Case Studies

Tamdhu Distillery

Whisky distillery re-established as a technological pioneer


Nestling on the banks of the River Spey, near Elgin in Morayshire, the Tamdhu Distillery has reopened over 100 years since it first started business. The project’s main objective was to recommence production of the finest Speyside single malt whisky using the original traditional methods.


Our brief was to supply and install a modern, state-of-the-art trickle filter system, during November and December 2011, as part of a refurbishment programme to return Tamdhu to its former glory and re-establish its position as a pioneer in distillery technology.


A new filter system had been installed prior to the Distillery’s acquisition by Ian Macleod Distilleries Ltd. However, due to a change in scale of production at Tamdhu, SDS was tasked with demolishing and replacing the five existing filters and the distribution building with one modern trickle filter.

How it works

Using our latest technology, the new system comprises a glass-lined galvanised tank, approx 7.5 metres in diameter and 4.7 metres high, fitted with a rotary distributor, and has a GRP top and galvanised access ladder.


Inside the tank 110m³ of 19mm cross flow plastic media, made of recycled PVC, are laid out in seven layers. The plastic media is up to two-and-a-half times more efficient than other types of media and replaces the coke media that was used before, which is now hard to source.


The filter takes wastewater from the distillery, which is filtered as it goes through the cross flow plastic media, before running off back to the watercourse.


The installation was completed within schedule despite harsh Winter weather in which temperatures fell to below 10OC and snowfall exceeded 30 cm in depth; this made access to and around the site very difficult and hampered the use of machinery and the installation staff’s capacity for manual dexterity.

Tamdhu Distillery

Tamdhu’s goal is to produce the world’s finest single malt whisky, winning multiple awards since the distillery was re-commissioned in 2012.

What our other Customers say

This project required stringent control of surface water quality given the sensitive nature of the receiving watercourse in a SSSI. This level of water quality treatment could not be achieved by standard proprietary installations. Following extensive investigation, we identified a solution that we were previously unaware of. Having found the answer we were looking for in SDS’s new hydrodynamic vortex separation and filtration system we are proud to have installed the UK’s very first Aqua-FilterTM. Following successful pre-installation testing we are eagerly anticipating the first set of results of the system in situ.

Ed Hoskins, Senior Associate, Cambria Consulting.

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