Reducing our environmental impact has always been a priority for CATS. Various initiatives have been established to work towards the overall goal of no damage to the environment.
CATS is a member of INCA (Industry Nature Conservation Association), and also works closely with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust to raise environmental awareness in the community.
In light of these objectives, CATS has supported the ‘Wild flowers for the Millennium’ and ‘Nature at Work’ initiatives. Kestrel boxes have been placed on some of the terminal’s tall structures to encourage nesting, a bird hide has been donated to the Tees Estuary and dune grass and wild flowers have been planted in the area to encourage biodiversity.
Our main environmental undertaking is our reed bed project at Teesside.
CATS, working in partnership with the University of Durham, INCA, and English Nature, designed, built and are monitoring a reed bed system for the treatment of waste water.
The project is centred on a reed bed constructed as a 'natural' tertiary treatment system after conventional treatment of sewage and water run-off for the expansion of the CATS Natural Gas Treatment facility at Teesside.
The design used has drawn upon the experience of the Centre of Alternative Technology, Wales in the construction and operation of small scale sewage treatment systems using aquatic plants.
The treated effluent passes through stone filters before entering the reed bed. It is then channelled around a series of dividing walls before passing into a settling pond from where it discharges into an outfall pond.
The reed bed has been planted as a monoculture using the common reed, pot-grown reeds in one half of the bed and locally transplanted reeds in the other half. This has allowed conservationists to determine the type of reed most suited to this site.
The intermediate pond has been planted with a variety of aquatic plants including Water Mint, Yellow Flag, and Marsh Marigold. Apart from the natural beauty of these plants, they support micro-organisms to further improve the water quality.
As well as reducing the terminal’s environmental discharges and actively minimising waste, the introduction of the reed beds has also resulted in an increase in bird and aquatic insect life.
Frequent events and projects are undertaken in partnership with local schools and wildlife groups to provide education and promote biodiversity.
The reed bed project is a great example of how industry, working in partnership with the right organisations, can have a positive impact on the environment and the local community.