Testing the water: infrastructure futureproofing for Liverpool Wastewater Treatment Works

Our futureproofing assessment and planning tools assist asset intensive infrastructure companies to help identify what the lasting value will be for an infrastructure.


Our futureproofing tool has been successfully piloted on Liverpool Wastewater Treatment Works (LWwTW) with United Utilities and Costain to meet increasing wastewater treatment demand due to long-term population growth while keeping the River Mersey clean.



The existing wastewater treatment works at Sandon Dock became operational in 1991 and was upgraded to its current form in 2000. As a result the Mersey now sustains a wide range of fish. However, the works needed replacement. Liverpool Wastewater Treatment Works is a £200 million extension project to keep the Mersey clean for generations to come. Due for completion Spring 2015, the new plant at Wellington Dock will serve around 600,000 residents. The completed plant will be able to cope with 11,000 litres of wastewater a second.


Action and achievements

We piloted the infrastructure futureproofing tool on LWwTW.

We have:

  • identified possible future changes that might affect LWwTW infrastructure
  • defined futureproofing criteria in the LWwTW infrastructure context i.e. resilience, adaptability, replaceability, reusability, system stability and information replaceability
  • assessed various assets of LWwTW infrastructure (e.g. pumps, buildings, piping, screens) against the futureproofing criteria
  • defined futureproofing targets against assets
  • conducted gap analysis of current and targeted futureproofing goals for assets
  • tested usability and usefulness of the infrastructure futureproofing tool

Impact and benefits

Application of the futureproofing tool has provided direct benefits to LWwTW infrastructure supplying information to support: 

  • assessment of the suitability of pump, building, piping and screen assets when considering the design of upgrades and new facilities for long-term use and maintenance
  • selection of a variety of water and wastewater process asset upgrades
  • embedding the infrastructure futureproofing tool/criteria in risk management process/risk register and stakeholder management process/stakeholder map
  • driving innovation and improvement in the industry for future projects
  • informed decision making
  • through-life value benefits
  • improved infrastructure futureproofing strategies to enhance resilience of infrastructure to climate change impacts



  • Masood, T., McFarlane, D.C., Parlikad, A.K., Ellis, A., Dora, J., Schooling, J., “Towards the futureproofing of UK infrastructure,” Infrastructure Asset Management, 2016.
  • Masood, T., McFarlane, D.C., Schooling, J., Parlikad, A.K., Catton, P., “The Role of Futureproofing in the Management of Infrastructural Assets,” In Proc. International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, London, Sept 2014.