Water and wastewater treatment

Our strength lies in our team of expert and dedicated planners, engineers and environmental scientists. Our technical expertise, coupled with excellent communications and consultation specialists, means that we can offer a first-class integrated and strategic approach to industrial and municipal water and wastewater treatment systems on both greenfield and brownfield sites.

The efficiency and quality of water and wastewater systems vary greatly and can make the difference between communities that offer a comfortable standard of living and those in which life is a daily struggle. Water treatment is one way we help keep our available water usable while converting salt water, polluted water, and used water back to its freshest possible state.

Putting Our Experience to Work for You

At WSP, we have a long record of meeting strict environmental regulations that govern the design, construction, and operation of all types of water and wastewater conveyance structures. We work collaboratively with our clients across the globe to deliver water and wastewater technologies and infrastructure, providing integrated, proactive concept-to-completion services that meet or exceed client requirements while providing value for money. Water and wastewater facilities frequently draw water from rivers or discharge effluents into rivers: our river engineering solutions help our clients protect and enhance the environment, promote sustainable development, and plan for the future.

Leaders in Tunnelling Infrastructure

Our tunnelling reputation is one of our differentiators in the water and wastewater market. These systems include combined sewer overflows for which we provide modeling, analysis, and design services. As facilities age, rehabilitation becomes critical to extending their overall life, and we work with clients to develop programs for underground infrastructure systems that can be updated and repaired for an extended service period. Additionally, we are a leader in microtunneling/trenchless technology, a cost-effective technique that minimises the environmental impact of pipeline and conduit installation. We remain strongly committed to environmentally sound structures that reflect sustainable engineering.


Desalination converts brackish or saline water to fresh water that is suitable for potable or industrial uses. The process is increasingly being used in both inland and coastal areas where conventional freshwater resources are unavailable or else currently used resources are being adversely impacted by overuse.

Desalination systems have four main components: the intake system, pretreatment steps, the actual desalination system and the concentrate disposal systems. Reverse-osmosis (RO) is now the most commonly used desalination process for new systems. However, multistage flash distillation (MSF), multiple-effect distillation (MED), electrodialysis reversal (EDR), and other processes are preferred in some circumstances. Raw water supply and concentrate disposal can be critical feasibility, regulatory, and economic issues.

Selection of the type of desalination plant is part of the overall optimisation of the desalination/power cycle. Studies are performed covering water balance, water cost calculations, thermodynamic considerations, and material properties to ensure minimum cost and optimum process. Efficiency, reliability, and maintenance costs are forecasted, and reservoir capacity, blending plant, intake, and brine effluent systems are then considered to meet water consumption and site requirements.