You mightnot realise the importance of stainless steel beams in making sure that, whenLondoners turn on their taps, there is water in the pipes.

However, inthe 100th year of stainless steel, the British Stainless Steel Association israising awareness about the importance of this material in our everyday lives.

In thiscase, it is not just the hygienic advantages of stainless steel that are mostsignificant – although the same material is probably used in many Londoners’sinks for that reason.

Rather, itis the use of stainless steel beams to provide the structural steelwork in theThames Gateway Water Treatment Works, which opened in 2010.

There are 78stainless steel I-beams in the water works, and they form the structuralsteelwork to support large filters, through which saline water is passed.

Both thestrength and the hygiene of the steel are significant, as it comes into contactwith the water and, therefore, needed to be approved by the Drinking WaterInspectorate.

Thecompletion of the £270 million Thames Gateway Water Treatment Works helps toprotect London against periods of extreme drought, by allowing 150 millionlitres of drinking water per day to be produced simply by filtering water fromthe River Thames.