7th July 2023
In the early days of SPE, we operated on a largely paper-based system which, at times, could be cumbersome. We had been researching and working towards installing a digital system, however Covid-19 forced our hand to make the decision sooner than expected; we swiftly moved to a paperless, digital way of working and have not looked back since.
To further improve our systems and services, we have recently invested in and implemented the 'Big Change' job management platform.The Big Change system boasts a range of powerful/business critical functions in one user-friendly platform, including:
• Customer Relationship Management
• Job Scheduling & Live Tracking
• Field Resource Management
• Financial Management
• Business Intelligence
19th December 2022
The much-awaited SPE Christmas Party was held on Saturday 17th at The Tardebigge, Redditch.
We had a delicious 3 course dinner, complete with crackers, a Christmas Raffle with some rather unusual prizes, and last but by no means least, Max the Amazing Magician! Try as we all (definitely) did, we could not see how he carried out his tricks - even very, very close-up. A wonderful, festive evening full of fun, laughter and friendship.
All of us here at SPE Ltd would like to wish our customers and suppliers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
12th August 2022
We have sad news! Jess, our Office Administrator who joined us under an Apprenticeship scheme, is leaving at the end of August.
We have very much enjoyed Jess working with us for the last 18 months and she will be greatly missed by everyone, staff, customers and suppliers alike. (Pic Left to right: Jess Grubb, Rosie Cox, Office Manager).
Jess: “I joined SPE at the start of 2021 after leaving a University course where I was studying geography - but not enjoying it as much as I had hoped. I enrolled as an Apprentice studying a Level 3 qualification in Business Administration which allowed me to gain physical practice and experience in the sector, as well as learning the theory behind it all. After gaining a distinction, I was offered the position to stay on as a qualified business administrator and I was able to continue learning the ins and outs of business operation - and even get to grips with the technical side of things.
At SPE I was tasked with a project that enabled me to continue to pursue my passion for geography and eco friendliness; I helped the company acquire ISO:14001 accreditation. Following this, I was nominated (by our Office Manager Rosie) and successfully won the ‘Green Egg Award’ which is an ISO funded recognition award for our company’s work on creating a greener future.
Working alongside such a knowledgeable and professional team, I was able to discover a further interest of mine which I am going on to pursue at university by studying Business and Management Studies. SPE is an amazing company, not only by the standard and quality of work they do, but also how welcoming and enthusiastic the team is. I’m excited to catch up with everyone when I’m visiting in the Christmas period, and wish everyone all the best. I couldn’t have asked for a better company to help kick start off my career."
We would like to wish Jess all the very best for her future - we have no doubt whatsoever that she has a very interesting and successful career ahead of her and we look forward to seeing her when she pops back for a visit.
12th August 2022
We are proud to announce that we have been awarded another major contract, this time with a fuel supply group. The contract consists of the provision of planned preventative maintenance and reactive maintenance to pump stations, sewage treatment plants and any drainage equipment on 47 sites across the UK; a very exciting opportunity that has developed from a pre-existing service schedule with our customer.
The expansion of responsibility not only showcases SPE's commitment to our customer base but also evidences the high standard of work we provide.
Business Development Manager, Paul Muckle, said “SPE sets the pace with yet another new contract! What a great expansion to an already existing customer relationship”.
24th February 2022
SPE Ltd has just completed a major project at Wood Norton, on the outskirts of Evesham in Worcestershire. The project, undertaken jointly for The Wood Norton Hotel and the Bupa’s recently built Richmond Care Village, has taken over 12 months to complete and included the design, build and final commissioning of a new sewage treatment plant (STP) and a reed bed that will be planted out when the threat of frost has passed.
Due to its age and size, the original STP which serviced both properties needed replacing so SPE Ltd, in consultation with the Environment Agency, drew up a design that would not only cope with the current loads and flows from the properties, but also future-proofed the plant by allowing for the advised additional development which is planned for both sites. The new plant was designed and specified to be an above-ground system installed on the Hotel’s raised, disused tennis courts, as a safeguard to possible flooding from a nearby river.
SPE Ltd applied for and were granted a new Permit to Discharge from the Environment Agency. SPE Ltd also gained planning permission from Wychavon and Malvern Hills District Councils Planning department, however there was one small glitch in the initial planning stages; the new system had to allow for a footpath to be reinstated across the tennis courts - which had not been accessible for over 40 years! After discussions with Worcestershire’s Public Rights of Way, diversion notices were applied for and issued, allowing the official closure of the footpath until the development was completed.
Tom French, the Capital Projects & Refurbishments Manager for Bupa Care Services said: "SPE had provided both planned and reactive maintenance for our system previously and always to a high standard of both work and service. Subsequently an upgrade was identified as a requirement which SPE explained and offered their services to provide.
SPE took control of the entire process, they managed the design, the procurement, the installation and the handover in addition to liaising with the Environment Agency. The level of faith and assurance I have in SPE throughout this process is second to none, the knowledge and personable service they offer couldn’t be higher. SPE also go the extra mile, this involved liaising with the residents and operatives within Richmond Village including numerous site tours and detailed handover, in addition to unknowns occurring during the process. Despite the fact the installation has been handed over, SPE are still present ensuring the system is working to its optimum level in the initial weeks and I could not be more comfortable in the fact that they will continue to maintain it going forward.
They provide a transparent service and are always available to resolve queries or issues that you as the client may be encountering during the process (of which I can happily say were extremely few and far between). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend SPE for both maintenance and installation appointments.
The service from site level to the office they provide is swift, professional and an extremely personable service – an incredibly enjoyable organisation to work with.”
The local Environment Agency Officer visited site after the hand-over and carried out sample testing on the final effluent - which fell well within the levels of consent laid out in the new Permit to Discharge. Needless to say, Bupa, The Wood Norton Hotel, SPE Ltd and the Environmental Agency are all over the moon with these results, considering the plant had only been up and running for a week!
Congratulations to Matt Hawkes who was recently appointed Operations Director of SPE Ltd. Matt has been with the company since he was a mere lad and has helped SPE grow and develop into what it has become today.
“I am truly honoured to become a Director of SPE. Since joining the company over 16 years ago I have been fortunate to learn and develop my personal skillset whilst having the opportunity to be heavily involved with company development" said Matt, continuing "as newly appointed Operations Director, I would like to thank Richard, Ruth and team. My focus will remain to deliver the highest levels of service at all levels within the business with a committed approach."
Well done Matt - you more than deserve it.
Recently SPE’s admin team has successfully tendered for and won a 3 year contract for the pre-planned maintenance of Essex Police, Fire and Crime’s Deep Lifts Pits, Interceptors and Foul Water Disposal Plants across over 30 sites.
The tendering process was marked on both price and quality, with SPE taking the lead out of 5 companies within our industry. This win not only showcases SPE’s commitment to fair and competitive pricing but also our ongoing commitment to high quality standards, further aided by our ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 accreditations.
We are incredibly proud of our team’s success in winning the contract and would like to thank them for all the hard work that they put into the application process. We look forward to winning many more….!
May 2021- We are pleased to confirm that SPE Limited has achieved ISO 14001:2015 accreditation.
ISO 14000 is a family of standards related to environmental management that exists to help organisations minimise how their operations negatively affect the environment; comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements; and continually improve in the above.
Our ISO management system standard helps us to improve our performance by specifying repeatable steps that we consciously implement to achieve our goals and objectives, and create an organisational culture that reflexively engages in a continuous cycle of self-evaluation, correction and improvement of operations and processes through heightened employee awareness and management leadership and commitment.
The benefits of our effective ISO14001 management system includes:
• More efficient use of resources and improved financial performance
• Improved risk management and protection of people and the environment
• Increased capability to deliver consistent and improved services and products, thereby increasing value to customers and all other stakeholders.
28th April 2021
SPE Ltd are now CHAS accredited; CHAS helps clients (buyers) and contractors (suppliers) ensure compliance across the different areas of risk management, and mitigate risks across the supply chain. CHAS offers accreditation schemes that can help businesses achieve compliance, mitigate supply chain risks and support efficient supply chain management.
With the new Common Assessment Standard, CHAS can review all aspects of risk management policies in a single annual audit and as one of the founders of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), CHAS is committed to setting health and safety benchmarks that drive industries forward and make the world of work a safer place.
"After successfully obtaining both SafeContractor and Constructionline accreditations, we felt it was a natural progression to become CHAS accredited" said Office Manager Rosie Cox. "As a company, SPE holds high standards when it comes to health & safety and we feel our accreditations are further evidence of our commitment and dedication to continuous improvement."
Operations Manager Matt Hawkes stated: "We felt it was important as a company to achieve CHAS accreditation in recognition of our existing high standards of working practices. We hope that our certification will ensure additional customer confidence whilst motivating all members of staff to continue working with pride to the highest possible standards".
6th November 2020
SPE Ltd are proud to announce the completion of a major project, the refurbishment of a sewage treatment plant for a large and exclusive 5-Star Hotel, Spa and Golf Course on Dartmoor National Park.
The upgraded treatment plant had to be designed to fit within the constraints of an existing compound area and there were major access issues, due to both the narrow Devon lanes and two low, arched, stone gateways on the property that had to be navigated for deliveries of plant and machinery. These made life very interesting when delivering the three 12.5m tanks and control kiosk, not to mention the concrete mixers…!
Richard Smith, MD of SPE Ltd commented “it was an interesting and exciting project to undertake, involving a lot of planning and organising to ensure it all came together. One pretty major issue we had to overcome was caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. Many of the site visits were undertaken during March to June when the roads were very quiet which was a bonus, however sourcing the supply of some products was difficult, as was communications at times, due to home working, furlough and company shut-downs. I am pleased to say that our suppliers and contractors worked very hard for us to ensure that we could complete the project on time and within budget.”
Our very happy client stated: "If you ever wanted a true example of how a turnkey project should be run, this is that example. SPE took ownership from day one and proactively kept my client and myself in the loop from start to finish. Five star service and delivery."
The project, one of the largest that SPE has undertaken, included the design, specification, installation and commissioning of the system and has taken around 12 months to carry out, from the initial site visit to the final hand-over of the completed project.
9th July 2020
SPE recently installed a new ammonia monitoring system at a wastewater treatment works within the UK.
The site already had a system in place that monitored the levels of ammonia contained within the effluent being discharged from the site. The old system had proved very reliable, however after many years of service it was due to be retired.
The replacement system specified by the client comprised of a new probe assembly that differed in size from its predecessor and this posed an issue with the install. The previous system was designed to work in conjunction with the relatively large range of operation within a wet well. The new probe had a much shorter body, which meant that the large range of pump operation within the wet well posed the risk of full submersion.
Both SPE and the client worked out a method of installation that would eliminate the risk, involving designing and fabricating a stainless-steel catchment tank, and installing the probe and tank in a new location.
SPE commissioned local company B Hepworth & Co Ltd, to fabricate the catchment tank from 316 stainless steel. The design incorporated support / runners to locate the probe securely and an integrated baffle. The catchment tank has some rather sexy looking welds (if you’re into that kind of thing!) and should stand the test of time, given the quality of the materials and workmanship.
The design and installation work perfectly and the new probe looks completely at home as it measures the levels of ammonia within the effluent leaving the site...and we have one very happy client!
18th June 2020
An outward bound centre in mid-Wales had a sewage treatment plant that processed the waste water from site, but it was suffering with various issues caused by shock loading.
We initially carried out remedial works to help manage the problems and to better control the shock loading, however despite obtaining good test results from the treatment plant, due to the tight enforcement levels on the Consent to Discharge further tertiary treatment was required.
SPE analysed all the flow data and available information in order to design and install a polishing plant in the form of a Reed Bed. This particular system has proved time and time again to have an extremely positive effect on the quality of discharge from systems such as this.
The Reed Bed is now ready for reed planting, which will be carried out once the site reopens for business - something that we hope happens very soon! Once the reeds establish themselves, we expect to see a high standard of discharge.
The site’s General Manager commented: “SPE’s Operations Manager, Matt Hawkes, met us on site on the first day and the contractors were very professional. Health and Safety was at a high standard and work commenced quickly. The time frame was 5-6 days and they had the project completed on the morning of the 5th day. It is early days but we are hopeful that this installation is going to solve our previous problems. We look forward to working with SPE in the future and appreciate the effort they have put in to solving our problems”.
13th May 2020
SPE Limited have continued to work throughout the continuing coronavirus pandemic, as the company is classed as an essential industry and many of our clients have designated us as their key workers.
Work that we are continuing to do covers installations and remedial works, repairs, maintenance and tankering, providing that this can all be carried out safely for both the customer and SPE's staff. All our engineers have protective PPE including face masks, face shields, gloves, hand gel and wipes.
We ask that, should a client be aware of any incidence of the virus on their premises or in a member of their staff, SPE is informed prior to any site visit that may be required, so that possible additional precautions may be taken.
SPE personnel will be taking extra precautions whilst on site, as we recognise the potential risk within our industry, however operations shall continue as normal whilst paying enhanced attention to health & safety and cleanliness.
24th March 2020
Further to the announcement made by the Prime Minister yesterday, Monday 23rd March 2020, SPE Ltd wishes to reassure its customers that the company will still be responding to all emergency call outs.
Please call our offices between 9am and 5pm if you require assistance, or for out of hours emergencies call 07850 399732.
SPE's engineers are taking all recommended precautions due to COVID19 and paying particular attention to their wellbeing by monitoring themselves for any symptoms of the Corona virus.
Safety has always, and will always be paramount to SPE's operations, especially now with possible increased health risks, so all engineers are sanitising hands regularly.
During this difficult period, SPE will be requesting, prior to any site visit, that our customers state in a brief vetting questionnaire whether there have been any suspected or confirmed incidents of Coronavirus on their premises so that SPE engineers can take any additional precautions. Please contact us if you require any further infomation.
SPE were again proud sponsors of Aarron Kitching during his 2019 season with the Amateur Motorcycle Association (AMCA).
Last year Aarron was competing in the Midlands Central Championship in the Expert class; a class with 40 of the best riders from the Midlands area.
The season started slowly for Aarron as he was struggling with fitness and bike setup and was not getting the results he would have expected from himself. However, as the season went on, things just started to click and he felt a lot better on the bike and began having some top 3 finishes.
Unfortunately Aarron had to miss a couple of rounds due to work commitments, which led to the loss of a few points in the Championship, but he still managed a 3rd overall in the championship which he was pleased with.
For this coming year he will be competing in the same Championship again and hoping for another top 3 finish. He will also be doing a few one-off meetings in other Championships this year to open up his possibilities for next year.
The SPE Christmas Party was held on 14th December at the NEC - one of their fabulous Party Nights events and we can highly recommend it!
Almost all of our staff made it to the fabulous Morroccan-themed evening, with cirque du solei type entertainment during the meal, then on to the bumper cars (which we took over), walzers and roulette tables, plus the obligatory music and dancing.
We would like to wish all our customers and suppliers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.
We have recently completed a major Sewage Treatment Plant installation project in Herefordshire, which included consultancy, overseeing the tender process, project management and final commissioning.
The conditions for the installation were appalling considering the extremely wet weather that we have experienced in the last couple of month of 2019. Our engineers gained in height as their boots grew muddy platforms, and the washing pile for Hi-Vis back in the workshop was never ending!
However we are delighted to say that the project was successfully completed and commissioned in time for Christmas.
We would like to welcome our newest recruit, Rosie Cox, to SPE Ltd as a very valuable addition to our growing office admin team.
Rosie was recently taken out on a site visit so that she can more understand the type of work we are engaged in and the conditions that sometimes have to be endured by our Engineers.
Rosie, pictured in her new site wellies, said “I only chose pink so the lads wouldn’t want to nick them!” Not much chance of that methinks!!
In January 2015, new rules were introduced that simplify the way septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants are regulated in England, protecting the environment and improving water quality.
If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to a surface water you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system by 1 January 2020. Where properties with septic tanks that discharge directly to water courses are sold before 1 January 2020, responsibility for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system should be addressed between the buyer and seller as a condition of sale.
If the Environment Agency finds evidence that your septic tank discharging to a surface water is causing pollution, you will need to replace or upgrade your system earlier than 1 January 2020. You will usually have to do this within 1 year, although this will be agreed on a case-by-case basis.
As the ‘operator’ of a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant you must check you meet the general binding rules. You must apply for a permit if you do not. You’re an operator if any of the following is true:
• you own the property that uses the system
• you own a property that shares the system with other properties - each property owner is an operator, and you’re jointly responsible for complying with the general binding rules
• you have a written agreement with the property owner that says you’re responsible for the system’s maintenance, for example you’re renting and it’s in your tenancy agreement
You must use a small sewage treatment plant to treat the sewage if you’re discharging to a surface water such as a river or stream. A small sewage treatment plant (also known as a package treatment plant) uses mechanical parts to treat the liquid so it’s clean enough to go into a river or stream. Discharges from septic tanks directly to a surface water are not allowed under the general binding rules.
SPE can specify and supply Sewage Treatment Plants to cater for 6 population equivalent to 150+ population equivalent and offer a Project Management Service to design and oversee the installation if required. Our Sewage Treatment Plants are specified for minimum low-cost maintenance and, as independent specialists, we will specify the system that best meets the requirements of each individual application. We offer a full commissioning and after sales service, including individually tailored Maintenance Contracts involving planned maintenance visits.
Click here to download Environment Agency guidance on regulation of septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants: important information for households and businesses with septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants.
SPE has recently invested in two new vans, ensuring that the fleet is in tip top condition for our Engineers and 100% reliable.
Supplied by Bristol Street, Worcester, these vans feature air con, heated seats and auto-defrost windscreens to help cope with the great British weather and to keep our engineers safe and cosy!
The vans have been signwritten, racked out and stocked up and will be featuring on a street near you!
We also had our Promotional Vehicle signwritten too, ready for the next AutoSolo in Abingdon on Saturday 8th June. Watch this space for their results! They are getting quicker.....
This year has been a very exciting one for SPE Ltd with lots of new projects and developments.
Following all the hard work that has gone into moving forward, Richard and Matt thought it would be nice to unwind a little. Being the petrol heads they are, they looked into finding a new motor-related hobby… and so, with a little sponsorship from the company, they purchased an MX5 and entered the world of AutoSolo.
After a little ‘preparation’ the car was ready for their first event at Kemble Airfield, hosted by Bath Motor Club.
Sunday morning was an early start with scrutineering at 7am. The drivers’ briefing was at 8:30 and the first car went out on track at 9:00.
Richard and Matt, in turn, spent the day racing around 4 different courses, three attempts at each course with the best 2 times from each course going towards he final results.
Anyone who knows Richard and Matt will know their time keeping is spot on, however,it’s fair to say that the first runs were a little ‘off pace’ but, as the day went on, the times improved. Still not the Lewis Hamiltons they like to think they are, but not a bad effort for a first attempt.
Both Richard and Matt had great day, the car held up perfectly, and they now have in mind a few upgrades and tweaks to consider for the forthcoming events - as well as a few SPE stickers here and there. We will keep you posted!
A client recently requested that we become a one-stop shop for all of their drainage requirements, so we felt that a bit of investment was needed…
The vans have been equipped with a whole bunch of new goodies to ensure that we can carry out the additional work this will bring in, including a Drain Inspection Camera.
“The lads have all been trained in the use of the new equipment and are enjoying their rats-eye view of what is going on underground” remarked Richard Smith, MD. “It has already assisted with diagnosing faulty and problems that the client was previously unaware of.”
We are proud to announce that the contract we were awarded nearly 12 months ago, for the maintenance and repairs to various sewage treatment plants and pumping stations at 26 Care Homes in the Midlands and South East, has been renewed for another 3 years.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded the extended contract” said Matt Hawkes, SPE’s Operations Manager. “It has been an exciting opportunity and has certainly kept us on our toes over the last 12 months. We have assessed the specific needs of each of the client’s sites during the first 12 months and advised accordingly. It is very satisfying have such good two-way communications with a client; our proposals have been welcomed and are proving to have reduced costs, improved reliability and minimised down-time.”
We are looking forward to continuing building our close working relationship with the client.
A rural cafe and farm shop with a booming business approached us for help, as their plant was struggling to comply with strict EA guidelines. The business was thriving and the huge increase in footfall - they were doing 600 covers a day at peak times - had massively increased the loadings on their sewage treatment plant.
We analysed the site data and designed an upgrade to the existing treatment plant, which included a larger grease trap, plus replacement and additional equipment to improve the oxygenation in the existing biological process. We also installed a 15m x 6m reed bed which will help with the final purification of the effluent and a sample chamber was installed for ease of future sampling.
We are pleased to announce that recent samples taken have been analysed and they are well within consent limits. Best of all, we have one happy client!
We have been awarded a three year contract for the repairs and maintenance to grey water harvesting / recycling systems for 19 social housing sites in the North West.
Peter Bridgewater, Business Development Manager for SPE stated “We tendered for this contract in late 2018 and were delighted to be awarded it in February this year, commencing in April." Peter continued "We have installed and maintained many grey water recycling systems across the country, from garden irrigation systems, to commercial installations in major UK cities. It is interesting work and we greatly enjoy being involved with these types of projects”.
SPE would like to wish all our customers and suppliers a very happy and peaceful New Year.
We are looking forward to another year of continued growth. At the beginning of 2019 we have made an addition to our fleet of vans, and would like to congratulate Engineer Craig Sword on his promotion. We are recruiting again to fill Craig's shoes.....
Our Christmas Party gets bigger every year!
So it's the end of the season now and Aarron's finished on a high. Two weeks ago he raced at the Butts Quarry in Derbyshire, gaining a 2nd in the first race, 1st in the second race and 2nd in the last race for 1st place overall.
Then last week he raced at Hobs Hole Lane in Walsall which was the last round of the Championship. Aarron said "Going into the last round I was lying in 3rd. In the first race I was leading for most of it but a few silly mistakes made me finish with a 3rd. Then in the second race I led all the way and finished 1st. In the final race of the day I was only 8 points behind 2nd in the Championship so needed to gain by at least two positions. Unfortunately I had to do it the hard way as I crashed in the first corner and when I got back up I was in last place. However I still managed to pull through to 2nd and that's where I finished in the race and the guy I needed to beat finished 5th."
This meant Aarron finished 2nd on the day and 2nd overall in the Championship by only a few points. We are very proud to be one of Aarron's sponsors and we look forward to hearing his news and seeing some more of his fantastic action photos next season.
Aarron Kitching, who is sponsored by SPE Ltd, has been out there enjoying himself and doing very well, racing on 9th September at Alport Heights in Derby and on 16th September at Clee Hill in Cleeton St Mary.
He had a 1st, a 2nd and a 5th for 3rd overall out of 20 competitors at Alport, and an 8th, a 5th and a 4th for 7th overall out of 28 at Clee Hill. Aarron will be racing again this coming weekend, 23rd September at the Butts Quarry, in Derby.
Aarron said: “There is one round left in my championship and I’m currently in 3rd position, only a few points behind 2nd. The last round is on 30th September so I’ll make sure I let you know how I get on.”
SPE has recently landed a new contract for the servicing and maintenance of the pumping stations belonging to a chain of Care Homes, the majority of which are based around the London region.
MD Richard Smith commented "Most of the pumping stations proved to be in a very poor state of repair so, together with our client, we will be implementing a strategy to bring them all back up to optimum operational condition as a matter of urgency".
SPE's new Business Development Manager, Peter Bridgewater, has hit the ground running too, landing contracts with a major hotel chain with branches throughout the country, and also one of the UK's leading environmental solutions companies.
We would like to congratulate Matt Hawkes on his promotion to Operations Manager. Matt is taking on more and more of the planning and organisation of the business, especially when it comes to the larger, more complex projects that we are involved in.
Matt has been with SPE since 2005, joining us as an electrical apprentice and gaining his City and Guilds in Electrotechnical Technology Installation. He worked his way up to Senior Engineer before this most recent promotion, and is also a shareholder in the business.
We would also like to congratulate Lewis Taylor on his recent promotion to Engineer.
SPE has recently completed the refurbishment of another trickling filter serving a manor house outside Milton Keynes.
The system had seen better days when we were initially called to site. SPE carried out a full refurbishment including having new parts machined to our design.
The system is now working very well and we have another happy customer.
If you would like to know more about how these systems work and what we can offer please contact us here at SPE.
Around 39 million tonnes of raw sewage overflows into the River Thames in London each year, so a new 20 mile long super sewer is being built to clean up the Thames and help accommodate the capital's growing population.
BBC Two has commissioned a three-part documentary series following the £5bn project following workers across London as they race to build London’s 20 mile-long ‘super sewer’, cutting through the heart of the capital deep below the Thames.
The Five Billion Pound Super Sewer is part mega-engineering, part specialist factual exploration of London’s rich and dirty history. Filmed over three years, the series charts the progress and setbacks faced by a team of 4000 construction workers tasked with creating London’s deepest ever tunnel - directly beneath the river Thames. It also delves into the subterranean world to explore the state of the city’s ageing sewer network.
Building the super sewer is the biggest infrastructure project ever attempted by the UK water industry, designed to intercept sewage that currently floods out of the overstretched Victorian system and into the Thames - each year, almost 40 million tons of sewage has to be discharged directly into the river.
An amazing feat of engineering, catch up with it now on BBC2 IPlayer. Click here for more information. Picture courtesy of the BBC website.
SPE are very proud to announce that they have achieved ISO 9001 accreditation within a matter of weeks! The initial assessment was on 22nd May 2018, with the certificate being awarded on 18th July 2018.
In order to continue with the ongoing growth and development of the business, the company decided that a lot of the internal business processes needed to be formalised, providing improved internal communications and help focusing on the important areas of the business. The aim was for management processes to be established throughout the business, providing a sound foundation and leading to increased productivity and profit through improved efficiency and communications.
Worcester-based ISO Quality Services Ltd (ISOQSL) was selected as the company to help SPE through the process. During the initial assessment it was shown that SPE already had most of the required processes in place; recommendations were made by ISOQSL of additional processes which needed to be implemented in order to achieve accreditation.
“Working with Richard, Ruth, and their team through the process of gaining the ISO 9001:2015 was a pleasure. They were easy to work with and showed full commitment to the process” said Colin Watkins, Senior Lead Assessor for ISOQSL. He continued: “they embraced all the recommendations given to them and we can already see a difference in the business in this short period of time. They were responsive and communicative throughout, and we look forward to our future visits with them.”
All of SPE’s staff are aware of the systems now in place and have fully embraced the move, knowing that it is of benefit to everyone within the company. Surprisingly, it doesn’t mean that much more paperwork is involved, just that the information is handled more efficiently.
Richard Smith, Managing Director of SPE Ltd stated “I can highly recommend ISO Quality Services Ltd and, in particular, Colin Watkins and Chrissy Bligh. They made what initially appeared to be an arduous, complicated process easy to understand and very beneficial to our company. We are already reaping the rewards and we have only just been certified!"
Pictured left to right: Steve Lees (SPE, ISO Admin), Colin Watkins (ISOQSL, Senior Lead Assessor), Chrissy Bligh (ISOQSL, Client Services Account Manager) and Richard Smith (SPE, Managing Director).
Aarron, who is sponsored by SPE Limited, has been doing well recently with the Amateur Motorcycle Association (AMCA).
He raced at Telford, gaining a third and two seconds, to give him second place overall, and also at Polesworth which is local for Aarron, where he was placed 4th, 2nd and 1st, giving him 2nd place overall.
Keep up the good work Aarron!
We are pleased to confirm that SPE Limited is undergoing the implementation and accreditation for the ISO 9001 : 2015 Management Standard, and we anticipate certification within the next two months.
ISO 9001 : What is it?
A Quality Management System is a systematic and process driven approach to managing the business. It is designed to support the company in ensuring that they meet and exceed the needs of their customers, whilst delivering a consistent level of quality and satisfaction.
Watch this space....!
SPE are proud to have become sponsors of Aarron Kitching.
Aarron has been riding motorbikes since he was 4 years old. He now he competes in the Amateur Motorcycle Association (AMCA) and is in the expert class which is the highest form of amateur racing; the next step is going professional. Aarron’s bike is a KTM 350cc sx-f.
Aarron recently raced at Brookthorpe in Gloucester. He had a good day, ending up 4th overall - just missing out on the podium by a few points! We will bring you more news and pics as the year progresses.
SPE has 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!
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…
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......
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.
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 ;-)
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…..!
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!
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......"
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!"
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.
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.
SPE Limited has been awarded a contract at the Hinkley C 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”.
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.
SPE has refurbished a Rotating Biological Filter dating back to World War II.
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.