Water Site Security Fencing

There are a large number of water sites in the UK. According to Ofwat, every day over 50 million household and non-household consumers in England and Wales receive good quality water, sanitation, and drainage services, provided by 34 privately owned companies in England and Wales. Thames Water, Britain’s largest water and wastewater company alone provides 14 million people, and the number of Thames Water sites exceeds 600.

Consider the implications of not being able to access fresh water in both our domestic and commercial lives - the significance of security at such sites soon becomes apparent. Water sites and water treatment plants face various threats, such as deliberate contamination or poisoning of the water supply, to accidental pollution or theft of valuable equipment and materials. In addition, any water and particularly sewage water can represent a potential safety hazard.

Water sites need to be effectively ring fenced with a secure, long-lasting solution which prevents and deters unauthorised personnel from gaining access.

It is important to identify a complete perimeter solution package from an experienced supplier, to avoid any breaks or inconsistencies in the security chain.

Future-proof security fencing solutions

Start with a comprehensive Risk and Threat Assessment to identify and prioritise the potential threats to site security. Consider the height of fencing as well of the construction. Do you require certain areas to be completely private and concealed from the public eye, and do you need high visibility in certain areas? Do you also have a requirement for noise reduction?

Decision makers for such matters should always focus on a long-term solution which will deliver a security infrastructure which will stand the test of time and therefore represent a sound investment.

All Jacksons’ fencing and gates come with a 25 year guarantee, and we manufacture a wide range of tested and certified fencing and gates designed for high risk sites such as water sites and treatment plants.

Our zinc-alloy coated welded mesh security fencing provides high visibility and features tamper-proof fixings, while our vertical bar railings offer strong welded pale-through-rail construction with concealed fixings, and our timber acoustic barriers offer an anti-climb profile, high privacy, and noise reduction of up to 32dB.

Recommended products for water site security

Water site security checklist

  • Risk and Threat Assessment to identify / prioritise risks
  • Source future perfect / long term durable solutions requiring low maintenance
  • Maintenance risk and threat assessments
  • Review site from outside in / layered approach to physical security
  • Functionality a priority but consider aesthetics 
  • Access control must be compliant with current standards / regulations
  • Access control for water sites

    Letting authorised personnel in, and keeping unauthorised visitors out is a basic tenet of site security.  Automated access control plays a pivotal role in addressing this need. Any automated gates or barriers which are installed must be CE accredited to ensure compliance with current standards and regulations.  In addition, the company responsible for the installation should be capable of offering ongoing maintenance to ensure any access control devices remain safe and effective.  Site workers on foot should be given a separate pedestrian access point to the main vehicular automated gate.  All automated gates and barriers should be installed in line with current Gate Safe and DHF guidelines to ensure the appropriate safety protocol is adhered to.

    Overall perimeter site security

    The outer edges of the property boundary line should be viewed as the exterior perimeter of the site and this clearly requires a robust and effective ring of security around it to deter any unwanted/unauthorised entry. Aesthetics may need to be considered in some situations, alongside key functionality requirements.  It is possible to introduce a ‘hardened’ perimeter security boundary which boasts all the necessary strength and resistance to attack required, whilst also blending in with the local landscape.  Timber fencing is not traditionally associated with high level security but products such as EuroGuard® Combi combine the natural beauty of wood with the strength and security of steel. Welded mesh panels incorporating closely spaced timber slats deliver a durable perimeter line featuring no hand or foot holds thus deterring any climbing activity.

    The importance of perimeter security for utilities

    To plan an effective perimeter security solution for utilities sites, you first need to consider why it's essential so you can understand the vulnerabilities of the site and how best to protect them.

    An insight into protecting utilities

    Download our short insight paper on perimeter protection as a starting point when researching security options for utilities sites.

    Protecting water treatment plants

    Access to safe, clean water will always be an essential requirement for households and businesses in the UK, which is why perimeters around water treatment plants need to be safe, secure, and long-lasting.

    Protecting utilities sites with perimeter fencing

    Perimeter fencing is the first line of defence against attack and intrusion at any site. With over 600 water treatment plants responsible for safe sanitation for over 50 million people in the UK, perimeter fencing is highly important for protecting precious supplies.

    The Onion Principle

    Security surveys employ what is termed the Onion Principle (also known as the 5 Ds of perimeter security) to develop a layered wall of defence around a potential target.  The aim is to work from the outside into the centre, treating each different boundary as a layer which needs to be hardened to delay the attacker, protect the site’s assets and provide security staff with intelligence through surveillance.

    It is this methodology, i.e. reviewing a site from the outside in, which should be applied when determining the required perimeter and physical security solutions for a water site.  All too often decisions are based on a printed plan, a product catalogue, a specification sheet or from a desk in an office looking out – but an effective perimeter/physical security protocol must be evolved by looking from an intruder’s perspective, from the outside, looking in.

    Jacksons offers a unique consultative service which enables clients to plan their physical perimeter protection and access control into the overall security architecture of the water site.  A holistic approach to fencing, gates, lighting, CCTV and access control measures must be adopted to ensure a successful outcome. Thorough site audits will take into consideration existing security measures and identify any potential weaknesses, and will play an active role in the development of a fully integrated security system, fit to face the challenges of the various methods and forces of attack employed by the modern day intruder.

    The ‘layered’ approach operates by identifying the various perimeters within the site, and increasing the level of defence as you enter deeper into the heart of the facility and closer to the most critical and sensitive assets.