Palisade Vs Mesh Security Fencing For Water Treatment Plants

Water treatment plants require high-security fencing to ensure that there isn’t a compromise for individuals throughout the UK who are relying on access to clean water.

Therefore, to keep utility sites protected, perimeter security is paramount. This is to avoid threats such as: deliberate poisoning and contamination due to natural disasters or pollution.

If you’re now wondering which is the best high-security fencing to protect your water treatment plant, read on to find out…


Tested Fencing Systems For Your Water Treatment Plants

Water UK has set the ‘Standard for Security Arrangements for Operational Assets’ (SSAOA) – the benchmark for safe water regulation.

The document advises Water Services Companies to regularly assess the risks and to complete a matrix to access the likelihood and consequences of hazardous events.

The risk assessment identifies the threat which then leads you to which level of LPS 1175 security they need. Typically a utility site will need either SR2 fencing or SR3 fencing.

When it comes to specifying high-security fencing for your utility sites, there is a range of options to choose from. But the two main choices are palisade security fencing or mesh security fencing.

When comparing the two options, as long as they meet the same security standard, technically, both metal fences are designed to do the same thing – to protect high-value assets and sensitive sites. However, they have different features aside from aesthetics meaning they lend themselves to different situations.

For utility sites it’s important you pick the right fencing option for ease of installation and to maximise your water treatment works’ security.




Mesh Security Fencing

Mesh security fencing is visually appealing and it’s ideal for flat surfaces because it comes in rigid panels, which have to be stepped or burrowed to accommodate any uneven or slopping ground.

Standard demarcation mesh fencing has been growing in popularity as it is usually around 40% cheaper than standard palisade fencing. Less steel makes it more economical. Though, when comparing security derivates of mesh and palisade, the change in price difference usually switches. This is because to make a mesh fence more secure you must add more steel such as double skin systems, thicker horizontal wires or anti-cut bars.

You can also upgrade your mesh fence by curving the panel outwards or by adding toppings such as different forms of barbed or razor wire, or electric pulse fencing to deter people from going over the top.


Visual Considerations for Mesh Fencing

When compared with palisade security fencing, the mesh can be perceived as more visually appealing.

On the other hand, it may be perceived to be less secure and be less of a deterrent – causing a potential threat for your water treatment plant.


Added Features

They should never choose a standard demarcation product/cost was mentioned above.


Environments For Mesh Fencing

Mesh security fencing works well for built-up areas like schools as they are meant to look inviting, and blend more seamlessly into the surroundings.


Palisade Security Fencing

Unlike mesh, one of the main advantages of palisade security fencing is its daunting and intimidating appearance, which will be useful to deter attackers when protecting water treatment works.

A triple or single-pointed pale design will deter people from climbing the fence because it would be easy to get caught or impaled on.

To further protect your utility site, the pales can be curved outwards, or security toppings can be added.


Deterring Entry

Security derivatives of palisade fencing are made using strong steel pales which are typically closer together leaving no footholds. That, along with added pointed tops, deters attempts to break in as intruders can see the difficulty of entry.

To make palisade even harder to climb, some clients like to have the pale curved outwards. This makes the fence even more intimidating and is perceived to make the fence even harder to climb.


Ground Conditions

Palisade security fencing copes with sloping or uneven ground much better than a mesh alternative. Palisade comes piece small, so it is easier to handle. Assembly is complete on-site meaning it can follow the contours of the ground. Each tested fencing system will have maximum ground clearance.


Added Features

One of the disadvantages of a standard palisade security fence is the weakness of the fixing, however, high-security products use special high load fixings and fasteners which are shown to defeat hand and power tools.

Palisade security fencing also has no post fasteners/fishplates which is perceived as a weakness on standard versions.



In essence, as long as you’re perimeter mitigates the threats identified in the risk assessment you could opt for either style of fencing. If they meet the same security rating (for example LPS 1175 SR2 / B3) the product will do the same job.

Key differences include:
Aesthetics – Palisade looks more intimidating and will probably act as more of a deterrent

Sloping or uneven ground – Palisade copes better with uneven or sloping ground

Lifting equipment – An SR2 / B3 or and SR3 / C5 mesh panel will be heavy therefore lifting equipment will be required

To find out more about Barkers Fencing’s security solutions for utilities sites, why not read our most recent case study, where our StronGuard™ SR3 Palisade was used at Essex & Suffolk Water.

Or simply call 01782 319264 to speak to an expert today.