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Sat March 06 2021

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London 2012 water tanks find new role in Kenyan village

17 Jun 14 Balfour Beatty has donated two water tanks from the London 2012 Aquatics Centre spectator stands to be reused in the village of Cheptiret, Kenya.

The Balfour Beatty-sponsored project has seen the tanks travel 3,500 miles to Central Africa to provide clean water for a community of over 4,000 people.

After promising “the first sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games”, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) set ambitious recycling and reuse targets for the Olympic Park site. The Aquatics Centre, which was originally built by Balfour Beatty, has been remodeled into legacy mode with 100% of deconstructed materials reused or recycled, including the two water tanks donated to the Kenyan village.

After being carefully dismantled, the tanks, which included a third tank from the Water Polo Arena, were transferred to Cheptiret via ships, lorries and trains. Once on site, the tanks were installed above a new 225m bore hole by a team from Balfour Beatty supported by a group of charity workers and volunteers. They will provide fresh water at a rate of 12m3 per hour.

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As part of the initiative, a booster set was also installed in the pump house adjacent to the tank, while additional lighting from the Aquatics Centre spectator stands replaced a single 40W lamp in the local school’s classroom. With classes until 9pm, the children will benefit from a much improved lighting system that runs off a mains supply instead of a small generator.

Stuart Fraser, Balfour Beatty special projects director, said: “By considering material selection at design stage, we were able to build a state-of-the-art Olympic venue with elements that could be dismantled and sustainably reused. The reused water tanks will have a huge and lasting impact on so many people’s lives, with a community of 4,000 plus now having the ability to wash in, cook with and drink clean water.

“The ODA’s approach to the London 2012 programme and its sustainability targets set new benchmarks for the industry. Leaving a lasting positive legacy upon communities and individuals is an essential part of our approach to sustainability and it’s great to see materials reused in such a constructive and significant way.”

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