Siltbuster systems are being used to treat the waters generated during construction of the West Link project on the Gothenburg Metro in Sweden.

This is the latest in a long line of high-profile international rail projects to call on the Monmouthshire firm’s equipment and expertise.

The West Link is an eight kilometre double track railway, including a six kilometre railway tunnel, underneath the city of Gothenburg.

Scheduled for completion in 2026, the £2.5bn development - which also involves the creation of three new underground stations - will increase accessibility to the city, boost capacity and improve travel times.

The construction involves a large amount of tunnelling and concreting, generating considerable volumes of potentially polluting waters, which is why Siltbuster was called in.

The contractors, Nordic Construction Company, are excavating through granite, limestone and clay for the tunnel and stations.

During this work the site’s surface water runoff and ground water can come into direct contact with the exposed soil, creating waters with a high concentration of suspended matter including fine, slow-settling, clay particles.

If a significant amount of this material enters nearby drains and watercourses, it can block the gills of fish and smother aquatic plants and invertebrates, starving them of light and oxygen. The extensive concreting works during the construction phases will also create highly alkaline, cementitious construction waters with an elevated pH of 12-13 – akin to oven cleaner; again highly polluting to the environment if left untreated.

For the Gothenburg Metro, Siltbuster’s experts recommended the use of three integrated iHB40Rs units which remove the solids to less than 25mg/litre of suspended solids, and then neutralise the pH so that the water is pH 7 neutral – meeting the discharge criteria for release to the surface watercourse. Each unit treats approximately 40m3 per hour and an automated monitoring system plus an auto-sampler continually measure and test the treated water, providing NCC with proof of compliance.

This system is not only capable of treating the high incoming flows to a verifiably high standard, but it also offers a large treatment capacity for a small footprint. This is a key consideration as the West Link is being developed within the centre of Gothenburg, next to the biggest amusement park in Scandinavia, The Swedish exhibition centre, the World Culture Museum, Gothenburg World Trade Centre plus ice hockey and football stadia.

Kristian Downs, export sales manager, Siltbuster, said: “With the construction work taking place in a high profile, densely populated, built-up area, and with a main highway linking Malmo to Oslo running nearby, space is at an absolute premium. There’s limited room on site for additional plant and equipment. That’s why our iHB40R ticks all the boxes. It’s a highly effective, easy-to-use treatment solution, that’s agile and space efficient.

“To be involved in yet another prestigious international project is a great endorsement for the expertise of our team, the robustness of our systems, the size of our fleet, our technical back-up and our growing reputation within the world’s construction sector.”

Siltbuster is recognised as a world leading authority on water treatment. Its systems are used in over 33 countries and have been deployed on a range of international rail and tunnelling projects including the Grand Paris Express (GPE), the Doha Metro in Qatar, the Northern Line extension, Crossrail, Thames Tideway Tunnel and Stuttgart S21.