School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Environmental Technology Field Station

A multidisciplinary research facility for environmental engineering and construction

About the facility

The Environmental Technology Field Station is a research and teaching facility located near Petersfield, Hampshire, operated by the School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (SCES) at the University of Portsmouth.

The primary aim of the ETFS is to provide a research station for university and industry collaboration in a real-world, operational context delivered by the provision of expert consultation, environmental monitoring, laboratory analysis and the training offered to water industry staff.

The ETFS also supports the multidisciplinary teaching activities of SCES and other departments at the University, including the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Field Centre


The ETFS undertakes multidisciplinary technology and environmental research, supporting both public sector organisations and commercial companies.

Examples of ETFS research include:

  • Phytoremediation of hydrocarbon and metal contaminated land;
  • Optimisation of the treatment of oils, fats and grease in sewage;
  • Novel sludge packing systems;
  • Fate studies of organic compounds in sewage;
  • Bespoke composting technologies;
  • The validation of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDs);
  • Providing Realworld Opportunities for Sustainable Drainage Systems (ProSuDS)
  • The development of low cost, sustainable building materials and concrete reinforcement technologies.

Industrial project partners include; Southern Water, Mayer Brown Ltd, The Environment Agency, Enigma Electronic, Ministry of Defence (MoD) Environmental Science Group, Plantwork Systems, WRc, WPL.

Field Centre


The ETFS is uniquely situated on the grounds of a Southern Water waste water treatment plant, providing access to water and sludge at all stages of the sewage treatment process. Facilities include:

  • Green house and plant growth facilities;
  • Experimental test beds and hydroponic testing apparatus;
  • Hard-standing experimental rig testing zones;
  • Teaching laboratories;
  • Meeting/conference facilities and teaching rooms;
  • Microbiology laboratory, for the analysis of total coliforms, faecal coliforms, viral load and bioremediation media analysis;
Field Centre

Our environmental chemistry laboratory is specifically equipped for:

  • waste water treatment tests (BOD, COD, pH, total suspended solids, settleable solids and volatile suspended solids, % total solids, LOI, conductivity);
  • UV/V spectrophotometry analysis for organic/inorganic analytes;
  • nutrient auto-analysis (for nitrite, nitrate, ammonium and phosphate);
  • fine-scale oxygen/pH microsensor and electrodes;
  • organic pollutants by GC/MS for water, soil and sediments including TPH (aromatic/aliphatic compounds), PAHs, organometallics and pesticides;
  • metals (total concentrations and in-situ measurements) in water, soil and sediment.
Field Centre

THE ETFS also has access to other environmental testing facilities at the University of Portsmouth, including ICP-OES, ICP-MS, LC-MS, SEM and XRD. Metagenomic laboratory analysis is also available.


Dr John Williams (ETFS Director): Water Infrastructure and engineering, phytoremediation and resource sustainability

Dr Fay Couceiro (ETFS Manager): Sediment biogeochemistry, nutrient and aquatic pollutant exchange, environmental monitoring

Russell Cole (Scientific Officer): Organic analytical chemistry and environmental monitoring


Dr Brett Martinson: Water conservation, sustainable building materials, on-site water supply and technology adoption in low income countries

Dr Julian Mitchell: Microbial geneticist

Dr Joy Watts: Environmental microbiology and ecology

Dr Muhammad Ali: Solid waste management, geo-environmental engineering, engineering materials

Dr Stephanie Barnett: High performance concrete, low carbon concrete, materials characterisation, fibre reinforced concrete

Dr Steve Mitchell: Sediment transport processes, fluid dynamics modelling

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