Thames Water’s £200m plant at Beckton can provide drinking water for 1 million Londoners

Britain’s first water desalination plant opens today near Barking to provide drinking water for London’s fast-growing population.
Thames Water’s £200m plant in Beckton, east London, can produce around 140m litres a day by converting saltwater from the Thames to drinking water, enough for 1 million people.

However, it will operate only at times of low water supply – around 40% of the time.

The plant, which run on biodiesel sourced in the UK, will use about twice as much energy as a conventional water treatment plant.
After receiving planning permission in 2007 from Newham borough council, and approval from the Environment Agency, work on the Thames Estuary plant began in 2008.
Engineers from Mott MacDonald worked on the plant, along with design engineers from Thames Water.
The plant was built because of the increasing strain on the UK capital’s water supply, a result of the increase in single-person households and London’s naturally low rainfall.