Water Treatment Plant Security Fencing: What You Should Know
The very nature of water treatment plants means that security fencing is something that cannot be overlooked.
With over 66 million people in the UK relying on access to clean water, any security threat which may compromise our safety should be mitigated.
And that’s why the job of perimeter security to keep people out is of utmost importance.
In this post, we outline some key considerations for anyone involved in the specification of security fencing for water treatment plants, helping you to select products with confidence.
Read on to find out more.
Protecting Water Treatment Plants: What Are The Threats?
Any security solution should always consider ‘worst-case scenario’ – right through to more common risks, and when it comes to water treatment plants, we’re talking about:
- Deliberate poisoning of the UK’s water supply
- Accidental contamination
- Natural disasters
These are just some of the dangers associated with water treatment plants, so when you’re investing in infrastructure to protect your utilities site, it must overcome a variety of potential threats.
Tested Security Fencing For Water Treatment Works Security
To mitigate security breaches for your water treatment plant, we always advise specifiers to select tested security products. Read more about the importance of accredited security fencing here.
LPS 1175 is the preferred specification amongst the water industry as decided by Water UK.
What is an LPS 1175 security fencing?
Simply put, an LPS (Loss prevention standard) 1175 rated security fence or gate is one that has been physically tested by a third-party accreditation body to prevent a person from breaching its fabric or structure.
The LPCB who created LPS 1175 often updates its standard, with Issue 8 being the most recent. This redefined set of Security Ratings has replaced the previous Issue 7 which ranged from SR1 to SR8.
Now, it is a much more fluid approach, which provides a Threat categorised in tool kits (letters A to H) and a Delay (numerical value in minutes: 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 20).
Most notably, Specifiers can now select products based on the delay in response time and toolset independently, rather than a fixed combination of both – something which was the case in Issue 7.
This approach is much more realistic as it means the security provisions can protect against a certain threat and build up a delay through the layers of security.
To add context, the vast majority (95%) of products fail the testing process, emphasising how strict the requirements are.
Palisade Or Mesh Fencing For Your Water Treatment Plant?
One of the biggest questions we get asked, regardless of context, is whether to opt for palisade or mesh fencing.
And despite common misconception, palisade and mesh fencing have many differences other than just aesthetics.
There are 34 companies that provide water sanitation and treatment services across the UK, many of which are build in open, rural areas. Such environments are susceptible to windy weather conditions and uneven ground surface, and this is where you will need to consider whether mesh fencing is an appropriate option.
If your water treatment plan does have uneven ground, mesh fencing will need to be burrowed or stepped to ensure a secure installation –It may, therefore, be advisable to consider palisade security fencing, rather than mesh as it can follow the contours in the ground.
Don’t Neglect Entrance Security When It Comes To Physical Security Of Water Utilities
Whilst the right perimeter security is crucial at a water treatment facility, it’s important that you also consider what would be the right entrance security products for you. Let’s not forget that water treatment plants can be unmanned for prolonged periods of time.
When selecting turnstiles for any high-security, unmanned entrance, it is crucial that it upholds the same security rating as the fencing line. Failure to do so will result in a ‘weak spot’ in the perimeter.
For unmanned entrances, it’s worth considering an accredited LPS 1175 turnstile, such as, TurnGuard Pro which has been developed to match any Barkers LPS 1175 certified fence line.
Selecting security infrastructure to a water treatment facility – or any utilities site – will require you to invest in a long-term solution, rather than one that is driven by price.
After all, the risks associated with a security breach in a water treatment facility will far outweigh any upfront cost.
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.
Adam joined Barkers in August 2000 as a sales estimator. He rose through the ranks looking after UK and Export Sales before becoming Marketing and Sales Director in April 2021.
In his 20+ years in the industry, Adam has seen the evolution of the security market and he has extensive knowledge of the pains and requirements of the industry