APEM recently completed a complex Water Framework Directive (WFD) compliance assessment, as part of a suite of environmental assessments undertaken in support of a new major water supply infrastructure project.

Background to the project

Strategic Development Areas have produced rapid housing and industrial growth in a region that is dependent on a limited water supply network. To increase resilience of supply, the local water company are proposing to install a major new water main. The project will involve extensive pipe laydown areas, construction compounds, and a directional drill across a highly designated estuarine environment (Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area, RAMSAR, and Site of Special Scientific Interest, designated on account of a range of habitats, and fish and bird species).

The project benefited from APEM’s terrestrial and aquatic environmental expertise. APEM’s terrestrial ecology consultants completed an extensive survey programme, which included a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA), and additional protected species surveys and reporting that included Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus) Environmental DNA (eDNA) pond surveys, bat transect surveys, badger set surveys, and wintering birds surveys.

APEM’s marine team undertook a detailed underwater noise and vibration assessment to fully characterise potential effects on key benthic, fish, and marine mammal species associated with the estuarine water body (and associated designations). APEM have also co-ordinated the waste classifications and waste strategy associated with drill arisings, which included consideration of historical landfills on site.

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