Zero freshwater withdrawal

22 May 2019

About Cauldon’s artificial lake

At Lafarge Cauldon Limited in the UK, we’ve demonstrated how an exhausted shale quarry can be rehabilitated to provide an important water resource for both our cement plant and the surrounding community. To avoid drawing on freshwater resources for our Cauldon operations, we created a water reservoir in the quarry that operates on a closed-loop system, fed by rainwater recovery and recycling used water. This means the Cauldon plant no longer draws freshwater from the nearby River Hamps, which has been labeled as a UK Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation, as well as an EU Special Area of Conservation. The reservoir forms a protective barrier for the River Hamps, preventing potential contamination as any water discharged from the cement plant is now treated automatically before being sent into the reservoir.


Other benefits of rehabilitation

The shale lake also functions as a flood control and containment facility, thus reducing the impact of flash flooding on the nearby Waterhouses village. The restoration also helped to improve the external appearance of the exhausted quarry. Served by footpaths, the lake has become an important habitat for wildlife and created a great stop-off and birdwatching site. Finally, the artificial lake has reduced our own energy consumption as we no longer pump water from the river.


Zero freshwater withdrawal picture