Protecting water treatment plants: is your site secure?

With 34 companies providing water sanitation and treatment services to over 50 million people, based across more than 600 sites, it’s clear that providing clean water to the UK household and non-household population is an impressive feat, with effective perimeter security of the utmost importance at such sites.

Bearing in mind the huge numbers of people reliant on companies such as Thames Water, Britain’s largest water and wastewater company, the potential risks of a security breach at a water treatment plant are extremely serious; from deliberate poisoning of the UK’s water supply to accidental contamination, due to natural disasters or pollution.

So how can you ensure your water treatment plant is secure?

Reviewing your site

Many utility sites, such as water treatment plants, are unmanned for long periods of time, so the right physical security measures are essential to protect the site and its assets via both perimeter protection and access control.

To review physical security measures at your site, begin with a comprehensive Risk and Threat Assessment to not only identify potential threats but also prioritise them. Use the Onion Principle: View your security as an intruder looking in, with the most valuable target at the centre, rather than as someone who knows the site looking out, to gain a comprehensive and objective view of your site’s security.

When assessing your site, the outer edges of the properties boundaries should be viewed as the exterior perimeter and should be reviewed in terms of both aesthetics, if necessary, and security requirements, for example fencing height and Security Rating.

Also important to consider is access control; monitoring people coming in and keeping unauthorised visitors out is essential to site security. Do you need an automated solution, such as automated gates or barriers? If so, ensure all products are CE accredited and can be regularly maintained by a professional.


When investing in security infrastructure for a utilities site, for example a water treatment plant, with such precious assets to protect as a significant clean water supply, it’s crucial to invest in a long-term solution, rather than compromising on price. Any security product must be fit-for-purpose and have undergone rigorous testing to ensure it offers a high standard of protection which won’t fail over time.

A combination of long lifetime service, like the unique Jacksons’ 25-year guarantee, and minimal maintenance is the most cost-effective solution, resulting in the best possible security for the lowest overall cost.

As well as a 25-year guarantee, Jacksons also offers consultative and maintenance services alongside our high-quality, security-rated products. Our holistic approach to fencing, gates and access control ensures a successful, bespoke outcome to suit any security needs. You can find out more about our water site security here.

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From design and manufacturing to supply and installation, we can help you with your project. If you'd like to discuss anything in this article or need information or guidance, please feel free to contact us at any stage to discuss your requirements.