" said Richard Smith, SPE's MD.

October 2016

SPE awarded Hinkley C Contract!

SPE Limited has been awarded a contract at the Hinkley C Power Station build site.

SPE wins contract at Hinkley Point C

SPE wins contract at Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station build site

As an independent specialist company offering nationwide coverage for sewage pumps, sewage treatment plants and dirty water pumping stations, SPE Limited has been contracted to complete the installation and commissioning of a 150 person sewage treatment plant and pumping station, which will service the offices and various contracting agencies during the build of the new Nuclear Power Plant.

The work will take a month to complete and includes the design and fit of a large electrical control kiosk, the supply and wiring up of pumps and UV filters plus the necessary control systems.

Richard Smith, SPE’s Managing Director said: “We were delighted to be awarded the contract, which is due for completion by the end of October. We have been working with various power stations for the last 10-15 years, including Hinkley B and so have a great understanding on the quality and the levels of workmanship expected for this type of project”.

September 2016

...where do you NOT fit solar panels....?

SPE was called out by a new client to investigate an installation in Kent, where an oil interceptor alarm was not working.

Part of the installation included a battery driven alarm which was wired up to be recharged by a solar panel.  Upon testing, we found that the battery was flat….possibly due to the solar panel being sited in the shade, underneath a bridge!

The client requested that we fit an entire new system, including re-siting the solar panel where it would charge correctly in future.

The system has been working well for some time now, as has a 2nd system that the same client asked us to check over and which turned out to have exactly the same fault. We have gained another happy client.

June 2016

WW2 Filter receives some TLC

SPE has refurbished a Rotating Biological Filter dating back to World War II.

SPE refurbishes WW2 Filter Bed

Wastewater from the primary settlement tank is continuously sprayed over the filter and organics within the water are aerobically degraded by the biofilm on the filter media.

The filter shown is one of two, both of which are part of a sewage treatment works in Blockley, Moreton-In-Marsh. The system was originally built to serve a hospital during the war and after 1948-1965 became the largest Polish Refugee camp in the country. The site is now used as a business park.

The rotating assembly had seized and several arms has corroded and collapsed.  Knowing that parts for this system had gone out of production years ago, SPE confidently grasped the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities when it comes to refurbishing. Where others would simply walk away or quote on a replacement system, SPE called upon their years of expertise and understanding to design and manufacture the parts required for the rebuild. In conjunction with a local precision machiners, we were able to produce the replacement components required for the rebuild.

With minimum downtime, SPE successfully stripped, re-engineered, re-assembled and commissioned the system back into full operation. The system has since been running problem free and, with it now being maintained by SPE on a monthly basis, we look forward to seeing the system continue to run for many years to come.