The UK’s fourth busiest airport reduced its water consumption in 2011 by nearly 33% compared to 2010 levels, a saving of 205 million litres of water across the 957 hectare airport site.
A specialist survey contractor, Aquatech Engineering, undertook a wide-ranging inspection of the airport’s entire water pipe network, some of which dates back to Stansted’s origins as a World War II US air force base. Using hi-tech instruments that listen for any noise produced by leaking water, the airport was able to pinpoint the location to within a couple of metres and carry out repairs to replace and upgrade the defective pipework.
Dr Andy Jefferson, Stansted’s Head of Planning & Sustainability, said:
“We are delighted to have achieved such a significant reduction in water consumption in 2011, thanks largely to the excellent work we’ve undertaken to identify and repair any failures in our very extensive pipe network.
“The recently announced restrictions on water use in the region are a timely reminder that it’s never been more important to conserve scarce resources, stop avoidable waste and limit energy use. We are very aware the airport sits within one of the driest areas of the UK, so it’s vital we do all we can to help reduce water consumption and protect availability.
“Working alongside the Environment Agency and Veolia Central and with the help of our specialist contractor, we have committed over £500,000 this year alone to continue monitoring, maintaining and improving our water network at the airport. Additionally, last year’s investment to reduce water leaks will in turn drive operational cost savings and reductions in energy use due to the lower volumes of water pumped around the site.
“We know there is still more we can do, that is why we are currently reviewing our water strategy in advance of publishing a five year plan later in 2012 as part of our overall drive to deliver the sustainable and responsible growth of air travel at the airport. I’m confident the success of this project will help drive further initiatives to identify and deliver potential water use reductions by both passengers and staff at the airport.”