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NEWS • Anaerobic Digestion • Wastewater Treatment & Technology Phosphorus Removal • Improving Drinking Water Quality


Navigating a time of change Welcome to our latest edition of the Water Industry Journal in which you’ll see the magazine has a fresh new look. Just like the industry about which we write, we’ve been going through a time of change. We hope you like our re-design. In his recent speech at the Water Industry Forum1, Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, identified three challenges faced by the water industry: operational, climate and political.

Editor Ellen Rossiter

Politically, the UK is on the brink of huge change with both Brexit and a potential general election on the horizon and as such the debate about the public ownership of utilities has been reignited. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has once again set out plans to renationalise water companies, plans met with scepticism and criticism by some in the industry. The political challenge though goes far beyond the plans of one particular party, as Sir Bevan recognised, the industry is facing a degree of scrutiny it’s never encountered before. Criticism emanating from across the political spectrum and from a wide range of media. Yet as he was also quick to acknowledge, the story of water in this country over the last few decades is, for the most part, one of “stunning success” as the “quality of the water in our rivers, streams and lakes is better now than at any time since the start of the Industrial Revolution.” Sir Bevan also acknowledged that “water companies put more money into improving the environment than anyone else” spending “£3.5b directly on environmental protection and improvement”. Yet, as an industry, we can’t afford to be complacent, pollution, leaks, drought and long term climate resilience are the areas identified in the speech as those on which we most need to focus if we are to stem criticism. As he rightly acknowledged “It’s good to have a debate about water and how


we provide it”, turn the page and join in the debate. In this issue, you can find out how the industry is addressing some of the challenges ahead. Dr Heather Smith examines how we can take the ‘waste’ out of wastewater by recycling and re-using our ‘waste’ water more effectively, explaining how circular economy solutions provide a means of addressing both climate change and the increasing demand for water. We also take a look at the NEREUS project, the overall aim of which is to boost the development of the green economy and transform wastewater into a valuable source of water, nutrients and energy that can be reused. Whilst, Dr Eve Germain-Cripps considers the dilemma posed by phosphorus – both essential to life, yet detrimental in certain circumstances. Eve looks at the efforts being made to develop resilient solutions to remove and recover phosphorus to protect and enhance our environment. Drinking water quality is another topic addressed in this issue. Colony counts are used to ensure we have wholesome drinking water on tap 24/7, Shaun Jones provides us with an insight into the microbiology of drinking water. Browse through this issue and one thing which becomes clear is that partnership working is alive and well in the water industry. Water companies are working closely with government agencies and other stakeholders to meet the challenges ahead. Working together to safeguard the environment and ensure we have a safe, steady supply of water 365 days a year. 1 What future for water? Three challenges for the industry, the speech by Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, Water Industry Forum, Birmingham, 8 May 2019 can be read in full at: https:// www.gov.uk/government/speeches/what-future-forwater-three-challenges-for-the-industry






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61 52

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Contents 92





28-57 Anaerobic Digestion 48-55 Wastewater Treatment & Technology 80-89 Phosphorus Removal 92-99 Improving Drinking Water Quality

65 70




Ellen Rossiter ellen.rossiter@distinctivepublishing.co.uk


Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk


David Lancaster Business Development Manager Tel: 0191 580 5476 david.lancaster@distinctivegroup.co.uk

103 www.waterindustryjournal.co.uk

Distinctive Publishing or Water Industry Journal cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and Water Industry Journal.



Northern Ireland’s ‘Concreteberg’ You’ve seen the ‘Concreteberg’ blocking sewers in London, now feast your eyes on the Northern Ireland version. Measuring 30ft long and approximately half a tonne in weight, a team of staff and McAllister Bros Ltd found a large block of concrete, enough to build a small garden wall, in Omagh. NI Water are in the process of cleaning the Omagh Inner Trunk Sewer, located on the banks of the River Strule, and have been working at it for weeks. Anthony McGirr, Wastewater Manager for the area comments, “We are used to tackling fatbergs and other inappropriate items in our sewers but this is a ‘solid’ find. “Staff came across this concrete block as part of their 4 week programme to clean this vital piece of infrastructure which collects sewage from Omagh Town. They couldn’t quite believe what they found and it took hours to break up and finally dislodge, not to mention the cost! “Rogue discharges like this are found around building sites where the remains of concrete are washed down into the drainage system. This is typical of material getting into our sewers from new building works and developments. Combined with brick bats, stones and inappropriate rags it can be a real pain to get removed and a very expensive piece of maintenance work. “This act shows not only lack of respect for our network but also for the people living in the area. NI Water would remind all customers that opening a manhole or washing substances into the drainage system is prohibited. By doing this, you are obstructing a working sewer which is designed to take waste away from homes. “By obstructing the sewer in this way, it reduces the pipe capacity and the volume of waste it is able to take; this can lead to increased blockages and out of sewer flooding





Water and wastewater monitoring

in the street or into a river. Out of sewer flooding is extremely unpleasant and affects the whole community and damages the environment. We have all seen the disgusting effects of an overflowing manhole in the street and no one wants to see or smell it (not even us!) but the reality is, it happens regularly at a cost of millions to NI Water each year.” This find follows washed up potatoes and carrots at a sewage works in L/Derry in recent weeks. Anthony continues “We all have the power to stop this; 1. Only flush the 3Ps, pee, poo and Paper – everything else goes in the bin



First concrete block found at Omagh






Going underground

Self-repairing cities

Sustained innovation to deliver leakage reduction

‘Power from poo’ innovation

Trenchless Technolog

y | Wastewater Treatmen t & Technology |

Treatment & Technology Experience | Wastewater | Improving Customer Management Monitoring & Analysis Urban Drainage | Sludge Water & Wastewater Management | Sustainable Utility Security & Incident


Sludge Managem

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and Repair

2. Do not pour fat, oil and grease down the sink and 3. Do not place anything down a manhole or wash substances into the drainage system. “In the last ten years, NI Water has spent over £1.5 billion investing in water and wastewater infrastructure but no amount of investment will completely stop blocked pipes if people continue to misuse the sewerage system.” Visit niwater.com to view the damage inappropriate items can have on the sewerage network.

If you would like to participate in the September edition of Water Industry Journal we shall be featuring: n Flow & level measurement

n Sludge management

n Clean water networks

n Biogas & energy management

n Wastewater treatment & technology

n Improving customer experience

Contact David Lancaster on 0191 580 5476 or email david.lancaster@distinctivegroup.co.uk for more information.



European Waste Water Management Conference & Exhibition 16-17 July 2019, The Hilton Birmingham Metropole, NEC, UK Join over 200 wastewater practitioners, managers and researchers at the 2019 European Waste Water Management Conference (EWWM); the UK’s leading technical event covering the management and treatment of wastewater. The programme includes over 60 technical presentations with an emphasis on operational experience and practical solutions. Technical sessions for this year include: Biological Nutrient Removal

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal Emerging Contaminants

Process Modelling and Design

‘AMP 7 challenges’ and ‘Microplastics in wastewater: responsibilities and challenges.

AMP 7 Challenges

Keynote talks will be given by Steve Kaye, Chief Executive of UKWIR and Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage.

The CWA Annual Conference will be held alongside the EWWM and will address the following themes: Constructed wetlands as natural capital; the co-benefits of constructed wetlands and SUDS; treatment wetlands as a community assets and new developments in wetland technology.

The programme also features two panel discussions that will address key topics of:

We are still accepting abstracts from individuals or teams at all career stages who would

Process Control and Optimisation Constructed Wetlands Association: Wastewater Management and Beyond

like to present a poster at either conference. Poster presentations are a great way to share preliminary ideas / results with an industry audience. If you are interested in submitting an abstract please visit the conference website, indicating whether to not you would like to be considered for the EWWM Student and Early Career Professionals Poster Award. For full event details please visit www.ewwmconference.com, or email Sarah at sarah.brown@aquaenviro.co.uk

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Thames Water helps quarter of a million homes be water smart

Thames Water has now helped 250,000 homes save a massive 20 million litres of water every day as part of its award-winning smarter home visit project. The company, which supplies around 10 million people with high quality water every day, visited the milestone house of Douglas Broom in Chingford on Wednesday and installed several free water-saving devices, as well as fixing a leaky loo. It’s estimated the devices and simple behaviour changes, like turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, could save over 50,000 litres of water a year for an average family, with fixing a leaky-loo saving between 200 and 400 litres every day alone. Mr Broom pays for the water he uses on a smart meter and could save around £50 on his future water bill following the landmark visit. Mr Broom said: “The visit was really useful and I think everyone should have one. Jordan from Thames Water explained everything clearly and it’s great we’ll now save money on our bills thanks to the devices he fitted to our taps and showers. It’s important we all reduce how much water we’re using to protect the environment and keep our rivers healthy.” It’s estimated that an extra 2.1 million people are due to move into the Thames Water region over the next 25 years. This, combined with climate change, means the company has predicted there will be a shortfall of 350 million litres of water a day between the


amount available and the amount needed by 2045. By 2100, this is predicted to increase to 650 million litres a day. By installing smart meters and associated programmes such as its smarter home visits, Thames Water plans to reduce the consumption of water from 142 litres per person per day to 136 litres by 2025. Speaking at a Waterwise conference in March, Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, also warned England is facing an “existential threat” and within 25 years there will not be enough water to meet demand. Andrew Tucker, water efficiency manager at Thames Water, said: “We’re proud to be operating the largest and most innovative water efficiency programme in the UK. It’s great to have reached this amazing milestone of helping a quarter of a million households reduce their water use and make savings on their water and energy bills with free devices and personalised advice.” Thames Water began offering smarter home visits in 2015 to its customers who already have or are due to receive a smart water meter. In that time it has installed almost three quarters of a million water saving devices and fixed more than 14,000 leaking toilets and taps free of charge. The company has committed to

install a further 700,000 smart meters by 2025 and carry out another 400,000 smarter home visits, to continue the success of the project. Those who are identified during the visits as being in vulnerable circumstances, including people struggling to pay bills or those who may need extra help if their normal supply was temporarily restricted, are also referred for additional support. This has resulted in more than 2,500 customers being referred for financial help, normally by switching to Thames Water’s social tariff, and almost 1,000 being added to the company’s priority services register. Nicci Russell, Waterwise Managing Director, said: “It’s fantastic that Thames Water has helped people in a quarter of a million homes be more water-efficient, fixing leaky loos and installing smart meters. We all have a part to play in making sure the water we have is shared fairly - and we’re already seeing the impacts of climate change and a growing population. We look forward to Thames supporting the next quarter of a million customers as we’ll all eventually need to be using a lot less water than we do now.” Working with Groundwork London, a team of around 100 people deliver the smarter home visits across London and in the Thames Valley.


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Innovative Bo’ness waste water test centre

One of the UK water industry’s most unique development centres is working at full capacity for the first time since its launch less than three years ago – testing innovative treatment technologies with the aim of making processes greener, cheaper and faster. The Waste Water Development Centre at Bo’ness is one of two centres in Scotland, established to create dynamic research hubs where new technologies could be developed, tested and commercialised at pace. The test hall and outside testing area at the centre are now full with five different companies currently using the facility to test possible products of the future. The centre, currently the only facility of its kind in the UK, is situated next to Bo’ness Waste Water Treatment Works. This means users can test new processes, technologies and equipment under live conditions in a safe and operational scale environment to enhance the marketability of their products. The site is owned by Scottish Water and operated by the utility’s commercial subsidiary, Scottish Water Horizons. The current users of the facility come from across the UK, including a small Scottish business, a research team from Glasgow Caledonian University as well as international testers from Belgium and the USA. The trials underway include one which is looking at new way to recover phosphorus from waste and make it into fertiliser and a belt filter designed to remove solids and particles from waste water which could replace the need for large settlement tanks, reducing footprint and costs. Another trial includes an advanced oxidation treatment process to treat organic contaminants in industrial waste water which could find ways to stop harmful organic pollutants getting into the environment. A major trial by a California-based company, Microvi, is also underway. It is looking at ways to increase the volumes of waste water that can be treated at waste water treatment works by engineering a specific type of bacteria to eat pollutants in the waste water. This process also has the potential to drastically reduce sludge – the residual material produced as a by-product during sewage treatment. For this project, Scottish Water is also providing sampling and testing analysis. The US company has described the test results to date as “promising” and plans to publish the end of trial results this summer. Clean Water Wave, a Scottish-based social enterprise, are also on site to evaluate their innovative filter system that has the potential to transform polluted ground and surface water into fresh and clean drinking water to support rural and hard to reach communities across the globe. Its ‘Clean Aqua For Everyone’ filter is a low pressure, low energy gravity flow filter which uses Drinking Water Quality Inspectorate (DWQI)-approved Activated Filter


Media®, uses no consumables and is expected to remove a high percentage of bacteria, fungal and virus spores. Dr Stephanie Terreni Brown, Managing Director of Clean Water Wave, said: “Being at the Development Centre at Bo’ness is a unique opportunity for us to really stress test our Clean Aqua For Everyone water treatment system: we’re able to run it in real life conditions, over a long period of time, and analyse for a whole range of parameters that would be difficult for us to mimic in a lab setting. “The testing site is helping us demonstrate that our blend of DWQI-accredited tech is performing beyond our expectations. It’s also been useful for us to engage with the other companies that are piloting there - we’ve learned a lot from each other - and network with the range of water industry folk that come on site too.” Some of the trials are being run in partnership with Scottish Water’s Research and Innovation team. The team continually reviews new ideas that can be adopted to benefit the utility’s customers and Scotland’s environment. George Ponton, Head of Research and Innovation at Scottish Water said: “It is hugely exciting that the Development Centre at Bo’ness is running at full capacity for the first time. The centre only opened in 2016 and it is testament to the reputation of Scottish Water and the pioneering work of Scottish Water Horizons that so many different organisations – large and small and from Scotland, the UK and beyond – have chosen to test their products of the future at the site.

The centre provides three individual feeds of waste water from different stages in the treatment process. All discharges from testing areas enter back into the normal treatment process, offering a flexible and low-risk testing environment. There is also the provision for testing of new screening innovations at the inlet to the Treatment Works as well as a small-scale waste water treatment test rig. Users can also benefit from UKAS-accredited sampling and analysis services. Rebecca Skuce, Project Manager for the Development Centres, said: “Access to operational scale test facilities and cross-sector synergies are key if innovation is to progress at pace to tackle challenges within the water industry. “By working collaboratively with local, national and international partners we’re helping to unlock great potential across the industry to ensure water supply and management is as resilient as it can be. Not only does this contribute to sustainable and economic growth, it also supports Scotland’s ambition of becoming the world’s first Hydro Nation.” The Bo’ness facility offers a safe place to work in a dynamic environment, supported by modern welfare facilities, a laboratory area and site security. It employs two members of staff. The facility carries a Waste Management Licence which enables users to import waste streams from alternative waste streams for test purposes, providing a flexible testing, development and proving environment.


Simple water test could prevent crippling bone disease

A simple colour-changing test to detect fluoride in drinking water, devised by researchers at the University of Bath, could in the future prevent the crippling bone disease, skeletal fluorosis, in developing countries such as India and Tanzania. Whilst low amounts of fluoride are beneficial for healthy teeth, high levels of fluoride can weaken bones, leading to skeletal fluorosis. This disease causes crippling deformities of the spine and joints, especially in children whose skeletons are still forming.

wells, which can often be contaminated with higher than recommended levels of fluoride.

When water passes over certain minerals, it can dissolve fluoride, which results in elevated levels of fluoride in drinking water sources in parts of East Africa, India, China and North America.

A research team at the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, and the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC), led by Simon Lewis, has developed a simple colour-changing test that detects high levels of fluoride quickly and selectively.

Levels of fluoride in drinking water are routinely monitored and controlled at treatment works in developed countries. However in areas of the world where there is no piped water system or treatment works, people rely on drawing untreated water from

The amounts of fluoride in the groundwater can vary due to weather events, with levels fluctuating hugely when there is a lot of rain.

Whilst the test is at the proof of concept stage, the team aims to develop it into a disposable test strip that is low cost and easy to use by anyone.

Dr Lewis said: “Whilst a small amount of fluoride is good for your teeth and prevents tooth decay, high levels are toxic and can cause crippling deformities that are irreversible. “Most water quality monitoring systems need a lab and power supply and a trained operator to work them. What we’ve developed is a molecule that simply changes colour in a few minutes which can tell you whether the level of fluoride is too high. “This technology is in the very early stages, but we’d like to develop this technology into test strips, similar to litmus paper, that allow people without any scientific training to perform a test that is low cost, rapid and robust. “We anticipate that in the future it could make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Most water quality monitoring systems need a lab and power supply and a trained operator to work them. What we’ve developed is a molecule that simply changes colour in a few minutes which can tell you whether the level of fluoride is too high. 14


Co-investigator Dr Jannis Wenk, of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC) at Bath said: “I am very enthusiastic about the newly developed indicator molecules and am convinced that they can be incorporated into an easy to use technology that is able to provide instant information on the safety of drinking water with regards to fluoride.” The Bath researchers are partnering with the Nasio Trust, a charity that works to protect and support vulnerable children in East Africa, to develop their system for ease of use in the field. Director of the Nasio Trust, Nancy Hunt, said: “For decades, people living in Oldonyosambu area of Arusha Tanzania East Africa, have been drinking water with naturally occurring levels of fluoride that can reach over sixty times the US recommended level.

“This has had a severe impact on the lives of people in this poor community, causing crippling skeletal fluorosis, chronic pain and poor cognitive development in children. “Working in partnership with the University of Bath, this new technology will provide the Nasio Trust with a simple, affordable method to test fluoride levels which will enable us to identify, remove or reduce the cause of the fluoride problem and provide safe drinking water to further improve the quality of life and long term health outcomes for the community of Oldonyosambu.” The team is looking for additional partners to take the technology forward and help develop the test. They are also working towards adapting the technology to other types of notorious water contaminants of global concern, including mercury, lead and cadmium.

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Pioneering project Anglian Water’s Shop Window builds on existing delivery with demands for global expansion

combination is exactly what we need to answer the challenges of a growing population and a changing climate.” Peter used the platform to call for more companies to join the programme both within the Shop Window, and by making use of the Leading Utilities of the World network, of which Anglian Water is a member. He claimed the current list of 114 partners working within the Shop Window was “just the tip of the iceberg”.

A global initiative to create the utility company of tomorrow took a significant step forward as Peter Simpson, Anglian Water’s Chief Executive and the driving force behind the programme, called on more companies from around the world to step up to a new set of challenges.

“A changing climate and growing populations are driving a need for long term resilience, planning and innovative thinking, and these are challenges the world over. They simply cannot be solved in isolation. No one organisation has the ability or the resource to solve these complex issues alone and there is a need to innovate both openly and collaboratively.”

Speaking on ‘Uninvented Technologies’ at the Global Water Summit in London, Peter revealed that 114 partners had already delivered 110 projects within the company’s innovation hub, centred around Newmarket, in Suffolk, since its inception in 2017. Known as the ‘Shop Window’, the project is the innovation powerhouse behind Anglian Water’s ‘Love Every Drop’ strategy. An industry first, it aims is to create the water company of the future, today. It goes beyond trialling and showcasing the latest technology by ensuring a clear path to adoption for successful initiatives. Built on the principles of Open Innovation, all challenges are shared, organisations collaborate on proposed responses, with the outcome and any results also made public. Using the example of resource efficiency, Peter highlighted how immediate and sustained results have already been achieved in and around the town. “Having fitted leak detection equipment that isn’t being used anywhere else on the planet,

Peter Simpson leakage is down 23%,” Peter said. “That’s almost 350,000 litres of water saved, every single day. “And when customers hear we’re taking action, they do too. We’ve fitted more than six thousand smart meters in the town, and engaged with customers in ways we’ve never tried before. The result is water demand has dropped by about six per cent. That’s saving a further 80,000 litres every day. What’s most impressive is that this drop in use is sustained, even through last summer’s warm weather. “We don’t think this is a blip. Customer positivity is up significantly, and we’re seeing long-term changes in behaviour. This

“At Anglian, we firmly believe in bringing the best people together to share, innovate and collaborate, which makes projects like the Shop Window an incredibly exciting opportunity. “We welcome any supplier or partner to come and talk to us about what we could achieve together.” The forward-thinking and dynamic ethos behind the Shop Window means Anglian Water is able to give opportunities to small start ups who need real-world conditions to test the viability of their products - products that could ultimately change the future of the water sector, and how it works. Peter continued: “The need for innovation is ever present. It is no longer an option or a buzzword, it is an absolute obligation.”

Boost web accessibility ‘Accessibility’ link at the top of Wessex Water website homepage. Once a customer has clicked on the link, they will be able to select or modify the various options to suit their needs.

Wessex Water has made life easier for customers using its website, partnering with Recite Me to provide new speech and reading support tools. Recite Me is a Cloud-based web accessibility service, enabling web users to customise the site with features that include speech functionality, dyslexia software, an interactive dictionary and translation tool. Clive Tugwell, Wessex Water’s head of digital, said: “Around one in five people who visit websites cannot access web content easily. “For example, they might need to adjust the colour contrast settings, make the fonts larger or have the content read out to them.


“At Wessex Water we’re proud to treat all our customers as individuals and tailor the support we offer them, so we’re delighted to have secured the services of Recite Me to help those missing out on the online world.” Recite Me can be found by clicking on the

Options include changing the font type and size, translating the text into 90 different languages, adjusting the background colour and contrast, listening to the text being read aloud or downloading an audio file. Recite Me works automatically across all digital devices, and the partnership comes after Wessex Water’s website was given a bright new look and adopted a mobile-first approach earlier this year. Visit www.wessexwater.co.uk


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Recognition for rare species protection Southern Water is one of the first companies to be given a new-fast track approval process for engineering works which might affect the habitats of rare or protected species. The licence from Natural England, the Government’s adviser for the natural environment, means a quicker approval process for eningeering projects and development in recognition of high quality work protecting vulnerable wildlife, including dormice, badgers and crested newts.

living in them. I am very proud that our efforts to be a friend of the environment and to stick to the best possible practice in everything we do has been recognised by Natural England.”

We are one of the first four out of 17 major water companies in England and Wales to receive an ‘organisational licence’. The company will continue to carry out the same level of care and scrutiny and will continue to report on outcomes to Natural England.

Whenever Southern Water undertakes a new project, it conducts a careful ecological survey to analyse the wildlife living in the area. The emphasis is placed on sensitive or protected species and if precious animals such as great crested newts or dormice are found then no work starts until a careful plan to prevent and mitigate any possible damage to habitats.

“From a business point of view and investment in the environment, this will mean that work on key schemes will start sooner and there will be less bureaucracy but that is not the important point for me,” said Ian McAulay, Chief Executive, “We’re delighted to have this gesture of trust in our stewardship of the habitats and wildlife

“This is fantastic news for Southern Water but especially for our ecologists and environmental advisors who work in close harmony with Natural England. I know I speak for everyone in the company when I say the reduced paperwork and new way of working will actually increase protection of our important species and habitats”

said Dr Nicola Meakins, Southern Water’s Environmental Manager. Andrew Smith, Natural England Area Manager for Thames, Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight said: “Natural England is pleased to have worked with Southern Water over the last year to develop this Organisational Licence, which will benefit both Southern Water and Natural England by removing the need for numerous individual licences. The licence has been issued based on Southern Water’s experience in working with mitigation licences; avoiding impacts where possible and designing mitigation strategies that follow best practice for the species. “The development of new strategic licences, such as this, is part of Natural England’s licensing improvement work to reduce our regulatory processes and we are hoping to work with more water utility companies.”


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Wastewater Treatment & Technology News

Tackling the water industry’s skill shortage The water industry is struggling to fill over 35% of its skilled roles, in comparison to a national average of 23% and, with changing technologies and an ageing workforce, it is estimated that 63,000 vacancies will need to be filled across the industry by 2027. To help improve public outcomes, most suppliers have promised to hold retail prices until 2020 and around £5 billion per year over the next five years has been invested by private companies. Whilst this will help towards funding new technologies, such as remote drones for leak detection, water companies need to look at investing in upskilling their workforce to prevent a skill shortage. One key area that could make a major impact is diversity. Out of the 60,000 people employed by the UK water sector, a staggering 80% are male compared to a 53% national average. The UK water sector’s encouragement for gender diversity is positive, but Lila Thompson, British Water’s first female chief executive, stated that whilst there are significant numbers of women working across the industry, on the engineering side the proportion is not as high. Statistics also show workers under the age of 24 account for just 8% of the UK water sector workforce, a figure that could become an issue with more than a fifth of the industry’s current skilled workforce expected to retire within a decade. But the issue doesn’t stop at the water industry; it also challenges education, with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) recruitment becoming a growing issue across the UK. In 2018, STEM learning research found that 89% of STEM businesses are struggling to recruit, with a shortfall of 173,000 workers costing £1.5 billion per year. The question then arises as to how the water industry should tackle this issue? One solution is to introduce more apprenticeships to attract those under the age of 24 to a career in the water industry and encourage diversity – apprenticeships provide water companies with a great opportunity to qualify those in new roles against nationally recognised standards. Apprenticeships also provide a cost-effective up-skilling opportunity for existing employees, no matter their age – these more experienced employees can then pass on their expertise, allowing for more efficient, productive and profitable water operations. Watertrain, the predominant provider of high-quality technical training and qualification programmes to the water sector, have a long track record of delivering effective apprenticeships to clients. Their qualification programmes have been delivered to water companies across the UK, recently including Northumbrian Water and South West Water. To enquire about Watertrain’s apprenticeship programmes or to discuss funding, you can contact the training provider on 03330 431431 or info@watertrain.co.uk.

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HammerHead® Mole® Piercing Tools from HammerHead Trenchless Piercing tools are ideal for installing utilities under existing landscapes and/or structures. These pneumatic-powered tools create a compact hole that allows contractors to install underground gas, water, cable, irrigation, fiber or electrical lines under yards, buildings or streets with minimal disruption. HammerHead piercing tools are some of the most reliable in the industry today. With more than 24 models ranging from 2” to 8” (50 to 200 mm), HammerHead has a piercing tool to meet any needs and any ground condition. HammerHead piercing tools’ body housing design provides better durability and tool life than competitive models. The HammerHead Mole also has fewer working parts than competitive tools, resulting in fewer failure points. In addition, the rebuild costs on HammerHead piercing tools are up to 80 percent less than competitive models. In fact, the rear anvil design provides for fast and easy field service capable of being performed on the tailgate of a truck. HammerHead piercing tools run at 110 psi (7.6 bar), the highest in the industry, resulting in more production. Another major benefit of HammerHead piercing tools is their ease of use. While some methods of trenchless boring require a large amount of training and skill, the HammerHead piercing tool can be used by an operator that has minimal expertise.

How to Maintain Your HammerHead® Mole® Piercing Tools When a contractor works his piercing tool hard day after day, it is important to remember maintenance and cleaning of the tool, as well as the downtime that may be necessary to do both, if he wants to maximize his return on investment. All HammerHead Moles can be serviced on the back of a truck at the job site. In a matter of minutes, the tool can be disassembled, serviced, reassembled, and put right back to work earning money for its owner. But a proper maintenance routine can extend the time between such major service events. The first step is to avoid undue wear and damage by cleaning the piercing tool after each use. Often, service techs report that the tool’s oiler is not adjusted correctly for the piercing tool size and sometimes they find that the oiler is completely empty. In many cases, while storing or transporting their piercing tool, contractors or their employees may store the tool dry or leave it open to the elements in the back of a truck. In other words, the tool cannot be ignored in between uses.


HammerHead Trenchless recommends that Mole owners clean their piercing tool with the tool lying on the ground, then turn the air on to allow the striker to move in both direction for a few seconds. This allows dirt and debris to exit out the rear of the piercing tool. Additionally, during operation the piercing tool should exhaust a light mist of oil which coats the whip hose. If the oiler isn’t adjusted correctly, or the oiler is out of oil, the whip hose will either be dripping with oil—wasting lubricant—or dry, jeopardizing performance and the mechanical integrity of the tool. And when stored in between uses, the Mole should be oiled by pouring a few ounces down the whip hose and tipping the tool from side to side, allowing the striker to move the oil throughout the body’s interior. It is also a good idea to place a gel cap over the end of the hose to prevent dirt and moisture from entering the tool during storage.

HammerHead Moles. All hoses should be regularly inspected to be sure that the rubber coating is not missing, exposing the metal bradding. The head should also be visually inspected regularly to determine if it is time to replace it to assure continued high performance. Finally, when the user notices an actual decrease in the Mole’s performance, this is a sign that it is time for a quick service inspection that usually involves a quick replacement of the wear rings on the striker and valve. Of course, all service parts and HammerHead accessories can be purchased through your local dealer. www.hhtrenchless.com

There are a couple of other steps owners can take to monitor wear and tear on their


tough equipment. trusted support. HammerHead Trenchless provides precision-manufactured equipment, comprehensive trenchless materials and supplies, and all the training and support you need to attack anything standing between you and rehabilitated pipes. Offering only the best and most innovative technologies available, our responsive team is by your side throughout the life of your quality HammerHead equipment – no matter how down and dirty your trenchless needs may be.


visit hammerheadtrenchless.com or call +1 920 648 4848 BURSTING | RAMMING | LINING | POINT REPAIR | GAS SLITTING Š2019 HammerHead Trenchless

A Charles Machine Works Company

Smart Storm – tomorrows technology here today Smart Storm Ltd is an innovative UK owned Water and Wastewater instrumentation and solutions company, which pushes water technology to new levels through continual innovation. Smart Storm is underpinned by a large research and development team and strong knowledge transfer links with the university sector.

Trade Effluent pH balancing In the established Water and Wastewater industry innovation is a necessity for growth and Smart Storm’s software and digital engineers – utilising the latest technologies – have produced an exciting new range of water and wastewater products for both large and small budgets. From intuitive Windows based user-friendly programming to advanced processing and touch screen technology, Smart Storm’s products provide a functionality and usability not seen in well-established companies’ products. Behind the company’s expertise, and architect for their growth, is the company founder and Managing Director, Dr John Duffy. Dr Duffy, believes that the company’s continual commitment to the development and investment is key to their success, “The problem over the decades has been that industrial instruments have been left behind in their development compared to consumer products such as mobile phones, satnavs, computers etc. Our response was to develop products that utilise this technology to significantly improve performance and reduce the bills for our customers”. The Universal Smart Instrument, USI, is the flagship product that best incapsulates this; the multi parameter instrument, with windows-based operating system, removes the need for several standard instruments whilst considerably improving the user experience. Smart Storm is also a wastewater solutions provider. Unlike other companies it has 25 years of experience of applying products in the hostile water industries, so it understands the demands of the industry, which is invaluable knowledge for their instrumentation design. Dr Duffy added “Over the years we have become experts in trade effluent solutions, from monitoring to treatment plants –


Solids Screening

Sludge Blanket Monitoring - Avocet Sludge Blanket Monitor

including pH balancing, bioreactors and DAF plants to waste remediation. Over 70% of our business is through food and drinks companies and now we are rapidly expanding to countries as far away as Vietnam, Thailand and Mexico. In particular, the flexibility and multifunctionality of our products compared to the well-established companies’ products offers value for money in overseas developing markets.”

Solutions Division

With new investment Smart Storm is rapidly growing and now consists of 3 distinct divisions.

As a one stop shop Smart Storm can undertake full project delivery including design, groundworks, monitoring and treatment plant – with particular expertise for pH correction and COD and solids reduction. The company’s team of service engineer operate throughout the UK, offering on-site calibration, maintenance and site surveys.

Instrumentation Division

As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of water and wastewater instrumentation, Smart Storm offer a complete range of flow, level and water quality meters and wastewater samplers. The innovative instruments meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers from, but not limited to, the Food and Drink, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Marine and Agriculture sectors. The multi-functional water quality meters cover parameters including ammonia, fluoride, chloride, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and many more. The Hydrocell range of wastewater samplers use thermoelectric cooling rather than compressor cooling. This advanced technology is simpler and more reliable, preventing samples from freezing in cold environments and refrigerating in warmer climates. The Avocet Sludge Blanket Monitor is said to be the most advanced instrument in the market, operating at sonic frequencies twice that of comparative instruments. This is particularly effective for detecting low density blankets in secondary clarifiers, where other products would normally fail.

For 25 years Smart Storm’s solutions division has provided industrial waste monitoring, treatment solutions and services – specialising in the complex demands of industrial trade effluent. The company’s comprehensive knowledge allows them to offer truly bespoke solutions, enabling clients from all industries with effluent discharge to meet their consents and reduce effluent bills.

FOG Division

A recent inclusion to the Smart Storm group is the Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) division. FOG is becoming a major issue in the sewage network leading to blocked drains and organic overload in treatment plants. Traditional methods of FOG removal, such as grease traps are highly inefficient, require regular cleaning and are subject to rodent infestation and malodours. Smart Storm have a number of solutions for removing FOG from effluent streams. These range from the highly effective Greasebuster©, that uses a unique hydrophobic material to mechanically extract fats from the effluent stream, to biological additives, that use multi spore blends of bacteria and enzymes to breakdown and digest FOG. Smart Storms FOG solutions keep drains and pumping stations free from FOG build up, reduce odours and are environmentally friendly. For more information call 01422 363462 or visit www.smartstorm.eu


Water and Water andWastewater Wastewater Measurement and Control Measurement and Control

Instruments Technology Processing

Universal Smart Instrument

Smart environmental control

Waster Water Samplers

1,2,4 and 8 bottle samplers


Universal Smart Meter Smart level and flow

Sludge Blanket Detector Controller

Primary and secondary clarifiers


Effective removal of fats, oils and greases

www.smartstorm.eu +44 (0)1422 363462

Fatbergs be gone! - first ever truly Fine to Flush wipe launched in UK In response to a rise in fatbergs and growing concerns over plastic pollution collecting in sewers and oceans, Bristol-based personal care company, Natracare, has launched Europe’s first truly flushable Moist Tissue wipe. sewer blockage prevention for the UK water industry, says: “Many people are unaware that conventional moist toilet wipes have not passed water industry testing and should not be flushed. A moist toilet paper that meets UK water industry tests is a real game changer and we hope many other companies will follow this lead. However, baby wipes and other wipes displaying a Do Not Flush logo remain the main type of wipe found in sewer blockages that can lead to flooding.” “We’re working with organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society and Natracare to raise awareness of the environmental and social issues caused by flushing such waste. We hope this new Fine to Flush specification and biodegradable wet wipe will be an important step forward in the battle against blockages.”

The Three Ps

Since fatbergs have become a point of public concern, you may have heard the slogan, ‘Only Flush the Three Ps – Pee, Poo and Paper’ In a world where 14,000 wipes are used every second, Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissue is the first and only product to be certified to Water UK’s Fine to Flush specification. This new innovation has been backed by water and sewerage companies, who spend £100m a year to fix over 366,000 blockages. This cost is inevitably passed onto customers – which means that every single household in the UK pays the price of clearing these gigantic and putrid masses from underneath our cities.

Fatbergs? More like Baby-WipeBergs

In 2017, a 250-metre long fatberg was discovered in Whitechapel, London, which weighed as much as nineteen elephants. Then early in 2019, a 64-metre fatberg which was discovered blocking a sewer in Sidmouth, Devon. If you consider that 93% of the mass of fatbergs is made up from baby wipes, bound together with fat and grease from kitchens, Natracare’s latest innovation feels like a very important step in the right direction. Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissues have passed stringent tests that check for the extent of break up in the drain and sewer system.


These tests also look for residues that could contaminate rivers, estuaries and the sea. This product is plastic-free, compostable and made with natural and organic ingredients – as are the rest of the products in Natracare’s range

Water UK – Defining what’s Fine to Flush

Water UK’s Fine to Flush certification has been designed to clarify what is truly flushable and what isn’t – many wipes on the market that claim to be ‘flushable’ are actually full of plastics or wood pulps that don’t break down sufficiently in the sewers. Water UK developed the standard together with the Water Research Centre (WRc) and water companies across the UK. The Water Research Centre (WRc) undertakes the Fine to Flush testing. Andy Drinkwater, the WRc’s lead engineer for Sewage and Flooding, commented: “Wet wipes along with fat, oils and grease have been a major issue for water and sewerage companies. Our new universal standard accurately analyses what is happening in the drains so that consumers can be better informed of what products are safe to flush.” Rachel Dyson, who runs Anglian Water’s Keep it Clear Programme, and leads on

Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissue gets a gold star as it’s made from reinforced paper, which has been sourced from sustainably managed forests. Susie Hewson, Natracare’s founder and director commented: “For the longest time, big toilet paper brands have been pedalling products with hidden plastics that claim to be ‘flushable’. We hope Water UK’s new standard will create more transparency – which will lead to less plastic pollution.” “The global wipe market is valued at around £450bn a year and shows no signs of slowing down. We can’t bury our heads in the sand about the issue of single use plastics, and wipes are certainly no exception to this. I’m proud that from the very beginning, Natracare has been a solutions-focused brand. It’s taken us three years to develop it, but we’re very pleased to finally get this product out there.” Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissues can be found in Waitrose, online at Ocado and through independent health stores around the UK. They retail at £1.99 for a pack of 30. See Natracare’s website for information about stockists. You can find more information on the Natracare website at www.Natracare.com


The first ever product to pass the UK Water Industry Flushability Standard (WIS 4-02-06)

Fatbergs? No thanks! Now flushable truly means flushable. Visit natracare.com to find out how this paper-based, natural moist tissue is the first of its kind.

Microplastics in water The abundance of plastic debris in the environment is an increasing concern since this contamination is ubiquitous and found in habitats as remote as the mid-Atlantic archipelagos and Antarctica. Notably, the prevalence of microplastics (MPs), defined as plastic particles <5 mm, in aquatic systems has captured the attention of the scientific community and general public because of the limited knowledge on the prevalence and potential impact that these pollutants may have on biota and humans. Depending on their origin, MPs are generally classified as primary or secondary. Primary sources consist of two main groups: beads contained in cleaning and cosmetic products and pellets used in plastic manufacturing. In these, polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene are the most common polymeric constituents. Secondary MPs result from the breakdown of larger macromolecules and this may occur either before release into the environment or afterwards as the by-products of weathering. Within this category, fibres made of polyester, acrylic and polyamide are the most prevalent. Microplastics impact living communities and also alter the physical/chemical properties of habitats. Ingestion is the most common way by which MPs and organisms interact. In marine environments, MPs have been found to be assimilated by all trophic levels from zooplankton to mammals. Ingested plastics may act as stressors and damage organs. Furthermore, MPs and their breakdown products can move up the food chain with the potential bioaccumulation effect for predators. In addition, because of their hydrophobic


nature, MPs can interfere with the dynamic distribution of chemicals in the water bodies. Despite MPs having not been regularly monitored and the lack of available baseline information, evidence of plastic litter in fresh waters has been found in England (Solent estuary and River Thame); Europe (Garda and Geneva Lakes, Danube, Elbe, Mosel, Necktar and Rhine rivers); and North America (Great Lakes, Los Angeles basin, North Shore Channel Chicago, St. Lawrence River). In most of these locations, the presence of MPs was linked to effluents from wastewater works or discharges from plastic manufacturing factories. These studies also provided valuable insight into primary and secondary MPs in terms of size, polymer composition, transformation/ weathering degree and concentration. Nevertheless, comparison and synthesis of the data was difficult because of the lack of consistency across the studies. Principally this is because the analysis of MPs is very inconsistent since researchers follow ad hoc methods rather than validated protocols. Inconsistency is also noticed on the role that potable treatment plants play in MPs

management. Contradictory arguments can be found in the literature on the physical prevalence or removal of MPs in wastewater treatment processes. When it comes to drinking water quality and treatment, the lack of data is even more striking with only a few studies having been conducted on bottled water. At Cranfield Water Science Institute, we are conducting research to provide insight into the occurrence, fate and transport of MPs in water bodies used for human consumption. Our project reviews the different analytical methods applied for the characterisation of MPs in the aquatic environment as well as the current knowledge on the exposure routes of MPs to humans. We are also carrying out experiments to clarify the removal profile of MPs during water treatment. Based on the experimental results and the literature findings, a monitoring plan will be proposed in order to learn about the presence and removal of MPs in final waters and across full scale water treatment systems. www.cranfield.ac.uk/water


Increase your impact Why study at Cranfield? Our full time and CPD courses in Water and Wastewater Engineering and Environmental Water Management give you the opportunity to make a real difference to the resilience of water services and the water environment. Whether you want to develop your career as an independent expert, find an influential role with a company, work in the private or public sector, be a leader or a specialist, a disruptor, a thinker, or a doer, we help you expand your technical understanding and your personal skills to help you realise a future that reflects your strengths. Learn from the best Our courses are taught by a mix of internationally-leading academics and experienced industry leaders. Learning sessions emphasise problem solving with worked examples and case studies providing opportunities to apply masters level knowledge and understandings.

Outstanding facilities We have an on-campus sewage treatment works, well equipped analytical laboratories, and are home to the national water and wastewater treatment test facility. The connections between our research and learning activities mean that you develop a profound appreciation of the dynamics between knowledge and practice. All MSc water courses are offered on a full- and part-time basis and we have a variety of short course CPD options.

Contact us today for more information Cranfield University MK43 0AL, UK T: +44 (0)1234 758082 E: studywater@cranfield.ac.uk www.cranfield.ac.uk/water

Anaerobic Digestion



Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic co-digestion? Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), gives her take on the possibilities around co-digesting sewage sludge and other feedstocks.

ď&#x201A;Š page 30



Anaerobic Digestion  From page 29 Stakeholders from the worlds of anaerobic digestion (AD), sewagesludge treatment, and regulation have been discussing how to take forward plans to make the regulatory environment for cotreatment of sewage sludge and other feedstocks more reflective of the benefits and risks involved. AD plant operators who would want to co-digest sewage sludge with another feedstock such as food waste would be likely to fall into the category of needing an environmental permit for landspreading, with associated permission from the Environment Agency (EA) for the deployment of digestate to land. ADBA sees this as a costly and inflexible approach as operators and digestate handlers may have to wait for permission to spread to land. This inflexibility is partly why so little co-digestion has taken place to date, with the other main barrier being planning for farm and food waste plants to accept sewage sludge. Co-digestion has been a topic of discussion for decades but has gained impetus since Ofwat published its Water 2020 proposals and called on the industry to look again at making co-digestion work. The benefits of co-digestion include reduced transport movements (currently food waste and other material may be travelling in a vehicle past a sewage treatment works, while sewage sludge may be travelling past non-sewage digesters), operational benefits, and maximising the throughput capacity of all existing digesters relative to building new plants. There seems to be consensus that actions could be taken to improve the regulatory framework for co-digestion in a way that does not increase the risk to the environment. This would involve establishing protocols that would need to be in place and followed by the industry.

Wastewater AD in the UK: the stats Around 1.5 million tonnes of dry sludge and 25-30 million tonnes of wet sludge is currently recycled through AD, equating to 84% of all sludge 163 sewage AD plants across the UK treat this waste, with a total capacity of 237 MW electrical-equivalent Electricity output from sewage biogas has risen from just less than 800 GWh per year in 2012 to over 1 TWh per year in 2017, an astounding rise of 43% in just five years ADBA estimates that more use of pre-treatment technologies could increase electricity output from sewage biogas to as much as 1.6 TWh per year

It would be important to ensure as part of this that there were controls in place to prevent the water companies using their competitive advantage in scale and ability to raise low-cost finance to subsidise the digestion of non-sewage material to the detriment of the wider industry. The water industry does not currently have a lot of spare capacity, and many have already approached AD operators to gauge their interest in accepting sewage sludge.

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Work now needs to be done on what the permit for landspreading co-digested digestate might look like, particularly with the EA in the process of reviewing the regulatory approach to sewage sludge. Additionally, while sewage sludge can be used as a feedstock for AD plants receiving the Renewables Obligation and Renewable Heat Incentive, it is not eligible for support under the Feed-In Tariff (FIT). Ofgem is yet to confirm whether sewage sludge could even be used in a plant receiving the FIT without payments related to the other feedstocks used over a particular period being threatened. We believe that energy support should allow co-digestion as a means of improving the efficiency of the UK’s total bioresource availability. We’ll be discussing co-digestion and a range of other issues relating to AD and wastewater at UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2019, the largest international trade show solely dedicated to AD and biogas, on 3rd-4th July at the NEC in Birmingham. The Expo will feature the Food Waste & Water Theatre, which will include panel discussions on co-digestion, biosolids, and the role of wastewater in the circular bioeconomy. The Expo is free to attend and will be co-located with the inaugural World Biogas Summit, which will feature a range of high-profile international speakers discussing the latest developments in AD and biogas worldwide. I hope to see you there to discuss how we can maximise AD’s contribution to treating wastewater in the UK and around the world.

Charlotte Morton

Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA)


+44 (0)1202 666 013 www.aerothermalgroup.com

Aerothermal Advert 85x130mm.indd 1

WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL JUNE 2019 21/08/2018 14:59

Anaerobic Digestion

(L-R) Welsh Water Chief Executive Chris Jones, Welsh Water Head of Bio-solids David Holthofer, First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford

First Minister visits Energy Park as Welsh Water reaches emissions milestone Welsh Water announces cut to its carbon emissions of nearly 80% since 2010 First Minister Mark Drakeford visits Five Fords Energy Park in Wrexham to see green projects first-hand Company constructing advanced anaerobic digestion facility at site Facility will generate enough energy to power equivalent of 3,000 homes The site already houses 10,000 solar panels and a gas-to-grid plant The only not-for-profit water company in England and Wales has cuts its carbon emissions by nearly 80% in the last decade, it has been announced. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water confirmed it had reached the milestone as First Minister Mark Drakeford visited its pioneering Five Fords Energy Park project in Wrexham to learn about the array of green energy projects on the site. The company announced its operational emissions had been cut by 79% since 2010-2011, which is the result of investment in renewable energy generation and energy-efficiency technologies at its sites – as well as buying all our electricity from renewable sources. Welsh Water will generate around 25% of the energy it needs through renewable generation by next year – including hydro turbines, wind power, solar and gas-to-grid. The remaining 75% is made up of 100% green electricity.


It comes after the company published its long-term plan, Welsh Water 2050, last year, setting out how it would tackle big challenges facing society, including work to tackle climate change, population growth, the growth of the digital economy, and rising customer expectations.

developments which have taken place here making it a pioneer of green energy.

The plans are closely aligned with the Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations Act, and set out how the company ensure sustainability of its services while keeping bills affordable.

“I’d also like to congratulate Welsh Water on cutting its carbon emissions by nearly 80 per cent in the last decade. This is a great achievement.”

Five Fords – which has undertaken a £36 million investment to turn it into a model green energy site – processes sewage of around 180,000 customers in north Wales, and includes 10,000 solar panels on site which generates a total of 2.5GWh of energy – enough to power 700 homes. The First Minister was given a tour of the site by Welsh Water Chief Executive, Chris Jones, and shown the construction of its underconstruction advanced anaerobic digestion (AAD) facility – which will convert sludge, the material left after sewage treatment, into green energy. The work at Five Fords is part of a record capital investment in this financial year totalling more than £450 million – and the company is on target to invest more than £1.7 billion in the five years to 2020. First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “I was very pleased to have the opportunity to visit Five Fords Energy Park, and to see the result of the

“Investment in sustainable water infrastructure supports the safety of communities, which lies at the heart of our Well-being of Future Generations Act.

Welsh Water Chief Executive Chris Jones said: “We’re pleased to welcome the First Minister to Five Fords to see the work being done to increase our green energy generation and continue our progress in reducing our own carbon footprint. “In Welsh Water 2050 – our long term vision for the company – we outlined our plans to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face and climate change is one of the most serious. As part of this, we are striving to reduce our own impact on the climate, while also strengthening the resilience of our networks to deal with the increasing threat of adverse weather – like extreme cold snaps, flooding and prolonged drought conditions – that can impact our network and the services we provide our customers. “We have worked closely with Welsh Government to set out how we will build on this encouraging progress and we’re delighted the First Minister was able to see the fruits of that cooperation first-hand.”


Anaerobic Digestion

Efficient solutions that meet your market’s requirements Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a broad church when you consider that this type of technology is installed on anything from small farmyard AD plants with CHPs less than 150 kW right up to big food waste plants taking in over 50,000 tonnes per year. AD on sewage treatment plants pre-dates these installations. Generally speaking the input feedstock is just the processed sludge, though some consideration is now being given to commingling where the sewage treatment plants might take in some additional waste products to mix with the sewage sludge.

success in particular with ADI (Austempered Ductile Iron) where the premium cost over standard grey cast iron is relatively modest. On a rotary lobe pump it is also possible to change the design of the housing segments – to use something called injection housing segments that can again increase service intervals.

On AD plants on sewage treatment works (without commingling) there are different challenges to suppliers such as Vogelsang, who offer pumps, macerators, twin shaft grinders and digester feed systems on all types of AD plants. Whilst there might not be the foreign bodies that a food waste AD plant would experience – such as metal cans, glass, plastics and meat bones – grit is a major issue as well as the presence of VFAs (Volatile Fatty Acids).

Vogelsang have also dealt with issues – particularly on the HPH (Heating, Pasteurisation and Hydrolysis) section of enhanced digestion plants – where the VFAs in the media have caused elastomers such as NBR (Nitrile Butyl Rubber) to swell and go brittle causing loss of efficiency in the pump and worst case causing a catastrophic failure of the pump. It has been established that these issues can be addressed by using Viton (or Viton equivalents) as the elastomer.

The waste water treatment sector has long looked for ways in which to remove grit from the process without real success … so the focus inevitably tends to be in dealing with it rather than removing it. To that end Vogelsang have a number of different elastomers that can be used in their rotary lobe or progressive cavity pumps that can minimise the wear rates and extend service intervals. Alternative materials as the metal liquid contact parts are also possible – and Vogelsang have had some


On many sewage treatment plants you will also find twin shaft grinders or inline macerators that are used to protect downstream located pumps. Vogelsang’s XRipper – their innovative take on a twin shaft grinder – which uses monolithic ripper blocks offers far more rigidity over the previously used concept of separate knives and spacers. Their design also allows the units to be serviced on site – as opposed to having to

return the unit to the manufacturer (which would necessitate either having a spare unit or running without protection for the pumps). Vogelsang’s RotaCut inline macerator is acknowledged as being market leader of its type. The key features are the automatic take up of metal wear using its Automatic Cut Control (ACC) system and the RotaCut control strip that ensures that the rotor is periodically automatically reversed to ensure sharp edges on both the knives and the screen. (The strip also ensures that items that are difficult to cut are effectively dealt with by rocking the rotor holding the knives backwards and forwards). Vogelsang also offer a system known as BioCrack – an electro-kinetic disintegration system that increases gas yield rates – that lowers the parasitic load associated with in tank mixing systems (because it reduces the viscosity of the media) and will reduce the total amount of sludge generated by biosolids plant. The system is usually installed on digester loop, using a pump and RotaCut macerator. It creates a minimal parasitic load – less than 35 W per probe with a maximum of 6 probes on any one unit. vogelsang.co.uk



CUTS OUT BLOCKAGES XRipper – Vogelsang’s reliable twin shaft grinder Wet wipes and other materials clogging up pumps and causing disruptions. The solution is the reduction of foreign bodies to a manageable size using Vogelsang’s XRipper. The XRipper is installed in waste treatment and sewage applications around the world to prevent blockages and protect downstream equipment. The QuickService design with single piece ripper blocks allows the unit to be end user serviced on site. For more information: sales@vogelsang.co.uk Tel.: 01270.216600 vogelsang.co.uk

Anaerobic Digestion

Optimising the biogas process and beyond In this issue of the Water Industry Journal, we speak to Dr Jing Liu about his work in the realm of anaerobic fermentation analysis. As an Associate Professor in the field of Environmental Biotechnology and Bioenergy at Lund University, Sweden, Dr Liu’s research over the past 20 years, has focused on the instrumentation, control and automation of the biogas production process.

user-friendly and accessible remotely, the data can be reached whenever it is required. Moreover, these automated analytical devices provide standardised measurements, data and reports, delivering clear, comparable information on which evidence-based decisions can be made.

Dr Liu has been nominated for several research and enterprise awards in Sweden and he has worked as a senior scientist and biogas specialist, leading both academic research projects and industrial product development projects since 2004. In addition to the scientific background, Dr Liu has nearly 20 years’ experience of business development in the pharmaceutical, environmental biotechnology and biogas industries.

Having built on their success, Bioprocess Control now serves multiple biotechnology industrial sectors producing smart instruments for environmental analysis and biodegradable material analysis too. Speaking of the service Bioprocess Control provides for its customers, Dr Liu observes: “we provide more than an analytical tool, transferring know how too and with the value we add through our expertise and process related analysis, we can play a critical role in planning and operating biogas plants with stability and efficiency.

Now, as CEO of Bioprocess Control, Dr Liu and his colleagues are helping businesses optimise biogas production processes through the provision of smart laboratory instruments for anaerobic fermentation analysis.

“Our technical products are underpinned by our expert team who are friendly, approachable and have a genuine desire to help. Their professional backgrounds and direct involvement with the products mean they can always address customers’ enquiries, their commitment and expertise go far beyond a typical business exchange.”

Founded in 2006, Bioprocess Control has swiftly become a market leader in the provision of precision instruments to customers in the biogas and biotechnology fields. “Over the past 13 years, we’ve invested in innovation and development of smart instruments for both biogas research and commercial applications,” explains Dr Liu. Today, they have clients in over 60 countries around the world - and that number is growing steadily, including clients from over a thousand organisations in both the academic and industrial/commercial sectors. “More than 400 scientific publication references of experimental studies conducted using our smart analytical instruments are shown in a simple statistical analysis of the scientific database www.sciencedirect.com alone,” observes Dr Liu. “References which pertain solely to our academic clients, we also have many industrial clients in the EU, the United States and East Asia.” The company has gone through an interesting journey from its initial technology development phase (2006-2008) to mainly serving the biogas research market (20092016). As Dr Liu explains, “the challenge has been to develop stable, efficient and sustainable anaerobic digestion and wastewater treatment operations.” Their efforts have been worthwhile for their smart analytical instruments provide clients with more frequent and higher quality data


Dr Jing Liu on which they can make more accurate and informed business decisions which drive greater efficiencies. So it is no surprise that during their early establishment phase, Bioprocess Control received several national and international innovation and business awards. Today, Bioprocess Control’s portfolio including their flagship products, the Automatic Methane Potential Test System (AMPTS) which has become the preferred analytical instrument for conducting various anaerobic batch fermentation tests, as well as Gas Endeavour a novel analytical platform for bacteria respiration analysis and biological batch fermentation assays in both anaerobic and aerobic conditions.

“Bioprocess Control has an international team who are committed to delivering quality products and services. Our team provides technical support covering product enquiries, questions, maintenance and product applications. “It is our ambition to make sure that our instruments can be your tools for more efficient, reliable and high-quality research and analysis, leading to significant reductions in time and labour and more efficient utilisation of manpower resources. “The bioprocess industry is still relatively young, but growing steadily and there is much the industry can learn about feedstock analysis and biological performance in order to improve the operational efficiency of biogas plants.” www.bioprocesscontrol.com

Providing a plethora of benefits, these automated analytical devices galvanise efficient, cost-effective operations, due to the reduction in time and labour. Extremely


Smart instruments for biogas experts Bioprocess Control is a market leader in low gas flow analytical instruments for biogas research and commercial plant operations. We invest in innovation and development of smart instruments that allow for more efficient, reliable and high-quality analysis, leading to significant reduction in time, labour and skill demand. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flagship products, the Automatic Methane Potential Test System (AMPTS) and Gas Endeavour, have become the preferred analytical instruments around the world for conducing various anaerobic and aerobic batch fermentation tests for feedstock and process optimisation of biogas production. We ensure the highest product quality throughout our portfolio, and focus on being service minded and always meeting the needs of our customers. www.bioprocesscontrol.com

Anaerobic Digestion

Building a sustainable future Anaerobic digestion (AD) has helped the water industry to manage waste better and be more energy efficient, making a renewable energy source available and enabling the industry to cut their carbon footprint. The biogas generated from AD, comprising of a mixture of Carbon Dioxide (C02) and Methane, is not usually of an equable quality to natural gas. Hope is on the horizon, however, with the membrane-based gas processing systems now available, which result in a better quality of gas. After biogas has been produced, this hollow fibre membrane technology separates the gasses, resulting in pure Methane of sufficient quality to be injected directly into the gas grid or used as a biofuel. The Methane yield is so high it is in excess of 99% if Evonik’s patented 3 stage membrane process is applied. Whilst options for putting the separated CO2 to good use are also being explored in the form of liquid fuels and industrial chemicals, for example. The Biomethane itself can be liquified and used as liquid fuel and industrial chemical building block. The CO2 can be used in the food and beverage industry or in gaseous form to grow plants in a nearby greenhouse.

Embracing renewable energy

Evonik’s hollow fibre membrane technology SEPURAN® Green is one such system, which purifies the gasses so they can be utilised more efficiently. Available on the market for just seven years, such is its success that it’s already been installed at around 240 sites across the globe. Meaning waste at these locations is being put to good use, producing renewable energy with the same quality as natural gas. As a leading speciality chemical company, operating in over 100 countries around the world, Evonik’s expertise encompasses


developing customised energy solutions for a diverse range of industries. What speaks volumes about this state of the art technology, is that Evonik is utilising it themselves, thereby reducing their dependency on fossil fuels, assisting in fuelling their plants and running their vehicle fleet too. SUEZ, the French Water Agency, has used Evonik’s biogas upgrading membranes to convert its sewage sludge treatment plant, located in Sormiou quarry, to launch the biggest biomethane production project ever seen in France. Whilst in the Netherlands, Delfland Water Authority utilised Evonik’s membranes in their new biogas upgrading unit at its ‘De Groote Lucht’ wastewater treatment plant, which is now producing 1 million Nm3 biomethane fed directly into the national gas grid, as opposed to 1.8 million Nm3 of biogas annually.

Optimising resources better

With UK water companies under immense pressure to achieve more with fewer resources and to reduce their impact on the environment, this membrane technology may prove a means by which they can become more sustainable and use their resources better. Traditionally, biogas is used as raw gas to produce heat and electricity on site, but given it is produced 24/7 there isn’t always an immediate use for the electricity generated.

Membrane technology benefits

Evonik’s SEPURAN® Green has a number of additional benefits too. The modular set up is extremely flexible, meaning it can be used on a wide range of sites in installations of all sizes. The fact that the membrane technology can be added to over time, future-proofs the system too, so it can be adjusted, depending on the site’s needs. Cost effective, the system doesn’t require any other chemicals, water or resources to operate, so it is simple and efficient to use, as well as being environmentally friendly. The simple set up, moreover, means the operation is straightforward too. Fitting into the landscape well, it is containerised and aesthetically speaking, doesn’t look like a chemical plant. Set up mostly offsite, the SEPURAN® Green system is installed quickly and easily, minimising the amount of labour needed and the downtime required onsite while it is installed.

Meeting the challenges ahead

The UK water industry is under enormous pressure to be more energy efficient, utilising sustainable energy sources with cleaner emissions wherever possible. Evonik’s SEPURAN® Green system is one step on the road to making the industry more sustainable, helping to create a circular economy in which no waste is wasted. www.sepuran-green.com

Membrane technology SEPURAN® Green, not only enables biogas to be upgraded, but also to be stored in the site’s pipeline infrastructure, so the gas can be extracted when it is required.


Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t waste the waste!

Evonik makes it possible to turn organic waste into green energy. Using its innovative membrane technology, biogas which is released during the wastewater treatment process or the anaerobic digestion process of household waste for example can be upgraded simply and efficiently to pure biomethane and fed directly into the natural gas grid or used as biofuel. www.sepuran-green.com

Anaerobic Digestion

You have a need for clarification? We have the sludge digestion technology for energy optimisation of WWTP

Stainless steel digester for anaerobic digestion and stabilisation of sludge

Furthermore we have more than 15 years of experience and 300 reference plants worldwide. Your contact for more information: Ian Burgess, WELTEC BIOPOWER sales manager (phone +49 44 41-999 78-217 or i.burgess@weltec-biopower.de) 38

Organic energy worldwide www.weltec-biopower.de WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL JUNE 2019

Anaerobic Digestion

Energy production through anaerobic sludge stabilization

Bavaria: Sewage plant retrofitting increases performance and reduces operating costs Waste is a resource - this knowledge is increasingly gaining ground in municipalities and wastewater companies. While the anaerobic use of sewage sludge has long been practiced at a plant size of more than 50,000 PE, this process is now also worthwhile for smaller plants. The anaerobic stage in Burgebrach (Bavaria), planned and built by the biogas specialist WELTEC BIOPOWER, exemplifies the economically successful retrofitting of an existing 13,000 PE wastewater treatment plant. WELTEC BIOPOWER has adapted the method of producing biogas in terms of process engineering for sewage treatment plants: The pretreatment of the waste water and the removal of contaminants remain unchanged. Instead of aerobic sludge treatment in an open aeration tank, the sewage sludge is now fermented under exclusion of oxygen. Anaerobic digestion in a bioreactor made of stainless steel produces the valuable energy source digestion gas. On the basis of a stable digestion process, emissions of climatedamaging gases into the atmosphere can be avoided. In addition, the COD loads are reduced by around 30 percent. This intelligent combination of wastewater treatment and energy generation, on balance, increases the capacity of existing wastewater treatment plants. To treat the raw sludge optimally, a stainless steel bioreactor from WELTEC is installed in a proven segment design. Due to its compact dimensions, the space required for the anaerobic stage is low. Thus, a retrofitting in existing wastewater treatment plants is easy


to implement. WELTEC’s portfolio includes all modules required to retrofit sewage sludge digestion - from individual planning and design, through the implementation and commissioning of the plant, to the training of operating personnel. In Burgebrach, WELTEC has successfully retrofitted an existing wastewater treatment plant with sewage sludge digestion including the energetic utilization of the sewage gas in the combined heat and power plant (CHP). Since the start of the anaerobic stage in spring 2016, the sewage sludge in the stainless steel tower has been stabilized anaerobically, after the wastewater has been purified in a twostage trickling filter system. To treat the daily 16m3 raw sludge optimally, WELTEC BIOPOWER has installed a special 420m3 stainless steel digester. With a flexible gas storage roof with up to 68 cubic meters of storage volume, the bioreactor is sufficiently dimensioned to operate the CHP with an electrical output of 28 kilowatts and a thermal output of 58 kilowatts without interruption. The digestion thus ensures a sludge reduction including energetic utilization of the digestion gas. It was also important to the Bavarians to be able to use the electricity and heat generated in the cogeneration unit completely for their own processes at the location. “Thanks to our own supply, we save on the external procurement of around 100,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year,” reports Arne Nath, Head of Wastewater at the operator SüdWasser GmbH, which has supported the town Burgebrach since 2005 in the field of wastewater.

In addition to energy production and sludge stabilization, the minimization of odor emissions was also important for the decision of the WELTEC anaerobic stage. Targeted anaerobic sludge stabilization excludes odors as far as possible. Before the conversion, this problem occurred regularly in Burgebrach. “Our anaerobic sewage sludge digestion convinces the customers by its economic and ecological sustainability. It produces energy, saves disposal costs and additionally provides municipal revenue. In addition, this allows the plant capacity to be expanded without requiring much space,” says Jens Flerlage of WELTEC BIOPOWER, outlining the benefits. “These positive circumstances make this intelligent alliance of wastewater treatment and energy generation interesting for all wastewater treatment plants in the size class from 8,000 to 50,000 PE”, continues Flerlage. The process engineering approach of WELTEC and the modular stainless steel tanks have already led to a significant improvement of existing wastewater plants in several countries. WELTEC BIOPOWER is since 2001 one of the world’s leading enterprises in the field of stainless-steel biogas plant construction. Today, WELTEC has established more than 300 energy plants in 25 countries worldwide. The strength of WELTEC BIOPOWER lies in custom-tailored design and technically mature solutions for projects up to 10 megawatt capacity. www.weltec-biopower.de


Anaerobic Digestion

SEEPEX PC pumps increase biogas yields for Anglian Water Anglian Water has replaced lobe pumps at its Basildon HPH plant with progressive cavity (PC) pumps from SEEPEX, reducing equipment downtime, cutting maintenance costs and increasing biogas yields. As the largest water and wastewater treatment company in the UK by geographical area, Anglian Water supplies water and recycling services to over six million domestic customers and processes over 150,000 tonnes of dry solid sewage sludge each year. It uses anaerobic digestion to generate energy from this sludge and, in a bid to further maximise energy production, the company has developed an innovative hydrolysis technology; the patented Heating, Pasteurisation, Hydrolysis (HPH) process. HPH conditions sewage sludge, creating higher quality biosolids for agriculture and generating 5% more biogas for energy generation by CHP engines. This energy reduces the operating costs of sludge treatment and cuts the plant’s carbon footprint.

Identifying underperformance

Anglian’s HPH process works by pumping thickened sludge at dry solids (ds) content of 4-8% through heat exchangers to raise the temperature to 42°C, before pasteurisation and subsequent cooling. However, at Basildon WwTW, the original lobe pumps had a lower than expected flow rate and were unable to feed the heat exchanger efficiently when the ds were over 6%. This had a direct impact on the efficiency of the process and the final energy output of the system. Lobe pumps have a clearance between the rotating lobes and the pump casing, resulting in ‘slip’ when pumping and a reduction in volumetric efficiency, particularly if there are product variations; for example, changes in viscosity or discharge pressure increases from downstream equipment such as heat exchangers. At the Basildon site, underperforming lobe pumps resulted in blockages in the heat exchanger, poor sludge mixing, variable sludge quality and a reduction in the expected biogas yield from the digesters.

The PC pumps have already saved Anglian Water £40,000 in maintenance costs alone The lobe pumps also required high levels of maintenance, as slip causes excessive wear on lobes and casing parts. Full maintenance interventions were required every three months, in addition to complete overhauls of the heat exchanger when blockages occurred. The cost of the overhauls alone was in excess of £40,000 per year.

A thorough approach

In order to solve these problems and restore efficiency, Anglian Water’s engineers approached SEEPEX with a request for reliable pump technology which would increase the thickened sludge throughput of the heat exchanger. After consultation with the client to fully understand the process and the pump performance required, SEEPEX carried out a series of elastomer immersion tests and analysed the results to determine the optimum stator material for the thickened sludge product and HPH process conditions. They subsequently recommended PC pumps which could deliver up to 198m3/hr through the heat exchanger to the digesters – even when faced with a variable sludge ds content.

Increasing efficiency and reliability SEEPEX’s PC pumps have replaced lobe pumps at Anglian Water’s Basildon HPH plant


Unlike lobe pumps, PC pumps have an elastomer stator with a metal rotor. This provides an interference fit with no clearance along the sealing line, eliminating slip. Volumetric efficiency and flow rates are therefore unaffected by either viscosity,

temperature or discharge pressure, while the lack of slip means that even when the ds% of the feed sludge varies, pump performance is maintained. Both the flow rate and discharge pressure are unaffected, ensuring optimum operational efficiency of both the pump and the heat exchanger. Improvements in pump performance have resulted in more even heating of sludge to a higher temperature and a well-mixed, constant sludge feed for digestion, regardless of variable ds% inputs. These improvements have seen VFA (volatile fatty acids) increase by up to 100% compared to the lobe pumps. As VFA is an indicator of final gas yields, the new PC pumps from SEEPEX have increased energy production, as well as delivering a more reliable performance.

Significant cost savings

In the first 18 months of operation there have been no service interventions and the heat exchangers have experienced no blockages, reducing downtime and saving Anglian Water over £40,000 in maintenance costs. And with a payback of just one year, the SEEPEX PC pumps are already providing further tangible benefits to Anglian Water, including delivering a 400% longer service life than the previous lobe pumps; increased heat exchanger uptime; increased gas yield per litre of sludge; and increased throughput, resulting in more efficient energy production. www.seepex.com



Your complete, customised system for pumping sludge long distances.

Combined with SEEPEX progressive cavity pumps, Smart Air Injection is the efficient, customised solution for pumping dewatered sludge cake over distances up to 1,000 m with low pressure requirements. BENEFITS  Open hopper pumps with Smart Conveying Technology reduce maintenance time by up to 85%  Low capital expenditure and operating costs  Reduced energy consumption: low pressure in discharge pipework  Maintain-in-Place: no disassembly of discharge pipework required  Easy to integrate into existing automation and control systems  Enclosed pipework system without unpleasant odors or rainfall dilution

SEEPEX UK Ltd. sales.uk@seepex.com www.seepex.com

 Reduce pressure rating of pipework and valves

Anaerobic Digestion

James Thompson, Managing Director of Gen-C

In a bid to become more sustainable and deliver value to their customers, water companies have embraced AD

A flexible fuel mixer is essential for biogas plants treating sewage sludge

5 smart ways to increase engine efficiency on sewage AD plants The water sector was an early adopter of anaerobic digestion (AD) in the UK. Most of the biogas produced from sewage sludge is used to generate electricity and heat, making the combined heat and power (CHP) engines that convert biogas into usable energy a vital piece of equipment. But with many of these engines now at least five years old, what is the impact when they fail or underperform? And is there any alternative to either costly engine replacements or expensive service contracts? According to James Thompson, Managing Director of Gen-C, an independent CHP parts and service provider, the following five smart upgrades can transform any gas engine into a more efficient and profitable piece of kit… 1 Install an open-access control panel

Many service providers use a ‘closed’ control panel as a means to coerce the owner into a restrictive service contract. This means that you are potentially looking at your engine being down for days whenever there’s a problem while you wait for the service provider to despatch an engineer to your site; often at an additional cost to you. By upgrading to an intelligent, open access control panel, an operator can remotely take control of their own engine via their laptop, phone or tablet; instantly assess how their engine is performing; control their engine’s running parameters, adjusting them to match the biogas composition; and restart their engine themselves within seconds – without even needing to be on site. 2 Fit a flexible fuel mixer

If an engine runs too lean it can backfire, resulting in exhaust damage, vibrations and


instability, and causing parts to wear out more quickly. If it runs too rich, then too much fuel will be used, the engine can overheat, and there is a risk of parts burning out. A flexible and fast-acting mixer enables an engine to handle variations in gas volumes and composition. This is especially important for biogas plants treating sewage sludge, as this is a constantly changing product. At Gen-C, our air/gas mixers comprise a range of flow bodies to suit every feedstock type, based on a plant’s individual gas composition. If the composition alters significantly, we can change the flow body as required, ensuring the perfect fuel mix every time. 3 Use an ignition controller with pulse technology

If your engine shudders during the ignition phase, replacing the controller with one using pulse technology will deliver more reliable ignition and prolong the life of your equipment. We supply Motortech ignition controllers, the only type that uses pulse technology. This creates thousands of tiny pulses, the intensity and duration of which can be programmed according to the plant’s demands, and which will remain the same throughout the lifetime of the ignition controller. 4 Switch to a smart knocking control system

A ‘knocking’ sound usually signals that the gas is igniting too early. A sophisticated, intelligent knocking control system can detect this and automatically alter the ignition timing point. If knocking still occurs, it will then reduce the load of the engine or even shut it down, preventing catastrophic engine failure.

5 Specify a high temperature speed control

The throttle actuator responsible for speed control is usually located close to the intercooler; a part of the engine which is particularly hot. Proximity to a heat source can cause this component to deteriorate more rapidly, often leading to poor performance or failure. To counteract this, we supply specialist high-temperature throttle actuators, which help to prolong operational life. They also comprise an integrated throttle body which contains fewer moving parts by being directly connected to the throttle. Not only does this make for more accurate control of speed, it also incurs less wear and tear. Take pre-emptive action

Every day that an AD plant isn’t generating electricity is a day it’s losing money. With water companies more focused than ever on energy sustainability and delivering value for money, sewage plant operators should not wait for their engine to fail before taking action. By scheduling an engine upgrade to coincide with any planned maintenance shutdown, operators can benefit from increased engine availability, more reliable performance, longer-lasting components and greater electrical output.

See Gen-C at Stand E201 UK AD & World Biogas EXPO 2019 (3-4 July, NEC Birmingham) www.gen-c.co.uk



Zero hours service exchange gas CHP engines – minimise downtime!

Remove  Replace  Commission - in under one week 12 Month warranty We also specialize in onsite major servicing – E50 & E60 Replacement open access control panels for TEM and DI-ANE

Call James +44 7487 674 172 (UK)

sales@louwsonenergy.com www.louwsonenergy.com

Call Roland +31 6 2740 2766 (NL)

Anaerobic Digestion

Orbital introduces new Visually Integrated Remote Telemetry Unit (VIRTU) to the UK market In September 2010 Orbital successfully installed the gas monitoring and treatment plant on the UK’s very first large-scale Bio-Methane production facility at Didcot, Oxfordshire - a plant which extracts biogas from waste-water / sewage via anaerobic digestion. Since that date Orbital has successfully delivered many such systems and, as part of our drive for technological leadership, recently introduced a new, next generation remote telemetry system, named VIRTU (Visually Integrated Remote Telemetry Unit), to complement our Bio-Methane gas to grid solution, Orbital’s VIRTU is designed to operate in all energy sectors including Gas, Water / Waste Water, Electrical Power Distribution, Industrial Process and Renewables (e.g. biogas, solar, wind etc) on a range of applications such as Remote Asset Monitoring and Environmental Monitoring. This market leading solution is ideally suited to both traditional and specialist applications such as anaerobic digestion.

Introducing VIRTU

VIRTU builds on Orbital’s extensive experience developing and integrating telemetry systems across the UK Gas Transmission and Distribution networks over the past 15 years. As the first fully end-user configurable Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU) for the UK market, VIRTU firmly places configuration control with the Technical Operators on site. Utilising control architecture powered by Mitsubishi Electric and Orbital’s IEC 61131 compliant software, VIRTU’s innovative setup wizard minimises the potential for introducing human error, reducing the need for software rework or expensive process complications created by code errors.

Partnering for Sustainability

The introduction of VIRTU followed Orbital’s announcement of a formal partnership with Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV, started in November 2018, and founded on close technical collaboration. This partnership will


further enhance Orbital’s RTU and BioMethane product lines with leading-edge automation control platforms. Collaborating with such a global technical partner provides long term business continuity protection for VIRTU customers and eliminates the support/ obsolescence risk that comes from using dedicated hardware from niche RTU suppliers.

Usability as a Priority

Cyber Security Assured

VIRTU’s comprehensive software library allows supports off-the-shelf delivery and site deployment in a fraction of the time of traditional RTU systems.

Under the Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018 (NIS Directive) that came into force on 10 May 2018 for the water, health, transportation, digital and energy sectors Ofgem has imposed new duties on Operators of Essential Services (OES) regarding cyber security of network and information systems. VIRTU has been designed to be cyber-resilient through compliance with IEC 62443 Cyber Security Standards and is ready to support OES as they work to meet current and future cyber threats to our utilities networks. In ensuring the cyber-resilience of VIRTU, the hardware, software and Orbital’s internal quality management systems have been independently threat assessed and, as a result, a number of key security features have been included as standard to support cyber security on site, for example: Two-stage password protection for the HMI setup wizard to limit access to nonauthorised personnel, Second stage password is a continually varying algorithm based on time, date and site ID, Decoding information is issued by Orbital on a one or seven day pass basis only to authorised users. Remote access is a future possibility via Orbital’s Android and iOS mobile applications which are currently being developed. Furthermore, VIRTU ensures a simple transition from existing Orbital RTU platforms (IRIS) or other RTU systems, with transferable configuration files between the two systems.

Traditional RTU systems require software customisation to allow the system to be configured for the specific target site. However, VIRTU is designed to be easily configured on-site by technicians without the need for expensive and time-consuming software modifications.

VIRTU’s User Interface has been designed to be intuitive, fully featured and flexible. The system includes features designed to assist the operator, for example: file setup, auto-generated back up files for rapid system restore, self-diagnostic information for operator interrogation, fully redundant CPU option, fast system switching, hot-swappable I/O, data trending information and a PDF viewer.

Future Proof Technology

Through our partnership with Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV, Orbital is able to guarantee the long-term future of the hardware and software that makes VIRTU so capable. The software environment in which VIRTU was developed is guaranteed to be supported by all future hardware generations, allowing VIRTU to remain technically current across multiple generations of product development. Telemetry system upgrades today that do not meet IEC 62443 or support NIS compliance directives are likely to require costly upgrade in the near future. As a long-term investment, VIRTU is a next generation RTU and as such represents a logical choice for Operators of Essential Services who must consider cyber security compliance during the next 5 years. www.orbitalgas.com


VIRTU Visually Integrated RTU

Orbital’s next generation remote telemetry solution, VIRTU, combines high-level control architecture powered by Mitsubishi Electric with Orbital software for intuitive on site configuration via HMI. • Fully designed to comply with IEC62443 Cyber Security standards • Supports efforts to comply with NIS Directive • Mitsubishi Electric Partnership Support • Future proof technology • Enhanced support network • Business continuity protection • Fully scalable depending on application requirements • From Datalogger to fully redundant high-power process CPUs with extended I/0

See the vision and contact Orbital today.

w w w.o r b it a l g a s.co m

Anaerobic Digestion

Efficiency improvements at wastewater AD plants

More sewage plants around the world are adding biomethane upgrading technology

The HRS DTI Series of heat exchangers is ideal for sludge and digestate pasteurisation

Increasing efficiency within the wastewater AD industry By Matt Hale

International Sales & Marketing Director, HRS Heat Exchangers Over the years, different wastewater companies have adopted different approaches to sludge treatment, but there is now a trend towards anaerobic digestion (AD) and away from incineration. While the number of AD facilities treating sewage sludge may be growing steadily, rising just 12% from 20102015, these 159 plants actually generated over 25% more power over the same period*. This can be largely attributed to efficiency improvements within the wastewater sector, which is renowned for its approach to innovation, often setting the standard for operational efficiency within the entire AD industry. The age of some of the original wastewater AD facilities are now looking to upgrade, switching from producing electricity to biomethane in order to take advantage of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). At the same time, the closure of the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme to new entrants in April this year means that biomethane production, (supported under the RHI) is now more attractive for new plants. As well as such major changes to some plants, small-scale improvements have also been important in helping to boost the sector’s energy output. Upgrading an existing plant or installing a new one provides the ideal opportunity to improve overall efficiency, to maximise both energy production and greenhouse gas savings.

Heat exchangers improve efficiency One of the easiest ways to improve efficiency is by recapturing heat. Heat exchangers represent the best way of doing this, having


a much lower heat requirement than tanks with heating jackets (up to half of that of some systems). In fact, a well designed heat exchanger system could recover and reuse 40% of the heat produced by a wastewater AD plant. But not all heat exchangers are equal and one size does not fit all – the AD industry covers many different sectors processing a variety of feedstocks from food waste to farm residues, to liquid by-products. One range which is popular with wastewater AD operators is the HRS DTI Series: a double tube heat exchanger featuring a corrugated inner tube to ensure improved heat transfer performance and superior resistance against tube wall fouling. Another option is the HRS Unicus Series of patented scraped-surface heat exchangers. These use a reciprocal scraper mechanism to remove sludge and solids from the tube walls, ensuring maximum performance in heatintensive operations such as evaporation and pasteurisation. Having recovered valuable heat, what are water companies doing with it? With a typical 1.5 MW wastewater AD plant producing as much as 40,000 tonnes of liquid digestate each year – bringing significant economic and logistical challenges associated with its storage and transportation – many operators are using their surplus heat to improve their digestate management systems. After all, if it isn’t concentrated, the volume and consistency of digestate can quickly become a costly bottleneck in plant efficiency.

Concentrated digestate is easier to manage Using surplus heat to separate water from digestate by concentration can reduce the overall quantity of digestate by as much as 80%, greatly lowering the associated storage and transport costs. HRS’ Digestate Concentration System (DCS) includes

measures to retain the valuable nutrients in the digestate, while the evaporated water can be condensed and returned to the front end of the treatment process, reducing the amount of energy and water used by the plant. After concentration, the treated digestate dry solid content can be as much as 20% (often a fourfold improvement), making it much easier, and cheaper, to transport and handle.

Other uses of heat

Even if you don’t need to concentrate digestate, there are other ways in which recaptured heat can be utilised to improve efficiencies. This could be anything from preheating sewage at the start of treatment to pasteurisation so that sludge can be used as a biofertiliser. The multi-tank HRS Digestate Pasteurisation System (DPS) provides an efficient and easy to install way to provide continuous sludge pasteurisation. Heat can also be utilised in the biogas to biomethane upgrading process, and depending on the technology used, as much as 75% of the heat used for biogas upgrading can then be recovered. By improving the efficiency of their wastewater AD plants, many of the UK’s water companies are enjoying increased ROI, helping to make their service more affordable and sustainable; particularly important as the water industry uses around three per cent of all the electricity generated in the UK. HRS’ customers and end-users already include Southern Water, Severn Trent Water, Welsh Water, Yorkshire Water, Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water, Wessex Water and Thames Water. And with Ofwat’s Water 2020 report looking to kick-start a market for treated sewage sludge, it is highly likely that the next few years will lead to even more partnerships between water companies and firms developing new treatment methodologies. www.hrs-heatexchangers.com *ADBA’s Anaerobic Digestion Market Report, July 2016


MANAGING ENERGY EFFICIENTLY HRS patented and proven technologies combined with our knowledge make it possible to offer best in class solutions in various sectors including environmental applications such as wastewater, digestate and sludge. Using our corrugation technology, heat transfer and efficiency are increased over smooth tube heat exchangers. In addition, potential fouling is minimised. HRS corrugated tube heat exchangers for heating and cooling: HRS DTI SERIES Tube in tube heat exchangers for fluids with large particles in suspension HRS DTR SERIES Tube in tube heat exchangers with removable inner tubes. For direct heat recovery processes involving liquids with large particles in suspension TURNKEY SYSTEMS - Supply and installation of turnkey systems for pasteurisation (DPS) and concentration (DCS) of sludge - Biogas Dehumidification Systems

HRS Heat Exchangers +441923 232 335 info@uk.hrs-he.com www.hrs-heatexchangers.com

Anaerobic Digestion

Total Industry Solutions from OMEX Environmental Ltd

Anaerobic Digestion is increasingly popular worldwide as one of the main processes which produce renewable energy in the form of Biogas. Anaerobic Digesters treat wastewater and organic solid wastes such as municipal, food, agriculture crop, animal waste and a variety of other wastes like sewage sludge, converting the organic portion to Biogas. In order for anaerobic plants to operate effectively they require a wide range of nutrients for the micro-organisms to grow and function properly. xxxx Advert A5 Landscape_2019 UKADBA final.pdf

Deficiencies often occur and can affect a plants’ stability, performance and biogas

production. OMEX Environmental ltd supply a range of products to prevent these deficiencies. These products include Nutromex® TEA, trace element additives to help improve the biological health of a biogas plant, Enzymes, to improve fermentation efficiency and Active iron solutions to minimise hydrogen sulphide.

OMEX offer a range of high-performance laboratory-based analytical services and can provide new and existing customers with a nutrient profiling service. This is the basis for advice on how to assess the correct nutrient dosage in biological treatment systems such as anaerobic processes.

It will then produce a TEA solution, tailor-made to treat the plants individual 1 17/04/2019 12:16:03 requirements, in a form which is fully bioavailable in anaerobic conditions.

Come and visit us at this year’s UK ADBA Exhibition 3-4th July 2019 Stand C400 to find out more about our services and visit our website www.omex.com

Boost Productivity

with Micronutrient Technology

Ensure your AD and Biogas Plants perform to their maximum capacity with our range of safe-to-use bioavailable micronutrients


Enzymes Improve Fermentation Efficiency



Trace Elements Optimise Biological Performance

Active Iron Minimise Hydrogen Sulphide





Visit our stand C400 UK AD & World Biogas Expo 3rd-4th July 2019


Tel +44 (0)1553 770092


Visit www.omex.com

 /OMEXCompanies

 @OMEXCompanies


Anaerobic Digestion

Analytical instruments ahead of the field

An early pioneer of automatic apparatus for the biogas industry, Bioprocess Control has forged ahead in the provision of smart analytical instruments in the 13 years since its foundation. In the past, fermentation tests had proven problematic, providing highly variable, unreliable results, but Bioprocess Control’s precision instruments have changed this, providing robust, dependable results which are measured, calculated, and presented in a standardised form. The significant improvement in data enables businesses to work more efficiently and make better, evidence-based decisions. These smart analytical tools mean people can work “smarter”, allowing for more frequent analyses with a reduced workload, producing data that is rich in quality and quantity. The more frequent analysis leads to an improved understanding and control of feedstock as well as the biological behaviour of biogas digesters operations – allowing for feedstock and biological process optimisation. Bioprocess Control’s flagship product, the Automatic Methane Potential Test System (AMPTS), has become the preferred analytical instrument for conducting anaerobic batch fermentation tests in the biogas sector including, biochemical methane potential

over 1,000 organisations in over 60 countries across the globe, which speaks volumes about the esteem in which they are held. Look at scientific database www.sciencedirect.com alone and you’ll find more than 400 scientific publication references to studies performed using their instruments.

(BMP), specific methanogenic activity (SMA) and residual gas potential (RGP) tests. The AMPTS has a number of benefits, first and foremost of which is a significant reduction in time and labour, so operations work more efficiently and cost-effectively. This user-friendly system allows for remote access, so the highly accurate data is at hand whenever it is needed, while the standardised measurement procedures, data interpretation and reports, provide meaningful data which is easily comparable and upon which sound business decisions can be made.

As Dr Jing Liu, co-founder and CEO of Bioprocess Control and Associate Professor in the field of Environmental Biotechnology and Bioenergy at Lund University, Sweden explains: “The global biogas sector is growing and demand is increasing for feedstock analysis and process optimisation, enabling plant operations to work as efficiently as possible.” “We are continuing to invest in innovation and to ensure the highest product quality throughout our portfolio, and focus on being service minded, always meeting the needs of our customers.” www.bioprocesscontrol.com

Now widely used by academic and commercial organisations, Bioprocess Control’s smart analytical instruments have been utilised by

UK AD specialists Biogas Products secure multiple gas holder installations Biogas Products Ltd has secured an order to design, supply and install two membrane gas holders at Hull WwTW, for Yorkshire Water contractor JN Bentley. This comes shortly after the West Midlands based Anaerobic Digestion specialists were awarded a similar contract to install a new membrane gas holder at Oldham WwTW, for United Utilities framework contractor Nomenca. The plans to upgrade and extend the current anaerobic digestion at the Hull site, are part of a wider £30M investment programme by Yorkshire Water. The new gas holders will provide an additional 3000m3 of biogas storage, which will generate renewable energy to power the wastewater site and potentially, in the future, surrounding homes and businesses. Biogas Products Ltd are working with Yorkshire based membrane manufacturer Power Plastics Ltd. Their combined knowledge and experience of membrane gas holder installations is unrivalled in the UK.


Martin Newey, Managing Director of Biogas Products Ltd explains: “We no longer need to import these technologies from overseas. We have the knowledge, expertise and manufacturing capabilities right here in the UK. “The water industry were the pioneers of AD in the UK, as a way to process sewage waste. As the biogas industry has developed, they are now investing in upgrading their existing technologies to enable them to better utilise their biogas by generating

electricity or upgrading to biomethane.” Biogas Products have also been awarded a contract to design, manufacture and install 4no sludge/hot water tube and shell heat exchangers on the site which will be used to maintain digester temperatures. Work is already ongoing on the site and will continue until late 2020. To find out more www.biogasproducts.co.uk.


Anaerobic Digestion

Are you maximising the value of your sludge? The UK water industry has great potential to generate sustainable energy, but for many it’s unrealised. Anaerobic Digestion, whilst not a new invention, is rapidly being adopted by many companies in varying sectors throughout the UK. In just 10 years the energy supplied by UK AD plants more than quadrupled, rising from 3.6 terawatt-hours in 2007 to 15.8 terawatthours1 in 2017 with around 80 new plants commissioned in 2016 alone.

Electricity Generated Generation (GWh)






Sewage Gas






Anaerobic Digestion






Heat Generated (Thousand tonnes of oil) equivalent)






Sewage Gas






Anaerobic Digestion






AD can facilitate sustainable thermal drying using waste heat from electricity generation or combusting biogas onsite with a biogas boiler solution.

The UK’s biomethane industry is forecast to see exponential growth over the next few years, with the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) predicting a 50% rise in the number of operating plants and investment of up to £400m by January 2020.

Captured biogas can be upgraded so it has all of the function of natural gas, making it a versatile and profitable resource. On site the fuel can be used to generate heat, electricity or steam as well as in chilling processes, whilst exported biomethane can be injected onto the grid for domestic, commercial and industrial use.

Treatment plants investing in Anaerobic Digestion systems are cutting their reliance on the national grid by utilising sludge at their energy intensive plants to generate electricity on site and save millions of pounds annually. The process itself, not just energy generation has cost reducing benefits also; the digestion process enhances stabilisation of sewage sludge, significantly reducing the mass of wet sludge, cutting disposal costs and producing high-quality effluent which can be used on farm land. Anaerobic digestion plants offer carbon savings - switching from thermal drying to AD can reduce CO2 emissions by thousands of tonnes per year.



Generation (Thousand Tonnes Of Oil)

Energy generation from sewage gas has experienced considerably less growth in the last decade, seeing an increase of only 201 GWh of electricity generated in the same time period that AD plants increased electricity generation by more than 1,700 GWh.

A profitable, energy-efficient and proven method to treat wastewater


Profiting from Methane

Biomethane powered transport is growing in popularity in the UK, with private and public sector organisations adopting the sustainable gas for use in upgraded buses, refuse trucks and general fleet vehicles. Generating heat on site or biomethane injection to grid is currently being incentivised through the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme which pays participants of the programme on a tariff basis, offering a secured 20 year income.

Experience you can trust

Over the last 19 years BioConstruct GmbH have built and successfully commissioned over 260 AD plants throughout Europe, currently operating over 22 of their own AD plants.

Partnering with Shaw Renewables Ltd and New Energy Ltd. the innovative company have been successfully completing UK projects and have built an extensive infrastructure, covering all elements of AD servicing, operations and maintenance. Their plants boast an impressive average electrical output of 97% with over 200 MWh of electricity generated by their commissioned plants. Over 475,000 tonnes of organic waste is processed through their UK plants, either generating electricity and heat on site or being exported to the grid. Bioconstruct’s Industry leading technology is easy to operate, profitable, robust and sustainable. Offering a truly turn-key service, the AD experts design truly bespoke plants that fit your requirements and provide support throughout the planning, development and commissioning process. To find out more about maximising your sludge contact the biogas specialists t: 0151 424 1433 t: info@shawrenewables.co.uk www.bioconstruct.com www.shawrenewables.co.uk

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/962653/anaerobicdigestion-supply-to-united-kingdom-uk/


Unlock the full energy potential of Sludge with Anaerobic Digestion Maximise Methane Production and Profits With Bioconstruct We create robust anaerobic digestion solutions that are intelligently designed to fit your requirements and deliver on performance More than 260 Intelligent Biogas Plants commissioned Over 19 years of Experience UK Based Servicing, Operation and Maintenance Support

Begin maximising your profits, contact the AD specialists: t: 0151 424 1433 e: info@shawrenewables.co.uk



Anaerobic Digestion

Queensferry WWTW Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant refurbishment, process upgrades and safety assessments by Marches Biogas In 2016 Marches Biogas was requested by Welsh Water to undertake a detailed review of the Anaerobic Digestion Plant at Queensferry to determine the condition of the plant, the associated process equipment and the feasibility of extending the safe and efficient operation of the plant for at least another ten years. The concrete digesters alone had been in near-continuous operation for over 30 years so a detailed internal and external inspection was essential as part of the review. Marches Biogas carried out a detailed HAZOP study and design review in order to highlight the potential hazards and improvements the plant and process could benefit from. During the initial review and design period Marches Biogas worked very closely with the Welsh Water Capital Delivery Team as well the Queensferry WWTW Operational Team to ensure all operational issues were incorporated into the final scope. Marches Biogas was awarded a contract to carry out the works and to provide Principal Contractor duties. It was a requirement by Welsh Water that the AD plant continued to operate at as close to full sludge throughput as possible and on contract award the AD plant was handed over to Marches Biogas to ensure this requirement was fulfilled. During Digester No.1 decommissioning and isolation period, the digester biogas headspace was purged with nitrogen before the forced air ventilation was installed in order to manage the residual methane and hydrogen sulphide levels to within safe limits. With assistance from Celvac Ltd, the digester was then emptied, degritted and cleaned out using a recirculating flush out method. Once the digester was empty and safe entry could be made a drone survey was carried out, the drone was piloted by one of Marches Biogas engineers within the confined space. On completion of the reviews and further meetings with all the stakeholders, the recommended upgrades to the plant began to take place. As a result of the drone inspection the digester was scaffolded internally so that the biogas headspace could be prepared, repaired and treated with a protective coating, in order to prevent any further degradation. The existing confined biogas mixing system was replaced with the Marches Biogasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; tried and tested stainless steel unconfined biogas mixing system through a sequential rotary valve. A bespoke degrit system was designed and installed, this is based on creating a very high flow rate for a short period of time local to the lowest point in the digester. Initial trials show


Figure 1: Digester equipment design drawing it is easy to operate and very successful at removing grit from the digesters while in full operation. Extensive works were carried out to improve the efficiency and operation of the digester feed system through the redesigning of the feed pipework arrangement; the digester heating system through the addition of a hot water diversion valve and simple auto control through the new PLC and SCADA system. Significant works were carried out to improve the flow of biogas throughout the plant and to the eventual consumers being CHP, biogas boilers and surplus gas burner. The works carried out on the biogas system improved the overall safety, both in terms of protection against foaming and further improvements within the boiler house to better comply with IGEM/UP/16. On completion of the works on digester No.1 warm sludge was screened and transferred directly from digester No.2 reducing significantly the time to commission the refurbished digester. The requirement of Welsh Water to continue to operate the plant at full sludge throughput was met during the

entire contract and not until the works were completed and the operator training was given did Marches Biogas hand the plant back to the client. Following the refurbishment and upgrades the digesters are now able to cope far better with the varying operational demands of the Waste Water Treatment Works, with the digesters operating efficiently, resulting is consistent solids reduction and increased biogas yield. The final stage is for Marches Biogas to carry out a lithium trace test on the plant to determine the effectiveness of the mixing of the digesters and the effective operational volume. The overall refurbishment and installation has been a success and throughout the project there has been a very close and professional working relationship between all involved. The successful culmination of this project has resulted in Marches Biogas being awarded a contract to carry out a similar project at the Welsh Water anaerobic digestion plant at Eign, Hereford. www.principlebiogas.co.uk



Anaerobic Digestion

Full support for your AD plant

Provides full design & build proficiency, feasibility studies, financial modelling and plant optimisation. DSEAR and HAZOP reviews, asset surveys and Lithium trace testing. We also provide inspection services for all assets requiring statutory inspections.

Provides full Mechanical and Biological Support service packages. Process optimisation and equipment refurbishment. Environmental Compliance Support and Management.

Engineering upgrades of site equipment and infrastructure.

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Real Time Microbial Activity Monitoring

v Online Continuous Sensor Data v Protect, Optimise and Monitor WWTP v Optimise Anaerobic Digestion v Correlation to BOD, VFA, TOC

www.qclscientific.com/sentry 01342 820820


FeSfix by


The most effective way of desulphurisation and trace element dosing on the market

FeSfix is a nanopowder with 50% iron and free trace elements. It deals with H2S directly in the digester and improves the methane production.


FeSfix by FeSfix is the latest generation product to deal with desulphurisation in anaerobic fermentation industry, developed in cooperation with German scientific institutions. It comes in powder form, working on the basis of FeO and Fe2O3, which binds hydrogen sulphide (H2S) contained in ferments during the process of anaerobic fermentation in biogas plants. It is well known that H2S hinders the process of methanogenesis thereby also displacing trace elements necessary for methanogenic bacteria. This results in a significant drop in biogas production. Therefore, the target should be to put a desulphurisation process in place that allows the anaerobic bacteria to focus on methane production. Other desulphurisation methods based on the principle of adsorption by activated carbon or the addition of air into the fermenter, do not provide such an economic solution as FeSfix.

The most effective way of desulphurisation and trace elements dosing on the market Benefits of FeSfix • • • • • • • • • •

Formation of sulphides in ferments reduces H2S in the gas phase and improves the process of methanogenesis since this process is no longer hindered by a high concentration of H2S. Corrosive effects on concrete and metal parts of equipment are limited. Improved availability of trace elements to bacteria and as a consequence obtention of a higher biogas yield. There is no ferment salinity as in the case of other chlorides containing iron compounds. FeSfix does not contain any, highly toxic, CrVI as in the case of other (powder based) iron compounds. The actual sulphur remains in the digestate and is then applied to the soil as a valuable sulphur fertiliser. The high content of trace elements (Co, Ni, Cu, Mn, Zn, B, V, Al) in FeSfix optimises the process of anaerobic fermentation. The presence of Nickel in FeSfix enhances the formation of the F420 and F430 coenzymes, which are important carriers of hydrogen in the process of methanogenesis. Longer lifetime of oil in the co-generator and a reduction in dosing of trace elements lead to significant financial savings. FeSfix contains 50% iron allowing for a lower daily dosage, compared to other products containing Fe(OH)3, Fe(OH)2, or FeCI3 where iron concentration ranges between 9 and 30%. FeSfix comes in big bags of 1,000 kg or biodegradable paper bags of 20 or 25 kg.

BiogasJG is a Dutch private limited company that supplies FeSfix to Biogas producers in the Benelux, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and India.

BiogasJG B.V. Gemeynte 33 4631 MG Hoogerheide The Netherlands

T: M: E: URL:

+31 (0) 164 655 138 +31 (0) 652 556 169 info@biogasjg.nl www.biogasjg.co.uk

Anaerobic Digestion

Microbial Performance Monitoring in Anaerobic Digestion Anaerobic digestion (AD) faces operational challenges and lacks real-time feedback on the digestion process. To make timely decisions and prevent performance issues users need to have instant information; knowing the current overall health of the biology, identifying imbalance events and managing toxic shock as it happens are normally not possible. However, an invention by a Canadian company, Island Water Technologies, to monitor water treatment systems has made measuring real time microbial activity a reality. A bio-electrochemical sensor was developed to measure metabolic activity in real time. A type of bacteria that use metal deposits as electron sinks during consumption of organic material is combined with an electrode system resulting in a sensor capable of producing an electrical signal that changes in response to microbial activity. This signal is direct biological data used to understand the biological process efficiency and resulting system performance. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the sensor technology (SENTRY) a system with 2 sensors was installed in two duplicate ADs processing waste activated sludge (WAS) at the National Center in Electrochemistry and Environmental Technologies (CNETE) testing facility in Quebec, Canada. A pretreatment step to the WAS fed into reactor B was started, keeping reactor A on the non-pretreated WAS, and the differences between the systems were analysed using the sensor system.

CNETE tested the composition of the influent and reactors weekly and sampled the biogas several times a week. The data from the sensor is accessible via an online dashboard. In Figure 2 below the data is shown from the SENTRY dashboard for probe CN2 (reactor A - no pre-treatment) and CN4 (reactor B - with pre-treatment) from July 4th to July 18th. Figure 5: Biogas produced over the study period in each reactor compared to the average met over the study period of each reactor Biogas production was 22.9% higher in reactor B and the MET values, averaged over the entire study period, shows Reactor B has 3 times higher average MET than reactor A. Figure 2: Sentry dashboard data from July 4 to July 18. Blue is reactor A and red is reactor B Both reactors were monitored from the 14th June to 17th July and figures 3 and 4 below summarise the SENTRY sensor data collected over both reactors.

Figure 3: Reactor A sentry data (CN2 reactor A)

Figure 4: Reactor B sentry data (CN4 reactor B)

Figure 1: Installed sentry control panel The sensors measure Microbial Electron Transfer (MET), which is an instantaneous measurement of microbial activity in the wastewater. In higher strength wastewater streams this MET measurement correlates well with Volatile Fatty Acid (VFA) and information can be used to predict fluctuating concentrations over time.


Reactor A shows the change in microbial activity in each batch feed cycle. There is a clear start and end to each cycle with a return to baseline activity between each cycle. Reactor B does not return to baseline between each feeding. The greater microbial activity seen in the data shows that the pre-treatment of the feed solution has increased the presence of bio-available organics.


Output from the SENTRY microbial activity sensor (figure 6) was demonstrated to be strongly correlated to biogas production from the test and control AD reactors. The sensors were a key tool in understanding both the impact of pre-treatment on the suitability of the waste organics for AD processing and optimising feeding cycles to maximize utilisation of bio-available organics. The pre-treatment increased the bioavailable carbon in the wastewater stream and was accounted for with a 22.9% increase in biogas production. The sensor output for test and control systems correlated the increased production but also allowed operators to view in real-time the impact of feeding cycles. The sensor is demonstrated to be a key tool in understanding the conditions in test and control AD systems. For continuing anaerobic digestion activities the sensor can be applied to characterising the impact of pre-treatment on influent wastewater streams, providing correlations to real-time biogas production and optimising feed cycle times to ensure removal of bio-available carbon.

Figure 6: Sentry microbial www.qclscientific.com/sentry activity sensor

The Biogas production from each reactor over the study period was compared to the Average MET from the SETNRY sensor (Figure 5) and shows the increased MET figure relates to an increased Biogas production.


Anaerobic Digestion

Pump solutions that deliver real benefits to your business In this issue of Water Industry Journal we talk to Andy Wilson, Business Development Manager for Hidrostal Ltd, about Anaerobic Digestion. For background, please give me an overview of your role and remit?

of a storage tank to uniform consistency. A Hidrostal pumps low shear and large free passage non-clog impellers means there is no requirement to macerate the pumped media. Where the sludge condition is poor with solids too larger to enter the pump, then macerating or conditioning the sludge should be carried out just once, pre-mixing, then mix using a more efficient lower power consumption pump for the higher utilisation time. Mixing with a macerator should be considered as a last resort if maintenance costs and energy consumption are to be kept to a minimum.

My main objective is to align Hidrostal products and services with market applications which can benefit from the versatile features of the Hidrostal screw centrifugal impeller. Tell me a bit about the business:

Hidrostal was founded by the Swiss Engineer, Martin Stähle, who invented the screw centrifugal impeller in 1957, originally to safely pump fish. Its gentle handling characteristics combined with exceptionally large free passages led to the Hidrostal pumps being applied to a much wider range of applications. Each pump in the Hidrostal range uses a variation of the impeller to solve specific pumping problems.

Andy Wilson, Business Development Manager for Hidrostal Ltd

Anaerobic Digestion as an industry is seeing exciting innovation, and rapid change. It potentially offers the water industry great opportunities. Can you let us know from your perspective what some of these opportunities are?

installations. Many AD plant designs originate from the matured German market. Here the drive to use the most efficient mixers saw a standardisation on guide rail mounted and shaft driven bladed mixers.

The AD market has been rapidly growing in the UK over the past several years, both in the industrial and water industry markets. Biogas and Biomethane are now recognised as being able to play a part in a decarbonising energy strategy. Given Methane is a greenhouse gas that’s more than twenty times as damaging to the environment than Carbon Dioxide, it makes sense to consume and utilise it as a sustainable form of energy.

Why is what Hidrostal does important in the field of Anaerobic Digestion within the water industry?

How is Hidrostal different to your competitors?

Whilst bladed mixers have good published efficiencies the cost of ownership can be very high, if for example the process yields too much Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S). This can dissolve mounting brackets and even tanks. Too much stringy material in a mix can snag and entangle on the blades causing vibration and premature seal failure. Top or side entry bladed mixers also present the owner with the higher health and safety risks associated with a requirement to work at height and sometimes entry into a confined space to gain access to failed equipment.

There can be a lot of unknowns in the chemical and physical composition of what passes through an AD process. This can impact on the mean time to failure of process equipment including pumps and mixers, especially if the design specification is not appropriate, or the scheme has been cost engineered resulting in higher maintenance and product failure costs.

Hidrostal mixer systems have the advantage of being external and at ground level. There is nothing mounted inside or suspended from the top of a tank. By not having a requirement to install pipework and nozzles inside a tank, a Hidrostal mixer system requires less energy to overcome these additional friction losses, ensuring maximum power is delivered at the nozzle for the mix. There is also no requirement to completely drain down a tank at a future date, to maintain or replace pipework and nozzles, with all the health and safety risks and additional costs associated with tank entry. Instead the Hidrostal pump mixer system adheres more closely with CDM regulations and designs out most risks.

A good example is the high number of bladed mixers that can be found on newer UK

Hidrostal mixers use large bespoke nozzles to generate mass flow to bring the contents

Whilst AD represents a big opportunity, it’s not without some risk. The operational costs of badly designed and operated plants can reduce the commercial gains in many cases.


AD systems must achieve a uniform balanced process. An underloaded system will deliver less energy and an overloaded system can cause a digester to inactivate with huge loss in gas and energy production. Hidrostal centrifugal pumps feature steep performance curves. This characteristic means minimal flow variation with changing sludge thickness. In addition the high efficiency and low shear Hidrostal hydraulics mean there is minimal impact to fluid viscosity, a key feature on many applications involving “living” process sludges. Unlike other centrifugal pumps a Hidrostal is a combination of a semi-positive displacement and centrifugal, and can easily handle sludges up to 8% dry solids and 4000 Centipoise. Sludges between 8 – 15% dry solids may also be possible to pump depending upon their rheology. Flexibility remains the key to a wellengineered mixer solution as the contents of the tank seldom remain constant over time. The Hidrostal concept allows a change of nozzle size and angle without having to completely drain or enter the tank. A pump impeller or motor change is also possible to increase or decrease mixing performance and all from a safe working position outside of the tank. More importantly the pump efficiency is easily restored from a safe working position by simple adjusting three external screws on the pump casing. This versatile mixer system is also available as an offsite build unit reducing installation time and controlling quality further. www.hidrostal.co.uk


Corporate Power Purchase Agreements: The next step for sustainability? Combatting climate change is at the top of the public agenda, with concern at a record high1. Last year’s UN2 report shows that to limit global climate change, we must lower temperature rises to 1.5ºC by 2030. To achieve this, the latest Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report3 states that the UK must act swiftly. Roughly two thirds of carbon reduction will come from electricity, transport and heating - so businesses play a vital role by taking determined, strategic action in these areas. 100% renewable electricity has been available for several years, so Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (Corporate PPAs) can provide the next step, guaranteeing electricity sourced from a specific renewable generation asset. Northumbrian Water recently agreed a 10-year Corporate PPA with Ørsted - the first of its kind in the UK. We caught up with Alana Kühne, Head of Corporate PPAs at Ørsted, to learn more.

What exactly is a Corporate PPA?

It’s a long-term, fixed price agreement, linked to specific renewable generation assets. The length of term can vary, but between 10 to 15 years is most common. Typically, it’s a direct agreement with a fixed price structure for the full contract. This reduces price risk for the proportion of electricity purchased through the Corporate PPA, by removing exposure to future price volatility. By taking renewable volume from a specific renewable asset, you support the development of new renewable generation, helping to create a net zero carbon nation. Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOS) enable you to report zero carbon emissions for that electricity. Other Power Purchase Agreements exist, such as export PPAs, particularly within the water sector where many organisations have hydro or solar assets on-site. Export PPAs create revenue, helping you sell some on-site generation to the market. Corporate PPAs are


the opposite way around – you buy renewable generation from a specific, traceable source, fulfilling a proportion of your electricity usage. Because it’s a long-term arrangement, we recommend attributing just a proportion of overall volume to the Corporate PPA, in case future consumption levels change. Northumbrian Water chose 30% of volume over 10 years, but agreements can be tailored to individual strategies.

Is it more expensive than a normal supply agreement?

No – in fact, Corporate PPAs are a great way to manage long-term price risk, with the price per unit typically fixed throughout the full contract period. Contracts are agreed with generators, not suppliers. The volume is then ‘sleeved’ to your supplier and into your normal supply agreement. Your bill will show different commodity prices - one for your Corporate PPA volume and one for the remaining volume for your regular supply arrangements. Noncommodity costs are the same as for your normal supply agreement, because unless the generation asset is located on your site, the electricity is always transmitted via the grid network.

What should water companies look out for? Supporting sustainability, Corporate PPAs provide a next step from 100% renewable supply. Here are some considerations:

1. Preferred type of generation. Different generation assets have differing levels of output and efficiency. Discuss this in depth with generators, to determine performance, profile and how these match your own demand profile. Some organisations – and end customers – prefer one technology over another, so factor this in when considering your options. If a generator is also a supplier, this “one stop shop” saves you time.

2. Volume of consumption. In the UK, businesses of any size can choose a Corporate PPA from existing generation assets. Some new build projects might look for a minimum volume of consumption. This will vary depending on the asset size, so it’s worth assessing the kind of renewable generation that’s best for you. 3. Location. Generation assets can be chosen in specific locations. So Corporate PPAs often appeal to companies looking to support their local community, and the regions where they operate or have a substantial customer base. 4. Contract term. Water companies are stable organisations, so taking a longer term, strategic view makes sense. Generally, we would recommend a contract of least ten years, in order to benefit from long term price stability. However, contracts at Ørsted can begin at four years, bridging the gap between supply agreements and the Corporate PPA. 5. Shaping of power. A standard Corporate PPA will deliver you the “as generated” output from a renewable asset. Many companies today, such as Ørsted, offer trading services to balance and shape the output from the generation asset, to a profile more aligned to your consumption requirements (e.g. daily profile or flat baseload). We recommend exploring this, alongside your search for a Corporate PPA, to get the best all round solution that matches your energy purchasing strategy. To learn more about Northumbrian Water’s corporate PPA, visit: https://orstedbusiness. co.uk/News/2019/03/Northumbrian-Watercorporate-PPA 1 https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3075327/ proportion-of-public-very-concerned-about- climatechange-hits-record-high 2 https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/ 3 https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/net-zero-the-ukscontribution-to-stopping-global-warming/


Gain long-term control over your energy prices with a Corporate PPA from the world’s most sustainable energy company.* You’ll receive energy from a specific offshore wind farm for the longer-term, giving you budget certainty while investing in the UK renewable infrastructure.


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Climate change and environmental saving necessities: pressure independence in water systems Climate change and increasing population growth is having a big effect on the availability of water and therefore distribution to consumers. Lord Bevan recently called for the reduction of 40 litres of water per day per household. HL2024 can achieve this, as well as reducing energy and CO2 emissions. Pressure independence for water companies

Pressure independence in the water system is a way to limit the use of water and pumping energy. What exactly is pressure independence and why is it so important? Ing. Eric van der Blom from Cenergist explains: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Normally, when the pressure on a connection or tap increases, the flow rate will increase as well. Consequently, the consumer uses more water. A higher flow rate in the distribution system causes a higher pressure loss and less flow further in the system. To have enough flow and pressure at the end of the distribution system, the water company can increase the pressure at the pumping station, but this will increase the use of water at the beginning and the pressure loss further in the system. To avoid all of this, the unique pressure-independent flow controller HL2024 equalises the flow rate during both increasing and decreasing dynamic pressure. The pressure increase in the distribution system therefore has no influence on the maximum flow rate to the households.â&#x20AC;? In the figure below you will see the real measurements that at a pressure of 150 kPa dyn, the flow rate will be constant, even at pressures up to 1,000 kPa dyn (red line) as with a decreasing pressure 1,000 down to 150 kPa dyn (green line). The blue line gives the average of the lines pressure up and pressure down. There is a maximum 2% variation over the whole pressure range. Cenergistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HL2024 pressure independent flow controllers can be placed at different positions in the water system, even at the different taps in the houses.

Benefits for a Water Company

When HL2024 Inline Cartridge 3P or an easy to maintain HL2024 Cradle is installed at the water inlet into homes, there are numerous benefits: 1 The water flow at all connections is maximised to a fixed level, independent of the pressure at that place and at that time. The client at the end of the pipe has the same water flow as the client at the beginning of the pipe, providing the pressure is at least as high as the response pressure of HL2024 (150 kPa / 200 kPa). Pressure changes (upstream or downstream) in the distribution network do not affect the maximum flow. 2 Providing a better service at lower costs: HL2024 will set the peak consumption and thereby reduce the total consumption. As a result of lower peak consumptions pressure changes in the distribution network are less, distribution network and pumps are used more efficiently, CO2 emissions are reduced, and extensions of the distributing system may be delayed. Peak demand therefore becomes very predictable. 3 In case of high consumption, such as during dry periods in summertime, the pressure can be increased so that at the end of the distribution network there will still be sufficient pressure and flow. The maximum consumption per connecting point remains the same everywhere even when there is an increase in pressure. 4 The maximized amount of drinking water is supplied in various flow rates ranging from 5.0 to 23.4 l/min.

HL2024 Inline Cartridge 3P

HL2024 Cradle

5 Installing HL2024 Inline Cartridge 3P has shown measured savings of 60 litres per day as proven by Alternative Heat in an independent report.

Benefits for the house or apartment owner or user

For the user there are the benefits of automatically saving water and energy, without doing anything. There is more comfort experienced because at any time of the day the same maximum amount of water is supplied. Water and energy bills are no longer affected by pressure in the water mains. This allows a better comparison regarding the use of water and energy. Whereas previously a lot of pressure and a large flow were normal, now the water no longer splashes out of sinks and washbasins. For the owner, the production and supply of collective hot water in apartment buildings is cheaper due to the maximized and reduced use per customer. The installation can therefore be smaller and cheaper at the time of renovation. Operational costs are lower. HL2024 is the only flow controller that is KIWA-certified for pressure independence (BRL K635/03) and meets all requirements for materials usage (Kiwa Water Mark) and primary European drinking water certifications. More information: www.cenergist.com

Graph: operation of the HL2024 pressure independent flow controller (version: 5.0 l/min)



‘Acoustic ears’ to listen for leaks

In a bid to save millions of litres of water being leaked from water pipes, Yorkshire Water will install a world record 34,000 ‘acoustic ears’ into its underground pipe network to audibly detect any water escapes. £10m will be invested by the firm to install the sound devices to help meet a target to reduce leakage by 15 per cent by 2020, and a further 25% by 2025.

millions of litres of water being wasted which will improve our water sustainability and reduce roadwork impact on customers.” How the acoustic loggers work is by listening continuously to the flow of the water through a pipe. If any variants in noise occur, an alarm is set off which alerts Yorkshire Water’s data analyst team. The data experts then analyse the noise to determine if it indicates a leak in the pipe and if so a leakage technician is sent out to find the precise location and raise work to repair the pipe within an average of 6 days.

During a trial of the technology, 600 of the devices installed in the pipe network in West Yorkshire helped to identify 35 leaks in one month, which helped to save approximately 86,400 litres of water from being wasted. Following that success, Yorkshire Water will now proceed to install 34,000 more of the devices by October this year covering 20 per cent of its water distribution areas. This will bring its total count to 40,000, more than any other water company in the world. Martyn Hattersley, Head of Leakage Operations at Yorkshire Water, said: “Each acoustic ‘ear’, or logger, is capable of identifying a leak within a 150 meters radius,

which is much more accurate than current technology allows. It will give us a much greater understanding and visibility of what is happening in some of the areas most prone to leaks. By installing these devices we will help our Leakage Technicians save

Yorkshire Water’s innovation team is currently working with the open data community by sharing sound files with them to better understand the sound profile of a leaky pipe, which will help its own analysts detect leaks.

“The world’s only pressure independent flow controller”



A traditional flow limiter cannot respond quickly and accurately enough to changes in input flow pressure, creating fluctuations of over 10% in output flow rate and temperature. Regardless of the input flow rate of the water, HL2024 provides consistent output with fluctuations of less than 2% within the specified operating pressure. When used in-line with thermostatic mixers, temperature fluctuations of 3 - 4°C or more can be reduced to less than 1°C.

Water Companies

Care Homes

Social Housing

Heat Infrastructure


Domestic Properties

Pipework Infrastructure

Commercial Properties



Benefits HL2024 has been independently proven to save water, energy and money; on average 60L of water per day.

Agricultural or landscaping applications – HL2024 reduces water and pesticide/fertilizer wastage.

Heating Systems – HL2024 allows accurate design reducing capital costs for developers & improves system performance.

Domestic/Commercial – HL2024 reduces wastage by c700kWh &24m3 per annum per shower. HL2024 equalises pressure and flow across rooms, providing a consistent & comfortable shower.


Wastewater Treatment & Technology

Unlocking the value of wastewater at Southern Water and beyond



Wastewater Treatment & Technology

Southern Water has a long history of treating customer water and wastewater to a high quality while protecting the natural environment it works in - but it knows it can do more to reduce its carbon footprint, improve the environment and continue to deliver a sustainable service to customers. In AMP6, Southern Water decided to review its processes to see how it could work towards a circular economy approach to resource management – where resources are reused as much as possible rather than disposed of. Currently the water company recycles around 700 megalitres (million litres) of reclaimed water per day and generates 17 per cent of its own energy from renewable sources, including CHP and solar power. “While this is a great start, we want to go further,” says Elin Williamson, Research and Development Manager at Southern Water. “We are investing in new research and trials and working with cutting-edge technology partners to make the biggest impact we can.” Southern Water’s Bluewave innovation programme aims to find new ways of increasing the value it gives customers while at the same time protecting the environment, and through Bluewave, it is a key partner in a multi-million pound European project which looks at harnessing resources from wastewater. The New Energy and Resources from Urban Sanitation (NEREUS) project has eight partners which are all contributing their specialist knowledge and skills. They include water companies, wastewater and academic institutes from across Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK. The project will receive €3.4 million of funding from the Interreg 2 Seas Regional Development Fund and continue throughout 2019 into late 2020.

The overall project aim is to look at resource recovery from wastewater, which could include energy, nutrients (like phosphorus or nitrogen) or water re-use. Southern Water’s part in the project is to focus on nutrient recovery, trialling how nutrients can be recovered from its wastewater treatment processes. It will conduct a trial of technology to recover calcium phosphate (which can be used as a fertilizer or other products) and struvite (as fertilizer). Trials are taking place at Peel Common Wastewater Treatment Works, which serves a population of 250,000 in Fareham, Hampshire. “This is an ambitious goal for us, as the technology for nutrient recovery is still in its infancy and not completely proven at a large scale,” Elin adds. “By collaborating with so many other water companies, we’re able to work closely with others and access crucial data, technical results and provide market-leading information on resource recovery technology. This approach gives us much stronger benefits and costeffective research as we’re able to tap into the research done by the other companies as well as their leading expertise, while also contributing our own. “As well as the collaborative approach and what can be achieved by all of the partners involved, for us it’s about creating value for our customers and driving a circular economy.  page 64



Wastewater Treatment & Technology  From page 63

In layman’s terms, re-using and recovering energy from our wastewater and gaining wider benefits from it, like promoting crop growth. A lot of our work here at the moment is in the planning and trialling, working with four other partners to trial technologies and processes. We need to test and demonstrate the viable options before anything becomes permanent. “Being part of such a huge EU-wide project is exciting and nutrient recovery could be an area for future opportunity and investment. The EU funding allows us to be more ambitious in developing a technology trial and testing the feasibility of a bigger nutrient recovery unit.” Of course, trialling the technology (while working with technology supplier and support partner Royal HaskoningDHV) is only part of the solution. Nutrient recovery is a new field and hasn’t been used at very large scales in wastewater. The University of Portsmouth, based in Hampshire, is one of the world-class academic partners in NEREUS. They are leading on the main output of the project, which is the design and development of a Decision Support Tool (DST) for the selection of wastewater recovery technologies and the life cycle assessment. Academics from the University’s School of Mathematics and Physics and the School


of Civil Engineering and Surveying are collaborating with HZ University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and EU pilot partners to develop a DST, which aims to aid the decision-making process for the selection of technologies for resource recovery depending on the scenario characteristics. Dr Seda Sucu, a Research Fellow in Applied Operational Research in the School of Mathematics and Physics, working under the supervision of Professor Djamila Ouelhadj, Lead Academic from the University of Portsmouth, is one of the team members leading the design and development of the online tool that will aid the resource recovery trials. Dr Sucu said: “One of the main outputs of this project will be the design and implementation of a DST to assist decision makers in selecting the optimal resources and technologies in a range of wastewater recovery and treatment scenarios. The DST will consider a variety of technologies proposed by pilot partners, as well as technical, economical, environmental and socio-cultural criteria.

The NEREUS project’s overall aim is to boost the development of the green economy and transform wastewater into a valuable source water, nutrients and energy that can be reused in the Interreg 2Seas area. This area covers coastal regions along the Southern North Sea and the Channel area, of which England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium are members. Adds Elin: “We’re looking forward to applying the benefits of the project learnings to managing resources in the future.” For further reading on Interreg 2 Seas Programme, visit: www.interreg2seas.eu and for the NEREUS project, see www.nereusproject.eu/about/ For more information about this work and the project as a whole, please visit: www.southernwater.co.uk/wastemanagement and www.southernwater.co.uk/ innovation-blogs to find out more about Southern Water’s innovative projects.

Professor Djamila Ouelhadj said: “This is an amazing opportunity for the University of Portsmouth to be involved in a project of this scale and to collaborate with academic and industrial partners from Europe to develop the green economy and transform wastewater into water reuse, nutrients, and energy.”


Wastewater Treatment & Technology

£30 million Scottish Water project Scottish Water is to improve services to more than 54,000 people in parts of the Bearsden, Milngavie, Clydebank and Strathblane areas. The utility will do so by changing the source of their water supply from Burncrooks Water Treatment Works (WTW) in west Stirlingshire to Milngavie WTW in East Dunbartonshire. A £30 million project will involve the installation of about 8 miles (13km) of new water main, the transfer of supply from Burncrooks WTW to Milngavie WTW and the decommissioning of Burncrooks WTW. Burncrooks WTW in the Kilpatrick Hills near Strathblane, which was built in the late 1950s, has served the area well but is reaching the end of its working life and is not suitable in the long-term to meet stringent water quality standards. Milngavie WTW, which was opened in 2007, is a state-of-the art WTW which already serves about 700,0000 across much of the Greater Glasgow area. The investment in Scottish Water’s infrastructure will ensure customers in the north of Bearsden, parts of the west of Milngavie on higher elevations such as Mains Estate, Barloch, and Clober, parts of Strathblane and Blanefield, Faifley, and a large part of Clydebank (apart from areas such as Kilbowie, Whitecrook and Mountblow which are already served from Milngavie and Blairlinnans WTWs), receive the highest quality drinking water for many years to come. The investment will also enable Scottish Water to supply customers with water from more than one WTW, Milngavie or Balmore WTW near Torrance, and that increased connectivity will provide improved resilience and reduce the risk of disruption to normal water supplies. The work will be carried out for Scottish Water by its alliance partners Caledonia Water Alliance (CWA) and is expected to be completed in about two years. The main 4.3 miles (7km) section of new plastic twin-pipe water main, which will be 560 milimetres in diameter, will be installed from Bankell Service Reservoir in the east (near Strathblane Road, A81) to Baljaffray Service Reservoir in the west, following a route up part of Strathblane Road, west along the north of Craigmaddie Reservoir, round the north and west of Mugdock Reservoir, down Mugdock Road to Drumclog Car Park. It will continue across the south of Mugdock Country Park following existing footpaths, crossing the West Highland Way near a footbridge over the Allander Water near the industrial estate (Clober), crossing the A809 just south of Craigton village, north west of Mains Plantation to Baljaffray Service Reservoir.


Burncrooks project. Image © SNS The total of 8 miles of water main will also include a second stretch of 3.5 miles (or 6km) of 250ml pipe to be installed from near Baljaffray to Carbeth, where it will connect to the existing network. This new main, which will also be plastic, will replace an existing stretch of old 21 inchmain which has a history of bursts. So, in addition to connecting customers to the Milngavie WTW network, this new main will provide improved security of supply. More than 80% of the pipe route will be installed on private land, rather than under public roads and footpaths) in order to reduce inconvenience for the public. Paul Sexton, Scottish Water’s alliance management general manager, said: “We are delighted to be starting this important project which will benefit more than 54,000 customers for many years to come. “Switching supply from the ageing Burncrooks Water Treatment Works to the state-of-the-art Milngavie WTW will enable us to continue providing high-quality water to thousands of domestic properties and businesses and a large number of public buildings including

more than 30 schools in three local authority areas and hospitals such as the Golden Jubilee in Clydebank.” Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said: “I welcome Scottish Water’s announcement of £30 million investment into the drinking water infrastructure for parts of the Bearsden, Milngavie, Clydebank and Strathblane areas, which will secure a high-quality water supply into the future. Importantly, the installation of new pipes will also improve the resilience of the network and security of supply so this is great news for the tens of thousands of customers in these areas.” The pipes will be installed by CWA using mainly the open cut method of excavation. Several other alternative routes for the pipe were considered, including through more built-up areas of Milngavie and Bearsden, but this route was selected for a number of reasons, including minimising disruption. We will construct a pumping station at Bankell to pump the water along the new water mains and planning permission for this was granted by East Dunbartonshire Council.


Wastewater Treatment & Technology

Toro equipment has launched its new volume range for the W-tank series supported by covers with new diameters

Toro Equipment is a leading European company specialised in the manufacture of equipment used for the industrial and municipal wastewater, water processing, water reuse and sludge treatment industries. W-Tank® is the realisation of a desire to enable the possibility to install a tank in any location globally in the most efficient and cost-effective way, fast and simple regardless of logistic difficulties or time and space restrictions. The modular design and low weight of the GRP (Glassfibre reinforced plastic) allows the W-Tank® to realise sizeable savings from reduced installation times, fewer personnel, lower logistics cost and a reduction in material costs. With an increase in the W-Tank® capacity of up to 10 million litres and a maximum height of 11 meters it really does offer the versatility a traditional tank installation would not. The W-Tank® series prides itself on its corrosion resistance, durability, versatility and the outstanding mechanical and chemical properties provided by a modular bolted system, these properties have enabled the installation of digesters, storage and settling tanks on all five continents. The W-Tank® series has been installed in a variety of diverse locations including the remote jungles of Indonesia, the dessert head of Dubai to the icy cold steppe of Russia. Regardless of geography if your requirements are in the UK, Mexico or Australia W-Tank® has been installed swiftly and cost effectively. W-Tank® is supporting the upgrade of British water treatment facilities with Anglian Water on a number of projects allowing the cost effective roll out to multiple small and large sites enabling smaller difficult to access sites to upgrade the settlement capacity with ease. W-Tank® is fabricated with the use of a flex moulding process with a high glass fibre

(Spain) W-Tank® in waste treatment plant content arranged in the direction of stress leading to high mechanical strength. Injection of a reactive polymer under pressure in a controlled vacuum onto specially arranged fibres allows the impregnation of the fibres within a closed mould (Flex Moulding), reducing waste and eliminating emissions from the process. W-Tank® manufacture creates a composite material with a ratio of 75% fibre to 25% resin allowing reduced weight and consequently reduced cost yet ten times more resistant to environmental degradation than traditional GRP. W-Tank® properties make it ideal for applications such as the storage of acids or corrosive liquids found in leachates or

tailings ponds, high salinity water from the desalination or industrial food canning, but also the storage of halogens such as fluoride, chlorine or Iodine in the water treatment industry. W-Tank® has application in industry to store oils, contaminated water or dry materials with each plate of the W-Tank® capable of being thermally insulated to enable it to be used as part of the storage or treatment process allowing digesters to retain heat or to prevent stored water from freezing. W-Tank® achieved the recognition of Aquatech Mexico in the LATAM awards as it is the largest bolted storage tank made from GRP in the world. It comes as recognition to the hard work and dedication that Toro has put into developing this market leading product and will only serve to boost the enthusiasm of the technical team to develop the product further pushing the innovation and application as far as possible. W-Tank® applications Industrial wastewaters Municipal wastewaters Potable water Desalination Dry bulk products Agriculture Industrial liquids, Bioenergy Biodigester Separation in existing storage tanks.

(Pilot Plant) Anaerobic Digestion of cereal straw with W-Tank®




Corrosion Free www.toroequipment.com www.w-tank.com

Speed up the assembly of your project with W-Tank Volumes up to 10.000 m3

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Wastewater WastewaterTreatment & Technology

Don’t want to pay for a new treatment plant – why not refurbish your old one? KEE Process and KEE Services Limited have been commissioned to refurbish and update countless old and tired treatment plants. The example shown below is of a unit located in a small Welsh Village. The ageing plant was proving unreliable and not performing efficiently so KEE designed and built a KEE NuDisc® to replace and update the old treatment plant.

Why Refurbish? • Minimises waste by only replacing the parts of the plant that need replacing. • Greatly reduces the volume and complexity of site works.


• Less noise and general disturbance on site. • Minimises plant ‘downtime’. A refurbishment is generally quicker to complete than a new installation. • Incorporates the latest process design features and efficiencies such as KEE’s ‘managed flow’ system to protect the environment and meet wastewater consents and legislation. • Reduce or eliminate the need to find an alternative location for a new plant. • Extends plant lifespan by 20 years, at a fraction of the total cost of a new plant. For more information on plant upgrades, refurbishments or new wastewater treatment systems, please contact:

01296 634500 www.keeservices.com 68


KEE’s upgrade solution was – KEE NuDisc® Technology. Often the structural housing of a wastewater plant can be re-used, meaning the internal components are replaced with brand new factory built KEE systems, incorporating the latest concepts in mechanical, structural and process engineering. Refurbishments of this kind extend the life of the plant by another 20 years, drastically reducing the overall lifetime cost when compared to installing a brand new plant. KEE’s Service technicians complete a full refurbishment suitability survey to assess the compatibility of each plant for an upgrade. This is applicable to all manufacturer makes of wastewater treatment plants and not just those designed, and produced by KEE. Water Authority sites have proved popular with refurbishments, reducing Water Authority spending and providing

brand new refurbished treatment plants which are fully compliant to the relevant Authority specification. Refurbishments remove the costly civil work elements associated with complete plant replacement. Utilising current process equipment can often increase the treatment capabilities of the existing system, therefore making the refurbished plant fit-for-purpose for increased flows and loads, a problem which often occurs with old systems as more influent is added to it over their working life. Following refurbishment KEE can continue to service, maintain and monitor the condition of the plant to keep it in good working order and performing efficiently.


TECHNOLOGIES Wastewater Treatment Specialists l

KEE Group is a globally recognised brand in the industrial, commercial, domestic and leisure wastewater treatment industries.


We offer over 60 years' experience and expertise in the design, development, manufacture, installation, commissioning, operation and refurbishment of wastewater treatment systems.


KEEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national team of fully employed, trained engineers provide a range of maintenance, operation and breakdown services for all types of treatment plant and pumping equipment, from all manufacturers. For more information, please call us on:

01296 634500 www.keegroup.co.uk

Wastewater Treatment & Technology

Taking the ‘waste’ out of wastewater With so much of our most precious resource simply thrown away… how can we collectively re-evaluate, recycle and re-use our ‘waste’ water more effectively?

Heather Smith Cranfield University

Interest in moving towards a “circular economy” has grown significantly in recent years – for instance, the number of academic papers on the subject has tripled since the beginning of the decade. The Ellen MacArthur


Foundation states that a circular economy is “restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times”. But while the concept of a circular economy is increasingly well established, in terms of practical implementation, it remains largely in its infancy in many sectors. Technological advances have certainly accelerated the adoption of more circular systems, particularly in materials recycling, but numerous hurdles still exist. Some people

now suggest that the principle barriers to achieving a circular economy are not technological, but social. For the water and wastewater sector, a circular economy means ensuring that we can realise as much value as possible from water and (by extension) wastewater before it’s finally returned to the environment. This implies using treated drinking water (highest value) as efficiently as possible, as well as reusing and recycling water for multiple


Wastewater Treatment & Technology

purposes. It also implies making use of the wealth of potentially recoverable resources in wastewater – such as organic material, inorganic nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), biogas, heat, cellulose, biopolymers, metals, and even proteins. The idea of extracting value from human waste is not new. For as long as human settlements have been producing faeces and urine in large quantities, societies have found uses for it, whether as fertiliser, fuel, or for manufacturing processes like tanning leather. But those uses often came with severe health consequences. The advent of the modern sewage system, together with the flushing toilet, helped to revolutionise urban health in the industrialised world. Later on, sewage systems also became increasingly used as vectors for managing rainwater. However, while such systems have become critical components of public health and flood protection infrastructure, they have also served to perpetuate a particular way of thinking about wastewater. Sir Joseph Bazalgette, civil engineer and architect of London’s modern sewage system in the 19th century, famously stated that the primary principle behind his system’s design was that of “diverting the cause of mischief to a locality where it can do no mischief”. His statement is illustrative of what was becoming an entrenched view of sewage – that it was, first and foremost, a cause of mischief, to be diverted away from human contact, predominantly unseen and untouched. In the developed world, that view of sewage is now built into the architecture of our homes and communities. It is built into the regulatory frameworks that govern how sewage is collected, treated and disposed of. It is even built into the term ‘wastewater’, in which the word ‘waste’ is firmly embedded.

Challenging our mind-set

If we are to realise a circular economy in the water and wastewater sector, it will require more than technological development. Our mentality, our way of thinking at a societal level, needs to be challenged – in essence, we need to take the ‘waste’ out of wastewater. However, while it may sound intuitively simple, this can be quite a challenge due to the complex psychology involved. Research in this area has discovered that people can have emotional responses to the idea of recycled water, stemming from a feeling of “magical contamination” – this can make people unable to completely divorce the final product (recycled water) from its contaminated source (human excreta) despite the fact that, scientifically, no trace of that original contamination may exist. Moreover, these emotional reactions are generally pre-cognitive, meaning they occur before any rational information processing, and without individuals necessarily being aware of them. That means they can potentially shape how any rational information about the subject is then processed. What this implies is that shifting a societal mind-set around wastewater cannot be accomplished solely through rational means


such as improving public awareness and knowledge of water recycling and resource recovery. Instead, it is perhaps best viewed as an overall, long-term process of building and shaping a positive narrative around the subject. Such a process would necessarily include some basic information provision and knowledge transfer activities. But narrative building implies a much more holistic approach with a broad range of engagement styles and mechanisms, which can appeal to emotional reactions as well as rational ones. This includes experiential activities, that give people the chance to see and touch and (perhaps) taste recycled water and other materials recovered from wastewater. Examples of these activities include open doors events at demonstration sites; using recovered cellulose (toilet paper) in paving materials for cycle lanes; and using recycled water to brew beer and coffee. Narrative building can even involve subtle changes in the use of language – such as Anglian Water’s decision to relabel all of their ‘wastewater treatment’ plants as ‘water recycling’ facilities. Such nudges may appear small, but in combination with other mechanisms, they could help to generate much larger shifts in thinking over time.

Real world demo cases helping to turn the tide

Research projects around circular systems, such as NextGen and SMART-Plant, are making great strides in advancing technological development for water recycling and resource recovery. But they are also increasingly delving into the economy side of the circular economy, and trying to develop a better understanding of the processes through which products and materials recovered from wastewater can become more financially, politically and socially acceptable. In many cases, recovering such resources can have multiple benefits for all stakeholders. For instance, recovering phosphorus (e.g. through struvite precipitation) can improve the operation of treatment processes, help reduce environmental impacts from effluent

discharge into receiving water bodies, and provide a renewable supply for what is otherwise an intensively mined and increasingly scarce global resource. However, despite these benefits, the uptake of such processes can be hindered by concerns over their economic feasibility, which is linked to fears of market aversion to the use of such recovered products, and uncertainty around policy and regulatory frameworks. NextGen demonstrates different circular technologies for the water and wastewater sector across ten different sites in Europe. In the Netherlands, they are using engineered ecosystems to treat and reuse wastewater from a brewery. In the UK, they are working on enhancing biogas production from wastewater treatment for energy recovery. The project is also demonstrating a portable sewage mining unit in Greece, which extracts and treats raw wastewater for use in irrigating public parks. The project is helping to refine and advance the technologies while also showcasing their potential on a bigger, more commercial stage. A key part of its ambition is to use the sites to develop a range of experiential engagement activities – from visitor centres, to stakeholder workshops, to the use of augmented reality – in order to better explore the impacts of such efforts. The United Nations has reported that twothirds of the global population already lives in areas that experience water scarcity for at least one month of the year, and with the twin trends of climate change and rising demand, that figure is set to increase. At the same time, it is estimated that 80% of the wastewater produced worldwide is discharged to the environment without sufficient (or indeed any) treatment. Circular economy solutions can provide a means of addressing both problems, but only if we truly understand the social side of the challenge as well as the technological side. h.m.smith@cranfield.ac.uk More information at nextgenwater.eu and www.smart-plant.eu


Wastewater Treatment & Technology

Collaborative Working: A step change in wastewater analysis and treatment Why partnership working is the answer

Indeed, a recent study of 29 small waterways across ten European Union countries by Casado, Brigden, Santillo and Johnston, found that all of the sampled streams were contaminated with pesticides and most of them with veterinary drugs too.

The analysis of water has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, meaning we know more than ever before about the trace elements and pollutants found within it.

Water has become increasingly complex due to the presence of micropollutants and a more holistic view needs to be taken of how pollutants get into our water and how it is treated.

This increased transparency, good though it is, brings with it new challenges with which the water industry is grappling. The fact that we know more about the makeup of our wastewater, means that the industry is striving to remove more pollutants than ever before. Wastewater is typically treated in three stages: primary, secondary and tertiary. The first two stages are mostly concerned with removing grit, gravel and solids from the water, whilst the third stage is more complex dealing with the removal of chemicals from the wastewater. Preventing chemicals leaching into the environment and keeping water safe, means the tertiary stage tends to prove the most challenging, technically and economically.

The impact of pollutants

The chemicals found in our water come from a number of sources including, pharmaceutical, chemical and agrochemical manufacturing and use, waste management leachate, plus the manufacture and disposal of personal care products – and the impact of these chemicals is complex. Chemicals are often designed to affect mammals or plants, influencing how they grow for example – if these chemicals are introduced into the environment they can cause problems for the human population, mammals, aquatic life and the broader ecosystem too, affecting biodiversity. We know that the presence of phosphorus, for example, is causing eutrophication and having a negative impact on aquatic species. Whilst the accumulation of micropollutants in the food chain and endocrine disrupting compounds in our water sources are also concerns.

The challenge ahead

Water is essential to life and it is also a finite resource which makes finding effective water treatments all the more imperative. Already the World Health Organisation has estimated that around 3 in 10 people across the globe, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation.

Problems posed by pharmaceuticals Pharmaceuticals pose another problem, the vast majority of prescription medicines like antidepressants or antibiotics, find their way back into our waterways when excreted, potentially having an impact on the environment.

We know that the presence of antibiotics, for example, is a contributing factor in the growth of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – cited by the World Health Organisation as one of the biggest threats to global health. AMR leads to standard treatments becoming ineffective and infections persisting in the body, which can then spread more readily to other people.

Looking ahead, reports from the 2030 Water Resources Group suggest that the demand for unpolluted water will outstrip the available supply by 60% in 2030 – in a mere 11 years’ time. This is why improving the treatment of wastewater is such an important step, so we can make the most of our existing water resources, safely.

Industrial water reuse

Meeting this challenge is not all about drinking water. One way to take the pressure off our precious clean water supplies is to assist manufacturers in treating and reusing their wastewater for industrial purposes – but how best can this be achieved?

Effective water analysis

Treating industrial wastewater is particularly complex and some traditional solutions simply aren’t effective enough at extracting micropollutants, whilst other technologies create a different molecule that is almost as problematic as the original chemical.

Some traditional wastewater treatments have proven ineffective in taking these contaminants out or in breaking them down.

The resulting waste products typically need to be relocated and disposed of either via landfill or incineration – setting off another cycle of

Now water can be analysed more effectively than was previously the case, the scale of micropollutant contamination has been revealed and more stringent regulations are being put in place.

The answer to enabling wastewater treatment to work as effectively as possible is collaborative working. We’re interested in working with industry partners to bring about a step change in wastewater treatment for the greater good of the environment and society. It’s by working together, that we can meet the challenges ahead and make the most of our precious water resources. Mike Lodge, CEO of Arvia



Wastewater Treatment & Technology

problems. Each transfer and journey of waste increases the risk of pollution, the health and safety risks, the carbon footprint and the costs involved.

point to accommodate the flow on-site. Nyex systems work highly successfully as both standalone systems or utilised to complement other treatment processes.

A good case in point

Economic sustainability is one of the greatest challenges posed by industrial wastewater treatment and as Arvia’s Nyex system enables industrial wastewater to remain on-site and be reused, the on-site utility costs are reduced. Manufacturers have a ready source of water to hand.

Does an alternative exist? It is commonplace for tertiary wastewater treatment to take the approach of either adsorption (concentrating waste up onto another medium for removal) or oxidation (which destroys the unwanted compound). Arvia’s Nyex system is a tertiary treatment process which combines the two approaches – adsorption with oxidation – in one unit, localising trace chemical elements and removing them from industrial wastewater so that it can be safely discharged within environmental compliance or reused in an industrial context. Installed on-site and at source, this compact, modular system, reduces the environmental impact of treatment, reduces the health and safety risks associated with it and increases its economic sustainability. The fact that the wastewater is treated on-site at source, and in isolated streams, makes it a simpler, targeted and safer process, proving less volatile than when waste is first combined and then treated. No chemical dosing is involved which reduces the environmental risks and operational costs. Whilst the need to transport the waste to another site and provide further treatment is also negated - making it even more costeffective and reducing the carbon footprint too. Eminently adaptable, this modular system is future-proofed and can be added to at any


Tried and tested

Proving highly effective too, a series of trials of Arvia’s Nyex system were carried out by PWNT, part of Dutch water utility PWN, to find a viable treatment solution for the Ijssel Meer surface water, Ion Exchange (IX) brine and Electrodialysis (ED) brine. Analysis of the samples, including an external laboratory analysis for micropollutants to validate the in-house data, showed high removal rates with most compounds achieving over 90% removal. Overall, the Nyex system is effective, proving good for the environment, good for a company’s corporate social responsibility and good from an economic standpoint too. Providing the opportunity for better use to be made of industrial wastewater, Nyex enables this wastewater to be reused and in doing so, takes some of the pressure off our precious clean water resources.

place as one element in this broad approach, helping the best use to be made of wastewater emanating from industrial processes. All in all, a more holistic view is needed of how contaminants get into the water and how they are treated. The water industry, public sector organisations, the government and other stakeholders need to work together to meet the challenges ahead. In short, partnership working is the answer to relieve the pressures on our water resources.

Looking forward

“Water is incredibly complex,” observes Mike Lodge, CEO of Arvia. “The answer to enabling wastewater treatment to work as effectively as possible is collaborative working. We’re interested in working with industry partners to bring about a step change in wastewater treatment for the greater good of the environment and society. It’s by working together, that we can meet the challenges ahead and make the most of our precious water resources.” www.arviatechnology.com

Partnership working

Securing enough water resources for the coming years will take more than a single solution, a holistic and collective approach is what’s required. Arvia’s Nyex system takes its


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Water Play Parks

Water Features


Kingcombe Stonbury - The Cropmead Estate, Crewkerne, Somerset, TA18 7HQ t 01460 279200 e kingcombe@stonbury.co.uk www.kingcombestonbury.com

Meticulous planning is key to cleaning up the waters at popular bathing spot A year’s worth of planning, seamless collaboration and technical expertise were crucial to the success of a complex operation to improve the bathing water quality at a popular coastal spot in Somerset. Wessex Water is working at several locations along the mouth of the River Parrett as part of a wider £39m project aimed at improving conditions at Burnham Jetty, a sandy beach enjoyed by thousands of holidaymakers each summer. Action was needed in the light of a new EU Bathing Water Directive which introduced stringent new standards and led to the classification of conditions at Burnham as poor. A total of 12 schemes were introduced to clean up the location by increasing storage in the sewerage network, passing more flow to treatment works and install monitoring equipment. As part of the overall scheme a Sewage Treatment Works at Combwich Wharf, along the banks of the River Parrett, which feeds the bathing area, needed to be replaced with a pumping station. This involved a complicated operation to decommission the existing site, including its inlet chamber, storm tanks, submerged filters, pumps and other equipment before building the new station within the footprint of the existing site. The new facility included a new dry well chamber, reinforced concrete base, and a large glass-fronted storm tank. As Wessex Water’s pumping solutions framework partner, Selwood was responsible for developing and installing a temporary overpumping system at Combwich to handle sewage, bypassing the site while the works were carried out. Early involvement was needed to ensure smooth delivery of the project, with senior

engineers in Wessex Water’s in-house design team contacting Phil Inglehart, framework manager at Selwood, for an initial site meeting a year ahead of the project. A site visit revealed that a system was needed to handle a minimum of 150 cubic meters of storm storage, directing the flow to a sewage works at Cannington with the ability to slow down the flow at times of high volume. The site also needed full monitoring through on-site and remote telemetry. Selwood’s remote cloud-based telematics tool, branded SelWatch, provides users with round-the-clock updates including information on GPS pump location, fuel levels and consumption, engine efficiencies and servicing status. Using the portal, customers can securely log in from anywhere in the world to see live pump data and receive system alerts that flag up changes and highlight potential issues. Use of SelWatch can significantly reduce downtime, save money and help efficiently schedule events such as refuelling and maintenance. SelWatch is offered as an optional extra on the pump solutions fleet throughout Selwood’s comprehensive UK branch network. For Combwich’s installation, various options were considered, including the use of diesel driven pumps and the construction of an underground chamber to house submersible pumps to be powered by duty/standby generators. It was identified during site meetings that with clever planning and selection of pump and control panels, it would be possible to run the duty pumps on dry well stands from the existing site mains supply. This was backed by a standby generator with

automatic switchover in case of mains failure. This saved the client’s money by eliminating the need for any civil engineering works, reducing the quantity of hired equipment and eliminating fuel usage to zero, and also satisfied environmental considerations due to the sensitive nature of the site location. A detailed storage plan was proposed by Selwood and accepted into the overall scope of works. Selwood has a partnership with Rain for Rent International to supply large mobile storage tanks. These tanks, capable of storing up to 70,000 litres, were delivered and positioned on site without the need for cranes. Selwood’s in-house installation teams then used 22kW super head non-clog electric submersible pumps which could match the relatively small flows required while providing the required head to overcome the existing rising main feeding the sewage treatment works at Cannington. All the pumps were controlled by the latest technology inverter and ultrasonic control panels to manage the flows to the client’s requirements. Phil Ingleheart said: “Integrating and working closely with designers, consultants, operations and the project management team, we had a detailed understanding of the site-specific requirements. This enabled Selwood to provide the most robust, trouble-free and commercially beneficial solution to our client”. Wessex Water site manager Matthew Paknejad said: “It was a comprehensive and well-planned installation which minimised the need for user intervention”. www.selwood.co.uk

Head Office: Chawston House, Chawston Lane, Chawston, Bedfordshire, MK44 3BH t 01234 750924 e enquiries@stonbury.co.uk www.stonbury.com



Engineering a talent pipeline for and with our customers AVK UK’s state of the art manufacturing facilities in Hyde, Chesterfield and Corby are the heart of robust valves and fittings production. Manufactured to both standard and individual customer specifications, hundreds of products leave these assembly lines each day, many of which benefit from some of the most advanced technology, complimented by the finest engineering expertise within the industry. Through our years of experience, we continue to lead the field in engineering innovation and building a future pipeline of skills, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) sector, is a high priority for our business. AVK UK prides itself on sharing this breadth of knowledge and know-how, not only with our own apprentices, but also with our customers’ apprentices and graduates and in doing so, we continue to contribute and support the next generation of engineers. A recent example of this, AVK UK invited a group of graduates from a well-known utility company to attend a free 2-day technical training programme. One of the largest utility companies in the UK, servicing a population of nearly 7 million people over a large geographic area, which is no easy feat, this level of service requires an army of trained employees, of which engineers are a vital part. Hosted by Stuart Montgomery (Water Projects Sales Manager), the key features and benefits of the 2-day programme (Designed for Engineers by Engineers) is to provide graduate engineers and apprentices with an exclusive look into the design and manufacturing


process, from raw material to end product, in addition to product application. The 2 days covered the entire process: 1. Applications - understanding which products can be used and where and where NOT to use. Many AVK UK products overlap in terms of duty and so it’s the engineer’s job to decide which product is best suited to an application, be it pressure, operation, working envelope or duty. 2. The Manufacturing process - many engineers unfortunately only get to see the product either on site or on a data sheet, therefore a factory tour is a key benefit in terms of providing an inside view of a valve and how these are manufactured from the raw material. Also gaining an understanding of AVK’s LEAN engineering processes and complex supply chain gives additional insight into the manufacturing process. 3. Innovation - AVK UK continues to innovate and introduce new products to existing ranges and it is important for upcoming engineers to understand how innovation thrives in a collaborative environment.

Stuart explains ‘As business leaders, we have a shared responsibility with both the education system and our partners to build a talent pipeline of future employees and STEM capabilities are vital to the future of this industry. AVK UK’s commitment to customers goes above and beyond the framework and our free courses demonstrate this. Our training sessions can be tailored to your requirements and held at any of the AVK offices across the UK, or, at your convenience, at your site. Any number of delegates can be catered for and training is suited to the various levels of experience and product knowledge – from new employees through to refresher courses for advanced engineers.

Stuart Montgomery If you would like to learn more or book one of our training courses, please contact Stuart Montgomery: Telephone + (0) 44 7876 798775 Email stmo@avkuk.co.uk



AVK UK TECHNICAL TRAINING PROGRAMMES AND SEMINARS DESIGNED FOR ENGINEERS BY ENGINEERS. AVK manufactures its own products with specialist industry engineers and product experts AVK’s bespoke technical training programmes tailored to suit your needs. • • • • •

No restriction on delegate numbers Suitable for all levels of experience Casual, relaxed and informal Tailored to your needs Varied sessions from one hour

Our free of charge programmes can be held at any of the AVK offices and factories across the UK or, for your convenience, at your site.

Any number of delegates can be catered for and training is suited to the various levels of experience and product knowledge – from apprentices and new employees through to refresher courses for advanced engineers. Casual and relaxed our informal training programmes can range from a one hour ‘lunch and learn’ (and yes, we bring the lunch) through to a comprehensive two-day technical training programme across a variety of locations. Fundamental to the AVK product innovation and development programme, these sessions explore and challenge the demands encountered by customers and seek to provide solutions and drive advancement in product design and technology.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BOOK YOUR PROGRAMME CONTACT: Stuart Montgomery Water Projects Sales Manager M: +44 (0) 7876 798775 E: stmo@avkuk.co.uk Greg Morris Technical Manager - Water M: +44 (0) 7810 377246 E: grmo@avkuk.co.uk Mike Skeemer Product Manager - Gas M: + 44 (0) 7770 533511 E: misk@avkuk.co.uk Adam Simpson Business Development Manager - Fire Protection M: +44 (0) 7831 561859 E: pacl@avkuk.co.uk

Find us on

WATER - T: +44 (0) 1604 601188 - E: customerservice@avkuk.co.uk GAS - T: +44 (0) 1246 479100 - E: gasenquiries@avkuk.co.uk Website



avkuk limited

Chemical Dosing & Disinfection from LUTZ-JESCO: The Lutz-Jesco offering now include: Stepper motor driven dosing pumps with a revamped range coming out later this year. Mechanically actuated & hydraulically actuated piston diaphragm dosing pumps. Electro-chlorination systems for the generation of sodium hypochlorite onsite through the electrolysis of saturated brine for water disinfection. Analysers with backboards for Cl, pH. T , ClO2 with water flow control valve for a stable sample to the cell. Chlorine dioxide systems that use a safe vacuum system â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ideal within the building Services sector for legionella control. Gas detection units for Cl2 or ClO2 with 1, 2, 3 or 4 sensors per unit. Chlorine gas products or complete containerised systems for water disinfection. www.lutz-Jesco.com/en




Clean Water

Waste Water

Water Courses



Phosphorus Removal



Phosphorus Removal

phosphorus in the circle of life Phosphorus is critical to life and is needed by both plants and animals. It enables the normal functioning of every cell in our bodies, and to make things like bones, teeth and shells. It is also one of the three essential nutrients for plant growth. Humans and animals obtain phosphorus from consuming food, while plants obtain it from the soil through their roots. By Eve Germain-Cripps

Wastewater Innovation Process Manager, Thames Water Phosphorus cannot be manufactured and there is no substitute for it. Most of the phosphorus currently comes from phosphate rock, which is a finite resource created millions of years ago when phosphate from seawater, bones and waste products from sea creatures deposited as sediments at the bottom of the primeval seas. Most of the phosphate rock reserves being depleted are in China, Morocco and the USA and, given the finite nature of phosphorus, there is an ongoing debate on the sustainability of these reserves to meet current and future demands. Over time the quality and accessibility of the phosphate rock will deteriorate, which will lead to ever increasing mining costs and therefore higher prices for phosphorus products.

In Europe the main use of phosphorus is in the production of fertiliser for food crops. Some of it is also used for making feed grade additives for livestock. In the water industry, a very small amount is added to drinking water supplies to prevent pipes from leaching lead and other metals into the tap water. We find phosphorus in sewage as, while some of the phosphorus contained in the food and drinks we consume is taken up by our body, most of it is excreted. Phosphorus can also be found in some toothpastes and detergents. Some industrial and trade effluents can also contain phosphorus adding to the amount of phosphorus found in sewage. However, while phosphorus is essential for all living matter, too much of it (i.e. eutrophication â&#x20AC;&#x201C; nutrient enrichment of a water body), especially in rivers and lakes, can damage the local ecosystems and impact on ď&#x201A;Š page 82



Phosphorus Removal  From page 81 biodiversity and water quality. As phosphorus is a key nutrient for vegetation, a surplus of phosphorus can lead to excessive growth of algae and other aquatic plants, which can choke the river, impacting flows and increasing flood risk. Furthermore, when these algae and plants die and decompose, they use up the oxygen available in the water, causing the fish and other aquatic animals to either leave the affected area or die. The effect of climate change and potential reduction in river flows might also exacerbate the phosphorus concentrations in the watercourses leading to more eutrophication. Eutrophication is often a consequence of human activity with run-offs from agricultural land and effluent from sewage treatment works typically the largest two sources – but to a different extent depending on the location (rural or urban). Therefore, in order to protect the aquatic ecosystem, we need to ensure the phosphorus we discharge from our sewage treatment works is low enough to at least not deteriorate the water quality in the receiving watercourses or to improve its ecological condition. This amount of phosphorus we can discharge to a specific watercourse is regulated, amongst other regulations, by the Water Framework Directive (WFD). This establishes a framework for the protection of European waters to achieve good ecological status for all the water bodies across the EU. Each water body and each sewage treatment works’ discharge are assessed on a case by case basis to calculate the total phosphorus permit needed for a specific watercourse to attain good ecological status. In the UK, the agreed Technically Achievable Limit (TAL) is currently 0.5 mg/l for AMP6. However, following extensive technology trials carried out by Thames Water and nine other water and sewerage companies to inform treatment requirements post 2020 and the planning for AMP7 the minimum total phosphorus permit was tightened to 0.25 mg/l for AMP7. Under the Urban Waste Water Directive (UWWTD) any sewage treatment works discharging to a nutrient sensitive watercourse with a population equivalent (PE) between 10,000 and 100,000 had to meet a total phosphorus concentration limit of 2 mg/l, while any sites with a PE. over 100,000 had to meet a limit of 1 mg/l. Therefore, most of the medium to large sewage treatment works in the Thames Water region already have the required infrastructure and resources to remove phosphorus down to concentrations of 1 or 2 mg/l. These types of permits are usually achieved using well known methods based on chemical or biological treatment. The chemical solution uses iron or aluminium salts as a coagulant, which results in the precipitation of metalphosphorus complexes as solids in primary settlement tanks. The biological method relies on a specific configuration of activated sludge plant, which facilitates the so-called “luxury phosphorus uptake”. However, it often requires an additional carbon source. This can be achieved by either fermenting the primary


Use of wetlands for phosphorus removal sludge in the primary settlement tanks or by fermenting the return activated sludge (RAS) or mixed liquor in a dedicated fermentation zone to increase the amount of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) available. Another option is to dose an external carbon source such as methanol; however, in this case, it is probably easier and more cost effective to dose a metal salt. With these types of processes, the phosphorus removed from the wastewater is not lost as it is retained in the sludge. After anaerobic digestion, the sludge is recycled to land as fertiliser or soil conditioner. As sewage sludge contains major plant nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) and organic matter, it is a sustainable fertiliser source which is inexhaustible and always available. For the new low phosphorus permits of 0.5 mg/L, removal by chemical dosing alone or bio-P uptake is not sufficient and additional removal steps are needed. This is commonly achieved by adding a chemical dosing point after the secondary treatment process. A tertiary solids removal plant is also usually required as the solids present in the sewage effluent will contain a level of phosphorus high enough to compromise its quality. Chemical dosing followed by tertiary solids removal is a well understood and easy to implement solution for medium to large works. It is more problematic for small unmanned rural sewage works, which usually use low tech, low energy processes. These sites do not tend to have the infrastructure required to implement such solutions, such as access roads for chemical deliveries, potable water for safety showers or sufficient power. To overcome this challenge at Thames Water we have developed a passive solution using constructed wetlands. Instead of using gravel to fill the wetlands, we use specific selected media with a high adsorption capacity for phosphorus. This way, the phosphorus is captured in the wetlands without the need to add chemicals. We were the first company to trial an Apatite based media at full scale in the UK. As our trials have demonstrated that it was the most suitable media for use in such

systems, we are now looking at optimising the solution by developing different configurations of various footprints to make it suitable to most small sites. We are also looking at ways of recovering the phosphorus that has been captured on the media to be able to reuse the media and recycle the phosphorus. For the ultra-low phosphorus consents of 0.25 mg/L, more complex technologies will most likely be needed. These usually involve a combination of metal salts and polymer addition to increase the phosphorus capture and combined with a ballast (e.g. sand) to speed up the settlement time (and therefore reduce the process footprint). These are well used in countries already implementing ultralow phosphorus permits, such as the US, and are now starting to be installed in the UK. The key issue with all tertiary treatment chemical based solutions is the carry-over of coagulant (iron or aluminium) in the sewage effluent. However, this can be managed by controlling the dose of chemical based on the actual phosphorus load to be removed using real time control systems. Phosphorus analysers and flow meters need to be installed as well as a control system with an algorithm to calculate the required chemical dose. This prevents the over dosing of metal salts and therefore protect the effluent quality. Other technologies, which combine removal and recovery of phosphorus, have started to emerge such as biocatalysts using bio-P organisms or ion-exchange systems. Currently phosphorus is reused through the application of sewage sludge to land, but other processes exist for the recovery of phosphorus from wastewater, sludge dewatering liquor, sludge or ash/char (for sludge incineration or pyrolysis). These are usually recovered as struvite (like the slow release fertiliser we are producing at our phosphorus recovery plant located at Slough Sewage Treatment Works), calcium phosphate or phosphoric acid. Developing resilient solutions to remove and recover phosphorus to protect and enhance our environment is a key part of our Research and Development programme.


Phosphorus Removal

Effective phosphorus removal In this issue of Water Industry Journal, we speak to Roger Attisha of FT Pipeline Systems and Pete Bibby of Waveney about how best to meet the challenge of phosphorus removal. Phosphorus is essential to life, but like all good things too much can be a bad thing. Applied as a fertiliser, phosphorus helps plants to grow – yet too much adversely affects biodiversity. Finding its way into our environment from a number of sources, via human sewage, household products such as detergents, as well as fertilisers, phosphorus leeches into our waterways from the surrounding rocks, soil and plants.

The problem of phosphorus

Excessive amounts of phosphorus cause algal blooms, which block sunlight from reaching the deepest water, thereby impeding plant growth. Plants die, depleting the water’s oxygen and this eutrophication adversely affects the eco system, killing fish and negatively impacting the reproductive systems of those that survive. Recent advances in water analysis, plus our better understanding of how phosphorus affects the environment, means tighter limits are being put on phosphorus levels. Today, an excessive amount of phosphorus is the most common water quality failure. Protecting biodiversity and preventing too much phosphorus from entering our waterways is a priority for the industry and approaches such as improved catchment management are helping, but the other consideration is how best to treat phosphorus once it’s detected in the water.

The challenges of chemical dosing

Chemical dosing is frequently used to remove phosphorus, but any application of chemicals carries risks. The safe and efficient use of chemicals is a priority so that we don’t use more than are necessary and those that are used, work effectively. It’s not just the type of chemicals that is an issue, but the manner in which they’re introduced into water treatment works. Traditional rigid, dual contained dosing pipes have often proven difficult, expensive and cumbersome to manoeuvre, install and maintain. Whilst more recent, flexible, dual contained dosing systems, provide an adaptable, yet robust alternative. Comprising of a pipe or hose within a flexible outer covering, potentially harmful substances are kept under control within the two-layer system. Whilst the light, supple materials mean installation is possible almost anywhere and given they rely on capillary action, rather than gravity to work, they can follow any path – making them particularly versatile.


ProtectaFlex dual containment hose Flexible, dual contained dosing pipes are also installed more easily than rigid systems, via a duct, for example, precluding the need for expensive excavation works, so disruption, downtime and the associated costs are kept to an absolute minimum too.

Light, flexible dosing hoses

ProtectaFlex dual containment hose comprises of a dosing hose covered with a close-fitting polyurethane containment jacket, a UK potable water approved raw material which is also UV stabilised. Up to 63% lighter than traditional dual contained pipe systems, weighing just 4kilos per metre, it is easier to handle, transport and install – helping to reduce your carbon footprint and proving cost-effective too. Traditionally, joints have proven the weak points of pipe systems, but not so with ProtectaFlex, here pipes are manufactured in much longer continuous lengths, mitigating the risk. Typically manufactured in 350 metre lengths, ProtectaFlex has been made to a maximum continuous length of 700 metres. Moreover, in the time ProtectaFlex has been available, since its first installation around nine years ago, no leaks have been reported.

PF Detect breaks new ground

are fitted between the dosing hose and the polyurethane containment jacket. An alarm is triggered almost instantaneously if liquid passes over the wires, so in the rare event of a leak, the pump immediately shuts down and the leak is stopped, reducing the environmental impact. Escaping liquid, need travel just 35-40mm to set off the leak detection system. Introduced as recently as 2017, PF Detect has already been adopted by Anglian Water and installed in 25 schemes, with more than 150 projects upcoming. Whilst, projects with Yorkshire Water are planned for the next asset management plan period of 2020-25. The benefits of the Protectaflex and PF Detect systems are clear, proving adaptable, convenient, cost-effective and helpful in cutting the carbon footprints of such infrastructure projects. These flexible dual contained dosing pipe systems are ideal for both phosphorus removal or general chemical dosing in wastewater works. Combine these effective products with the expertise of installers Waveney, and tackling the challenge of phosphorus removal is in reach. www.ftpipelinesystems.co.uk

Developed in conjunction with utility companies, PF Detect is a ProtectaFlex product with the additional benefit of an integral leak detection system, in which copper wires


Phosphorus Removal

The future of phosphorus management Phosphorus management is one of the key issues in water treatment with the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) and the Water Framework Directive driving tighter consent standards in AMP7. Here Michael Froom, Business Development Director at Veolia Water Technologies discusses the options for meeting these requirements and how water companies can look to futureproof their capital investments. The detrimental effects of phosphorus on the natural environment are well documented and understood but have posed an increasing challenge as farming has intensified over recent decades. As such, tightened phosphorus consent standards across many regions of the UK will mean this is a key focus in the next Asset Management Period (AMP) up to 2025. Although it can be tempting to focus on the current requirements, it is important to consider the long-term effects. As a regulated industry, there is a tendency to concentrate on immediate obligations and so choosing the lowest cost solution that meets the requirements of the current AMP is often seen as the best option. However, this is not always the most cost-effective approach in the long term. While there are a number of options for phosphorus removal from wastewater, an increasingly common approach to achieving low consent standards is chemical treatment. This technique uses a metal salt, most commonly iron, to precipitate orthophosphate. The Ferric phosphate formed is separated from the water in a settlement tank or through the use of a tertiary solids capture process such as a disc or sand filter. However, not all solutions offer the same level of performance and so it is important to look carefully at the information provided by manufacturers to ensure the technology can achieve the desired removal requirements. One of the strengths of chemical water clarification as a long-term solution is that the process can be adjusted without the need for further capital investment. The dosing of metal salts can be altered to manage changing phosphorus levels in the water or meet lower consent standards without impacting the clarification stage efficiency and operation. This flexibility will be limited for some of the separation technologies proposed so careful selection of an effective and adaptable solution that surpasses the current standards can allow changing consents and needs to be met at a lower capital investment. This in turn allows funding to be spent more innovatively in the next AMP to meet evolving needs. Another important aspect of futureproofing that is sometimes overlooked is making the optimum use of space. The scarcity and increasingly intensive use of land in certain areas of the UK means that often the site cannot be expanded. As such, solutions that


offer the necessary capacity with a compact footprint are valuable. This allows new equipment to be installed to meet future standards or demand without the need for total replacement of the existing systems. For example, Veolia’s Actiflo clarifier solution utilises microsand to ballast the chemical flocs, significantly increasing the settling velocity of the particles. This delivers very short retention times and a more compact design. In fact, the footprint of an Actiflo system is as much as 40 times smaller than conventional clarifier systems. Another well-established method for removing phosphorus from water is filtration, with the most common technologies being disc, drum or sand filters. For many applications, disc filters, which utilise a fine media mesh mounted on a number of rotating discs, have several advantages. These units will commonly have a smaller footprint compared with other options as they allow the surface area of the filters to be maximised for a given space. For example, Veolia’s Hydrotech DiscFilters provide a higher level of filtration for a smaller footprint than many standard drum or disc filters. This technology also offers a flexible and modular solution with a comparatively low TOTEX – the total expenditure combining CAPEX and OPEX. Furthermore, where lower levels of phosphorus are required it is possible to combine disc filters with a chemical approach by adding metal salts upstream of the filter. The formation of phosphate solids allows the extraction of dissolved phosphorus to achieve the necessary standard.

evolving their approach, and going beyond simply removing phosphorus to implement phosphorus recovery processes. Phosphorus is a finite resource with no artificial substitute and many vital applications as an agricultural fertiliser and animal feed. Phosphorus recovery technology involves the creation of struvite crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate) by adding magnesium salts in highly concentrated orthophosphate waste water as liquor from the sludge dewatering. The struvite is then separated from the water ready to be transported for reuse, most commonly in fertiliser production. As most of the phosphorus in the water comes from human activity this recycling creates a circular economy in phosphorus use and allows optimum use of natural resources. It also helps improve the return on investment by turning the cost of sludge disposal into revenue generated from the sale of the struvite. Phosphorus management is an important part of protecting the local environment and a priority in AMP7. However, when building and upgrading facilities to meet these goals it is important to consider the longer-term cost implications. Water treatment solutions providers can offer the support and guidance needed to ensure the best technologies are selected for the particular application. To find out more about Veolia Water Technologies’ range of solutions visit www.veoliawatertechnologies.co.uk.

Finally, when considering their long-term goals, water companies should also look at


Phosphorus Removal

Building on advances in phosphorus removal In this issue of the Water Industry Journal, we speak to Andrew Bibby about the challenge posed by phosphorus as we move into a new Asset Management Plan (AMP) period. “As an industry, as the analysis of water has improved and our understanding of the impact phosphorus has on the environment has grown, controls on phosphorus levels have consequently become more stringent. Water companies now have a duty to protect and enhance the natural water environment. “so finding effective treatments for removing phosphorus from wastewater and limiting the amount that makes its way back into our watercourses is imperative.” “As we move from one AMP to another, environmental obligations are becoming tighter still and that’s why it’s important we build on the advances made in recent years so we successfully meet the new consent levels and protect aquatic ecosystems for generations to come. “Technology has moved on in recent years,” explains Andrew, “once where popular filtration systems were akin to a two dimensional mesh, although they satisfied the consents at that time, their filtration performance fails to capture a lot of the pollutants demanded by todays and future discharge consents.

alumina and magnetite. With a bed-depth of 900 millimetres, along with the graded media, makes it extremely effective at capturing particulate solids that other technologies fail to do so.” “In our work providing treatment solutions to the water industry, we’ve found it is the bed-depth and the ability to utilise the entire depth effectively, that is crucial to successfully remove phosphorus from wastewater. Equally important is the ability to remove those captured pollutants from the media when required and continue to do so over time without loss in filtration performance.” This patented technology has a number of advantages, including better effluent quality, higher filtration rates r means a smaller footprint than many solutions, high solids holding capacity means the filters are tolerant to higher solids loadings and fluctuations, especially important where chemical dosing adds additional solids load to the filter.

Today’s systems are now more akin to a sponge, having the ability to capture and retain far more pollutants far more efficiently than was once the case.

FilterClear is not new technology, there are numerous municipal and industrial applications where our clients have witnessed years of low cost trouble free operation. Building on lessons learnt from these references and putting them into practice, our system at Severn Trent Codsall has operated consistently and issue free since February 2018

“FilterClear, is one such system, a high rate multi-media filter, it incorporates media in a variety of sizes and densities, from coarse to fine, light to heavy, including anthracite, silica,

In just over a year since it was installed the results have been outstanding. Capable of treating up to 100 L/s of flow, the FilterClear system has comfortably met the tighter


consent of 0.5 mg/l for phosphorus. In the words of one of the Severn Trent operations team, ‘reassuringly boring technology’. These results mirror those of the Chemical Investigation Program (CIP), in which FilterClear was found to be one of the few technologies that consistently met the new, challenging targets. As part of these investigations, FilterClear was trialled by Yorkshire Water at Bolsover STW, a trickling filter site treating over 10,000 PE. During the 10-month trial period, it was demonstrated that FilterClear was able to meet the challenging total phosphorus discharge target of 0.1mg/L. Whilst some technology has faltered over time, Bluewater Bio’s systems continue to operate well, with no drop off in performance, proving robust and reliable. It is no surprise given these results that FilterClear is being installed at a further four Severn Trent sites, so in addition to Codsall, the technology will be found at facilities in Brockhampton, Ledbury, Newent and Harby too. The demonstrable success of this technology has led to contracts also being secured with United Utilities and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water. In fact, Bluewater Bio and FilterClear are clearly making their presence felt in the water industry at home and abroad, with high profile contracts for their treatment solutions in South Africa, the Middle East and the US. www.bluewaterbio.com


Phosphorus Removal

A simple solution for phosphorus removal The damaging effect of phosphorous and other nutrients released from UK sewage treatment works into protected waters is well known. By Paul M Roberts Commissioning Manager

To reduce these effects the regulatory body is seeking lower consent values for phosphorous from treatment works, resulting in significant expenditure for water businesses throughout the UK. The resulting drive to find an efficient, cost-effective means of biological phosphorous removal is pushing development in this key aspect of waste water treatment. With few treatment works able to accept any process that requires significant land use, finding a solution that also has a compact footprint is the ultimate goal. With the focus on new technology, it’s easy to overlook existing solutions, but one such does exist. For over thirty years the Austrian company, SFC Umwelttechnik, has been providing the technical expertise behind efficient and very compact Bio-P removal plants throughout the world. Most importantly, these have included installations in the UK and Ireland, so this established technology is already proven to work in the UK environment and is known to consistently meet the spot sampling approach used by the UK regulator. The plants, using an established process which SFC designate as ‘C-TECH’, can be considered as a specific and very efficient development of the well-known Sequencing Batch Reactor. The C-TECH system delivers all the required benefits (low operation and maintenance requirements, low energy consumption, low TOTEX cost, and compact footprint) without the risks associated with new technology solutions. The C-TECH process involves a number of treatment basins operating in a staggered sequence to handle continuous incoming

Grossarl WWTW, Austria


C-TECH Process Cycle flows. Using multiple basins eliminates the need for an upstream balancing tank and also provides immediately available redundant capacity. This capacity allows one basin to be removed for inspection or maintenance when required without affecting plant throughput or discharge quality. Each basin operates in the same way using a cycle of three distinct process phases. These are the fill/aerate phase, the settle phase and the decant phase. Incoming flows from the pre-treatment area of the Works pass, with no requirement for primary treatment, direct to the anaerobic selector area of the appropriate basin. Here the flows are joined by returned flow from the aeration area further along the basin. The conditions in the selector area stress the organisms and promote the development of ‘Macroflocs’, which are maintained throughout the full process cycle. These oversize flocs contain an external aerobic zone, an internal anoxic zone, and phosphorous accumulating organisms or PAOs. As a direct result of their make-up, simultaneous nitrification and denitrification occurs throughout the cycle. The PAOs operate to take up phosphorus from the surrounding bulk liquors, and they are periodically removed from the basin as part of the sludge removal process. The result is an effluent discharge

with very low phosphorous content, typically <1mg/l with no chemical addition. As well as providing consistently high standard effluent, the C-TECH process removes the need for land-hungry primary and final settlement tanks as well as tertiary treatment plant. Coupled with the compact size of a group of basins the full treatment process is provided within a small overall footprint, allowing release of land for other purposes, or scope for dealing with increased flows. Operation and maintenance of the basins and related equipment is straightforward: each basin needs only one dissolved oxygen monitor and an ultrasonic level device to control the process. With no in-tank mixers, a simple decant assembly for effluent discharge and no complex analytical instrumentation to nursemaid, C-TECH provides high-tech Bio-P removal using the simplest of equipment. Contact Trant Engineering for further information. trant.co.uk


Shedding light on resilience Barry Hopton of atg UV Technology explains how UV disinfection can help to provide resilience in water treatment works. We are hearing a lot about resilience around the industry, but what does it mean? The OED defines resilience as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. The Government’s “Keeping the Country Running” guidance, more specifically, considers natural hazards and the “ability of assets, networks and systems to anticipate, absorb, adapt to and/or rapidly recover from a disruptive event”. The 2014 Water Act highlights the need for long-term resilience of water and wastewater systems, whilst Ofwat focuses on the customers’ confidence that “clean, safe drinking water will be reliably available and that they can rely on their wastewater being taken away”. So how can we provide resilience? Firstly we need to look at what we mean by disruptive events. These are well rehearsed and include population growth and environmental pressures. Population growth means not only an increase in demand for drinking water but also an expansion of agriculture to feed more mouths. Agriculture needs water. Global climate change means that more areas will be designated as arid, whilst others will become prone to flooding. This has an obvious impact on water availability but, less obviously, on water quality as the chemistry and ecology of water sources will change. Water companies are already putting together long term plans for the careful husbanding of water resources, but there is still an urgent need for education to change consumer behaviour in respect of water conservation, reuse and recycling. In the meantime the industry has to focus on treatment plant resilience. Keeping the Country Running sets out a number of categories of resilience provision: redundancy to avoid dependency on single assets such as pumps resistance to proof the plant against known risks such as flooding reliability provided by design standards, quality and planned maintenance response to be able to recover quickly so that service is not unduly impacted

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UV disinfection can play a part in all of these categories. Because of its small footprint compared to chemical disinfection, the installation of a standby stream is simple and on-line performance monitoring by UV transmittance and UV intensity makes automatic changeover easy. UV disinfection systems are completely enclosed so there is no risk of contamination from external sources, and the electrics and controls can be made fully resistant to flooding and hazardous atmospheres. Compliance with validation protocols like USEPA and UVDGM, together with on-line monitoring provides a level of reliability that is difficult to achieve with chemical systems. atg UV Technology manufactures mobile skidmounted and containerised plant that can provide rapid response to emergencies such as Cryptosporidium incidents. They can be rapidly deployed to specific parts of the works, service reservoirs and distribution network, be operational within hours and can even include a diesel generator to provide electrical power, so that all that is needed on site is to connect water inlet and outlet. Graham Bateman, Lead Technical Manager, Water Process at Southern Water is responsible for resilience planning and solution engineering in a heavily water stressed area supplying 530Ml/d to over two million customers with an anticipated population growth of 25% by 2050. He sees UV as a key technology. “We assess risks from source to tap, including in the catchment, at all our water supply works, service reservoirs, booster

stations and trunk mains. Dependent on the historical raw water challenge at each water supply works, we adopt a planned approach to disinfection which may include permanent UV systems as part of dual disinfection. We are also considering mobile UV systems that can be rapidly deployed when required in response to a water quality incident.” Mobile rigs have proved to be a very efficient and cost effective way of reacting to emergencies. But it is wrong to think of containerised units as just temporary solutions: they are increasingly being used for permanent installations. The lack of on-site piping and cabling together with reduced testing and commissioning time makes them a cost effective alternative to skid mounted packages installed in kiosks. The simplicity of UV disinfection, with no chemicals to store, handle and monitor makes it a natural choice for reliable primary disinfection and it can be sufficiently flexible for emergency response. In short, a resilient option for water supply resilience. atg UV Technology, Genesis House, Richmond Hill, Pemberton, Wigan, Lancashire WN5 8AA t: +44 (0)1942 216161 e: info@atguv.com www.atguv.com


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Improving Drinking Water Quality



Improving Drinking Water Quality

Colony Counts: The Microbiology of Drinking Water In this issue of the Water Industry Journal, we gain an insight into how colony counts are used to ensure we have wholesome drinking water on tap. Shaun Jones, Public Health Manager at Wessex Water and Chair of Standing Committee of Analysts for Microbiology, talks about drinking water colony counts. “The provision of safe and wholesome drinking water is a principal objective of the water industry, such is its importance to the health and wellbeing of our society. Water companies invest massive sums of money and work tirelessly to achieve this reliably. “With global statistics often attributing the cause of over half a million deaths each year to the consumption of water contaminated with diarrhoeal disease-causing pathogens like, cholera, dysentery and typhoid[1], perhaps the safety of drinking water supplies is more synonymous with microbiological quality than any other possible character. “In England and Wales, we enjoy and almost take for granted our share of the 16,000 million litres of drinking water that somewhat underwhelmingly appears when we turn on the tap at home. “Unlike elsewhere across the world, our drinking water is unlikely to make us sick and reaches an enviable regulatory standard that is greater than

99.9% compliant with the European Union (EU) Drinking Water Directive [2]. “Despite this, during 2017 over one million microbiological tests were carried out on public water supplies across England and Wales to verify its safety and compliance with regulations – approximately 2,900 tests every day.[2] “These tests include for Escherichia coli, other coliform bacteria, enterococci, Clostridium perfringens. In addition to these tests, drinking water microbiologists also determine colony count – the subject of this very article. “Out of all the drinking water microbiology tests I carried out as a bench analyst, the colony count tests were perhaps the most interesting. “Also known as ‘total viable count’, ‘standard plate count’ or ‘heterotrophic plate count’, I much prefer the name ‘colony count’ – not only is it the regulatory name for the test it  page 94



Improving Drinking Water Quality  From page 93 also describes precisely what microbiologists currently spend much of their time doing; counting colonies!

computer system and the cells characterised on a chart. “This technique has been further enhanced by the use of fluorescent dyes such SYBR Green and Propidium Iodide. When used in combination, water companies are able to count the entire bacterial population and determine the number of viable and damaged bacterial cells.

“Bacteria are single cell microorganisms that divide to grow in number; one divides to make two, then numbers accumulate rapidly 2-4-816-32 etc. Given enough time the sheer number of cells is such that the collective mass appears as a visible colony that can be observed and counted.

“This state of the art method provides a much more realistic picture of water quality than the traditional culture method and only takes less than one hour compared to the 24 hours of growth needed for visible colonies to form.

“Escherichia coli can divide every 20 minutes under laboratory conditions. This means that a single cell will produce a phenomenal 47,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 cells after just 24 hours. Whilst you can’t ordinarily see bacteria, when grown in a clump like this it’s no wonder they can be visualised in the form of a colony. “The completely weird thing about a colony, which I find forever fascinating, is that its shape, size and colour is different for different bacteria. So much so, microbiologists use the morphology of colonies as a diagnostic tool to identify the bacteria present. Why this happens is as much as mystery as their shape and form at the microscopic level which again is different for different bacteria – how tremendously helpful! “The role of the microbiologist is to provide the right nutrients, atmosphere and temperature to allow the bacteria of interest to grow as fast as possible, often in preference to the other bacteria present in the sample. “Agar is a generic term for the solid nutrient growth media used to grow bacteria which usually all takes place within a petri dish – transparent circular dishes used to culture of microorganisms that you might otherwise remember from school. The variety of agar available corresponds to each of the different bacteria we can grow. “Drinking water microbiologists continue to use agar and petri dishes to grow bacteria in order to determine their concentration in the sample examined. However, technology seeks to change this century old approach. “Quantifying the number of microbes in a water sample is not straightforward, even for the most skilled microbiologist. There are two principal concepts which highlight these limitations: The first is the concept of viability, which, in the context of this article, is the ability of a bacterium to grow (multiply) significantly under laboratory conditions so that a visible colony appears following incubation.

“Therefore, it is impossible to know the precise number of bacteria in a sample and collectively gives rise to the use of the unit of measure for such tests – ‘colony forming unit’ usually expressed as per unit volume examined. “Incidentally, this is part of the reason why drinking water safety planning risk assessment is promoted as the best means to ensure supplies are reliably wholesome and safe. “Anyway, returning to the colony count test and why I find them a little quirky. “Although the 1998 Drinking Water Directive required colony counts to be determined at 22°C, the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations required water companies to carry out two colony count tests; one at 22°C with incubation for three days and the other 37°C with incubation for two days [3]. “Since 2016 and the amendments to the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations, water companies are now only required to test for colony counts at 22°C. “The standard that water companies must attain is ‘no abnormal change’ and, to my knowledge, no water company has ever contravened this standard. Having said that, as a former DWI Inspector, I know with certainty colony count results are used in the consideration of enforcement action and in this regard water companies use them to monitor and identify changes to long term trends.

Secondly, that the colony may have been formed from the growth of a single bacterium or a cluster of bacteria.

“To better identify water quality trends and avoid the limitations of the traditional culture method, water companies have been exploring using state of the art technology[4]. The technology isn’t new but has rather re-materialised in a more accessible format due to the vastly improved capital cost and footprint.

“These limitations mean that only the viable fraction of the population of bacteria as a whole appear as colonies. The absence of colonies may not therefore necessarily translate to the absence of bacteria in the sample – the reason why test results are often reported as ‘not detected’ and why so many tests are carried out each year.

“Flowcytometry, is not reliant on the viability of microbes or the visualisation of colonies but is a direct measurement of the number of bacteria present. The clever part about flow cytometry is that the cells in a sample are streamed past a laser beam in single file scattering the light in a characteristic way. The scatter is measured by a detection and


“There is a lot of good work being carried out by the water industry to refine the flow cytometry technology further, including to create better fluorescent markers that would allow us to also identify and count the number of different types of bacteria present. “Some of the work to create a standardised flow cytometry method is being carried out through the Standing Committee of Analysts[5] and may ultimately lead to a new regulatory standard, like it has been elsewhere around the world. “Back at home, for now, water companies will continue to utilise the technique to further improve the quality of our drinking water supplies alongside traditional microbiology.” [1] WHO [2] DWI – Chief Inspector’s Report 2017 [3] The Microbiology of Drinking Water (2002) - Part 1 - Water Quality and Public Health [4] Water Res. 2014 Nov 15;65:224-34. Assessing microbiological water quality in drinking water distribution systems with disinfectant residual using flow cytometry. [5] Standing Committee of Analysts – www.standingcommitteeofanalysts.co.uk

Shaun Jones Public Health Manager at Wessex Water

Chair of the Working Group for Microbiological Methods, Shaun is responsible for developing and producing microbiological methods that are fit for regulatory application; including those published in the Microbiology of Drinking Water, Microbiology of Recreational and Environmental Waters and Microbiology of Sewage Sludge series. Formerly an Inspector with the Drinking Water Inspectorate, Shaun has a thorough understanding of public and private water quality law, and is currently Wessex Water’s Public Health Manager. A graduate microbiologist, Shaun worked initially for Severn Trent and then Scottish Water Laboratories.


Improving Drinking Water Quality

Largest European water filtration system

Anglian Water continues work on multi-million pound investment into Norwich’s water supply. Anglian Water has begun installing a state of the art filtration system at its Water Treatment Works in Norwich as part of its £36million scheme to keep customers’ taps running for decades to come and protect the local environment at the same time.

and a regional economic powerhouse. Water helps power that economy, so it’s essential there’s enough to go around but we also care for the environment and want to ensure we’re protecting it.”

The filtration system will be the largest of its kind in Europe and work to install its components will take place over the coming days. Work on the scheme began in 2017 and it makes up part of the half a billion pounds the water company is investing in the region between 2015 and 2020. The scheme will be completed later this year, and will supplement the existing treatment process. Every single day Anglian Water supplies millions of litres of water from the River Wensum to over a quarter of a million customers and businesses that rely on it in and around Norwich. However the city is growing. Norfolk is expected to be home to more than one million people by 2034, many of whom will

choose to live in Norwich - one of the UK’s fastest growing cities. This combined with being in one of the driest counties in the UK means investment is required to ensure there is a ready supply of water for people’s daily lives and to power the economy. Anglian Water’s investment will make sure the environment does not suffer as a result of this growth; ensuring levels of abstraction remain sustainable. Regan Harris from Anglian Water said: “Norwich is a rapidly growing, thriving city

Parts of the River Wensum are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Special Areas of Conservation. The Costessey Pits area specifically has a rich and diverse environment that needs protecting. In the future, Anglian Water will not be able take enough water from Costessey alone to support the needs of the growing population without having a detrimental impact on the environment. To protect the environment against this, more water will need to be taken further downstream in the Wensum - nearer Heigham Water Treatment Works itself. “We’re planning decades into the future with this investment, to make sure Norwich’s water supplies are secure for years to come,” Regan continued. “Although fundamentally there is still the same finite volume of water to go around the Wensum and other rivers of Norfolk, we’ll be preventing any extra stress on the ecosystem in the river in future.”


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Improving Drinking Water Quality

Water Quality Water. It’s found everywhere and is essential to human life. Each person requires at least 20 to 50 litres of clean, safe water a day for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene and that’s why the World Health Organization (WHO) and national agencies have drinking water quality standards that specify the acceptable microbial, chemical, and radiological characteristics of safe drinking water.

Microbes, chemicals and natural pollutants can make water unsafe to drink, can cause water-related diseases. Water companies provide essential services to treat and deliver safe drinking water and to remove wastewater and dispose of it with minimal impact on the environment. If water sources are not protected, or are unexpectedly contaminated for any reason, the quality of drinking water suffers. That’s why millions of tests are conducted every year to guarantee the best possible quality of water for consumers. When we talk about water quality, we look at the physical (chemical) attributes of water as well as its visual properties: consumers expect their water to look clean as well as taste nice and the requirements for water quality are changing with time, whether driven by legislation or by customer perception. While water is distributed through an infrastructure that collects, treats, stores and delivers water between the source to the consumer, water sits within a wide range of pipes made from different materials, that are joined together with fittings and valves to form the distribution network. The time water spends in the system and its subsequent degradation through exposure to materials, influences the quality of water customers receive. A lot of work goes into addressing these matters at the beginning of the design and construction of a new pipeline. However, with many new infill developments located in vacant brownfield areas where land has been reclaimed from a former commercial or industrial use, the risk of soil contamination affecting drinking water quality is real and it is increasingly common to use pipes with barrier properties to prevent permeation of contaminants into the water supply. It may be worth mentioning that barrier pipes form a system and it is expected that fittings used to join barrier pipes will themselves sustain the barrier so that the whole system


prevents permeation of substances likely to affect human health. The UK is the only country to have set standards in which this continuation of the barrier is specified. Examples of full barrier pipe systems from Radius Systems include a polyethylene and aluminium pipe under the Puriton tradename which, together with their Redman branded barrier fittings, offers a full ‘barrier system’. These types of barrier pipe systems are used as standard in developments on reclaimed land and increasingly for kerbside renewal works by utilities, where the long term run-off from vehicle discharges leaching from the verge, give rise to similar contamination concerns. These barrier solutions ensure the health implications of drinking water is given priority and that the water quality is maintained. For many developments, including rehabilitation works, it is now the case that polyethylene pipe will be used for the bulk of pipeline systems within the water distribution network. The long coil lengths reduce the occurrence of joints, and where joints are formed there are methods of reliably welding the pipes to form leak-tight joints. Fewer welded joints reduce the risk of infiltration in surge events where organic matter is drawn into the network and may create a biological hazard. Polyethylene pipes are often used for insertion inside existing metallic pipe assets at the end of their operating lifetime, which with more informed network management supporting downsizing and use of slip lining techniques, moves water through the network faster. This, in turn, reduces the aged water volume, the risks of microbiological growth and improves quality. Simple solutions providing good news. Other less intrusive means are available when it comes to managing existing assets in differing conditions. For iron pipes or asbestos cement pipes for example, where the pipe remains in good condition, quality can be improved by spray coating the pipe surface

internally. Well-known techniques in the UK like polymeric spray coatings, are preferred lining techniques (over cement mortar lining for example) to maintain the quality of water distributed. Two-part spray solutions using polyurethane or polyurea, are commonly specified to deliver a barrier layer between the water and the original host pipe to improve water quality. Examples from Radius Subterra include the Subcote offerings, which have same day return of supply to minimise the loss of service time, and which raise water quality without compromising capacity in the network. The increased coating thicknesses that can be achieved from the high build nature of these materials, means that it is possible to address certain defect sizes to reduce leakage at the same time. Used extensively worldwide, as well as within the UK, this material enables better asset management. If the pipe structure is degraded, then polyethylene pipes can be specified for the replacement of the asset, using interactive or fully structural close-fit linings. These options which reduce leakage and improve water quality, will maximise flow capacity and will restore the integrity of the pipeline, whilst minimising the engineering works necessary for installing the replacement pipe. Polyethylene materials, in particular, are specified for drinking water applications worldwide, supporting a global industry which has provided the resources and expertise to ensure the performance of these materials, and the pipe systems they support, is continually improving. Innovative work and continuous improvement that underpin reliable asset performance for well in excess of 100 years and verifiable high water quality for the end consumer. www.radius-systems.com


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Improving Drinking Water Quality

Improving drinking water quality today In this issue of the Water Industry Journal, we speak to Jan Krejcik, Group Sales Executive of Urban Water at DHI. Jan provides insights into the challenges ahead for the water industry and explains why modelling and application of digital twins has a role in tackling them. Please provide an overview of your role and remit?

“My role in DHI is to lead business growth and includes the implementation of the sector strategy in key territories, coaching and leading local sales managers and contributing to global marketing. But most of all, it is about face-to-face time with our key customers and partners to understand their needs and offering our technology and expertise to help them.” Tell us a bit about the business

“We believe that we are the first people to call when you have a tough challenge to solve in a water environment. Our journey to globalisation began back in the nineties and it brought us to where we are today: a truly global company operating worldwide and around the clock. Our knowledge represents the culmination of 50 years of dedicated research and real-life experience from more than 140 countries and our motivation is to make this knowledge globally accessible to all of our clients and partners.” The provision of safe drinking water is of vital importance, and yet is perhaps something that’s taken for granted. Could you outline some of the challenges the water industry faces in ensuring drinking water quality?

“In countries where instant access to clean water is taken for granted the biggest challenges are ageing assets and the long term self-sustainability of the water supply systems. Whilst the industry faces an increasing demand for improved water quality too.”

systems work, thereby helping with key decision-making. We provide the knowledge and means for the industry to make decisions in an appropriate time frame that are costeffective, fair and right strategically.” How is DHI currently helping the water sector to improve drinking water quality?

“The translation of great ideas into a great product that makes things easier for our clients is part of our DNA. Through design thinking and a continuous dialogue with our customers, we unlock straightforward, consumer-friendly solutions and products. Like WaterNet Advisor, the product that can completely change the way of working with models of water distribution networks.”

“At the same time, the industry is experiencing a decrease in consumption per capita, which makes it difficult to keep water pricing fair whilst continuing to invest in the infrastructure at the required level. Together with the increase in demand for timely and accurate information accessible via the media and social networking, there are a lot of pressures placed on those who are responsible for the delivery of water.”

What role is there for new technologies? For example, what do you estimate AI can offer the sector in terms of the quality of drinking water?

Why is what DHI does important in the field of drinking water?

What particular advantages do your products bring to the water industry?

“At DHI, we were one of the first pioneers developing digital solutions representing the physical reality of the water environment using mathematical models. Our products deepen understanding of how physical


“Self-learning algorithms or machine learning with big data allow businesses to make better and faster forecasts of, for example, water demands and/or actual water consumption and thus help to operate the water distribution systems more dynamically and efficiently.”

“The modelling of water systems and processes is an industry standard today, but imagine having access to information about water quality in a network from anywhere, anytime, using any device. Imagine you could

choose to operate your pumps, valves or a treatment plant from anywhere, anytime, using any device. That’s what WaterNet Advisor provides. It enables teamwork in real time where ever your team, network or data are in the world, for the benefit of your customers and your business.” What in your estimation are the long term challenges, and also opportunities, facing the water industry in respect to drinking water - and how can DHI help respond to these challenges and opportunities? “Looking forward, the overriding challenge for the water industry will continue to be to keep and increase the trust of people in drinking tap water. Hand in hand with this, come the enormous challenges presented by climate change, including water scarcity and water quality. As an industry, we need to drastically reduce water losses and build more resilient networks in order to cope with increasing urbanisation and the growth of cities.” “Providing opportunities for an improved and expanded information base, our new technologies enable businesses to make more accurate, evidence-based decisions that drive improvements. This is what makes us the first people to call when you have a tough challenge to solve in a water environment.” Are there any recent business developments or future plans you’d like to share? “Digital twins in the Cloud. Stay tuned.” www.dhigroup.com


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Introducing SiteBox, the industry’s first full monitoring and control system, in a box SiteBox is ATi’s brand-new approach to water quality monitoring systems. This smart alternative to traditional instrumentation panels is a complete water quality monitoring and control system that can be used in a variety of applications, from drinking water treatment to process water in the food industry, all housed in a carry-on luggage-sized portable box. Its modular nature enables users to order a bespoke monitoring system that fits individual site requirements. This is in stark contrast to the size and complexity of traditional panel mounted solutions. SiteBox can be used on its own as the input to a control system, or alternatively as an independent monitoring system that polices existing water quality monitors.

Delivery to start up in minutes

SiteBox is quick to install, with delivery to start up in minutes, and typically generates live data (eg SCADA) within 30 minutes, dramatically reducing the overall cost of the instrumentation package. SiteBox also has a small footprint, along with low water usage, and can be configured for dual or triple validation, multi-stream (1- 3), up to eight sensors and over 20 parameters. Offering a sustainable solution to water quality monitoring, SiteBox will ultimately help drive down complaints, increase SIM scores and result in safeguarding water quality for customer use. Applications include: pH



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SiteBox benefits

Fast, low cost, fully portable water quality policing system Policing system that offers and independent final check

Bespoke, modular system designed to suit individual site needs Can be used as an emergency start up for drought bore holes

Ability to measure anywhere, can foresee potential issues and advises early, which avoids complaints and allows mitigating action


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Internal clock records total run time on the sensor Calibration timer alerts users when calibration is due

Use of ATi’s industry-leading, ultra-low powered smart sensors, M-Nodes Years of run-time on batteries

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Small footprint means it can be used almost anywhere Under 30 minutes to install and data delivery, reducing costly onsite time

Eliminates costly, time consuming and complex design process Sensor diagnostics and calibration timer alerts give increased confidence measurements

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The modular approach of SiteBox allows users to order a bespoke system specifically designed for their needs. The system has the option of three difference power sources, five communication channels, up to 8 sensors from over 20 parameters to choose from, up to three streams, plus a flow switch option.

Available M-Nodes

SiteBox M-Node sensors are available for over 20 water quality parameters. Users

simply select the parameters required for a specific location and ATi assemble them into a bespoke, integrated, modular system. All Nodes communicate on a common RS-485 sensor bus using Modbus protocol. Each M-Node has an IP-67 M8 water-tight connector for external communication. Power for the M-Node system is also supplied via the RS-485 bus. M-Nodes may even be used independently by system integrators who wish to communicate directly with the nodes using their own PLC system.

Power Options

Power consumption requirements of traditional water quality monitors prevent their use in locations where AC power is not available. The low power design of the SiteBox system allows these monitors to operate on 12-24 VDC power, as well as battery power, without sacrificing reliability. To further improve power consumption, the system allows users to operate in either continuous or cycle modes. In full continuous mode, power is constantly applied to M-Nodes and measurements are continuously taken. When operating in cycle mode, the measurement nodes are placed in “sleep mode” for much of the time. Every 15 minutes, the Nodes are switched to “full power” for about 15 seconds in order to take a reading and store data. Operation in cycle mode extends battery life considerably. Space-saving, pioneering instrument solutions designed and manufactured by ATi - the first to act upon what our customers need. For further information, on the industry’s first ever SiteBox, please contact ATi on sitebox@atiuk.com or visit www.atiuk.com


Luton river restoration recognised at top awards A project to restore a section of urban river in Luton has been recognised at a top environmental awards ceremony.

have worked with our partners to restore a section of river in what is a very built up, urban location.

The Manor Road Park River Lea project was awarded with a ‘highly commended project’ at the 2019 UK River Prize awards, which recognises and celebrates the best in river restoration and catchment management.

“Before our intervention, the River Lea flowed along a deep, restricted channel made of concrete which meant that silt covered the natural gravels, making it harder for fish and other creatures to thrive. The high walls also separated the river from its essential counterpart – the floodplain – and was not able to be enjoyed by the local community either.

The recognition is the culmination of two years’ worth of work by Affinity Water, Luton Council, the Environment Agency and the Luton Lea River Catchment Partnership to revitalise the local environment and habitat along part of the River Lea that runs through Manor Road Park in Luton. That work has delivered multiple water quality, environmental and social benefits – including reducing the risk of flooding, improved habitats for wildlife and connecting the river back into its surrounding environment for residents to enjoy. Jane Everett, Asset Scientist at Affinity Water, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this project was recognised for how we

“Today, this section of the River Lea meanders through the park in the way it naturally should. It features in-channel pools and riffles, which improve and manage river flows and encourage fish and insects to flourish within the new chalk stream habitat. “Just as important it is has become reconnected with the community so they can enjoy and appreciate this rich but rare natural asset.” Laura Church, Corporate Director for Place and Infrastructure at Luton Council

said, “We’re really pleased that the work completed at Manor Park last year has received this recognition, the change is remarkable and this award is well deserved. It reflects the hard work that went into delivering an important environmental project for the town. Manor Park is now a great space for all visitors, people and wildlife alike, and is a huge improvement.” The River Lea is particularly valuable because it is a chalk stream - a globally rare, iconic habitat. There are around 200 chalk streams in England, of which 10 per cent are in Affinity Water’s supply area. The 2019 UK River Prize awards is organised by The River Restoration Centre (RRC) and made at its annual conference, which brings together professionals from all areas of river restoration. This year’s impressive level of entries was judged by a panel of industry experts, including Martin Janes (The River Restoration Centre), Oliver Lowe (Natural Resources Wales), Pam Nolan (Environment Agency), Ann Skinner (Independent) and Christopher Spray (University of Dundee).

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www.atiuk.com www.waterindustryjournal.co.uk



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Reducing customer discolouration complaints by controlling manganese at Water Treatment Works By Bernadette Ryan (STW Ltd) Keiron Maher (STW Ltd) Derek Clucas (Aquinta Consulting Ltd) Discolouration complaints occur when flow changes disturb iron deposits within the distribution system. Historically it was thought that unlined cast iron pipes were the main source of this material, along with accumulation of the low levels of iron leaving the water treatment works (WTW). However, analysis of both of these factors fails to account for the significant differences in the level of discolouration complaints across our network. Traditionally discolouration complaints have been managed by cleaning and flushing hot-spot complaint areas. This is a labourintensive process, so when Derek Clucas (Aquinta Consulting Ltd) contacted us about a novel approach for reducing the incidence of discolouration in the distribution network, we were keen to investigate further. Derek showed us a link between very low levels of manganese leaving the WTW and an increased risk of discolouration at customers’ taps. We looked at our own data and found a similar correlation. The levels of manganese were too low to cause discolouration in isolation but Derek’s hypothesis was that manganese catalyses the build-up of iron deposits in the network, and more interestingly, the removal of manganese results in the gradual dissipation of the manganese deposits without the need for manual flushing operations.

Reducing manganese levels

To test this hypothesis we wanted to reduce manganese leaving our WTW and see if there was a corresponding reduction in complaints. To achieve this we identified the main inputs and removal processes for manganese at our works and in the distribution network. Normally manganese removal is achieved with a second stage filtration process which uses elevated pH and chlorine to catalytically remove manganese. However, this has only been installed at sites with very high levels of manganese. Retrofitting this to our other WTW would require significant capital investment, so we investigated whether manganese removal could be effective on a single stage filtration process. Surprisingly, our investigation showed that the main source of manganese was not the raw water but the addition of iron-based coagulants, and in some cases the addition of lime for pH correction. We also found that we were achieving a good level of manganese removal


with single stage filtration, but there were still opportunities to optimise the process. We conducted pilot plant trials over several months to help us understand the relationship between the variables involved in manganese removal (oxidant residual, the level of catalytic coating, pH and contact time). This confirmed the conditions needed for good manganese removal were as described below: There was sufficient chlorine pre-filter The media was already catalysed The pre-filter pH was above 7 The EBCT (Empty Bed Contact Time) was above 13 minutes However, these variables could be affected by factors such as the degree of catalytic coating and backwash regime. We also discovered that the build-up of a catalytic coating on new media can take more than a year if the chemical conditions are not optimal. Under optimal conditions, good manganese removal can be achieved within 2 weeks. However the process is not robust and requires optimal conditions to be maintained.

Other sources of manganese

Further down the process, we discovered that we were adding in the final stages of treatment by adding lime for pH correction. We investigated a range of sources of lime and were able to identify sources of lime with a lower manganese content. This enabled us to significantly reduce the amount of manganese in the final water and so in the network. At one site this equated to a reduction of 2µg/L

The relationship between manganese and complaints

The next step was to evaluate the impact of reduced final water manganese levels on customer discolouration complaints. This data analysis was complex and rigorous, with data analysts working closely with research staff to rule in or rule out data points from the analysis. This was crucial as the distribution network is complex and in continual flux, but ensuring we had the correct data was critical to this analysis. We analysed the impact of our reduction in manganese at four WTW in areas not affected by any other improvement activities such as targeted cleaning and flushing. The final analysis showed a significant benefit from reducing manganese to below levels not previously thought to cause complaints. The magnitude of this benefit was surprising and confirmed the hypothesis that manganese catalyses the build-up of iron in the network and increases the incidence of discolouration complaints:

WTW 1 (365 Ml/d): a 47% reduction in complaints when final water total manganese levels were reduced by 52% from 2.5ug/L to 1.2 µg/L WTW 2 (49 Ml/d): a 50% reduction in complaints when final water total manganese levels were reduced by 48% from 2.7ug/L to 1.4 µg/L WTW 3 (19 Ml/d): a 93% reduction in complaints when final water total manganese levels were reduced by 71% from 1.5ug/L to 0.54 µg/L WTW 4 (17 Ml/d): a 55% reduction in complaints when final water total manganese levels were reduced by 55% from 8.7ug/L to 3.9 µg/L

Building success into business as usual

To ensure benefits are sustained, the focus on improved manganese removal has been embedded as a ‘business as usual’ activity. Our Water Quality Process Team collects data weekly and uses operational control charts to monitor change and push for the lowest possible manganese levels on our WTWs final water. Over the last two years this has resulted in 40% reduction in manganese entering the Severn Trent Water distribution network (this equates to over 300kg manganese). The benefit from this activity has been improved customer satisfaction and the estimated avoidance of more than 2,000 discolouration complaints per year. The focus in Severn Trent Water continues to be on minimising manganese leaving the WTW, and providing the best possible quality water to our customers.


Land & Water creates Thames liquid highway

Leading civil and environmental engineering company, Land & Water, has recently invested in a £500,000 dredging campaign to increase the capacity of its Thames-side marine logistics centre at Coldharbour Lane, Rainham, Essex. Land & Water is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and the company is thinking towards the future. One of the most important aspects of the company’s work is safeguarding and improving environments for the next generation to enjoy. An integral part of Land & Water’s master plan is to invest in UK infrastructure to build sustainable end-toend relationships with key partners. As part of this plan, Land & Water purchased Coldharbour Lane Jetty, a new facility which has achieved full planning permission to act as a marine logistics centre which will support major infrastructure projects along the Thames Estuary. The wharf, which has three fully operational shipping berths, will handle waste spoils from construction works and allow them to be shipped to the company’s

adjacent habitat creation site at Rainham Marshes. The hub will also act as a transport node for materials and products to be shipped onto barges for onward distribution into London. James Maclean, CEO of Land & Water comments: “I am convinced that innovative logistics solutions will unlock future supply chains into London as the days of diesel fuelled heavy trucks delivering commodities into the capital are numbered. Our sustainable hub at Rainham offers the ideal solution, taking advantage of our close proximity to the A13 and M25 trunk roads, linking them directly to water transport, unlocking the River Thames as a liquid highway. We hope our hub will be able to feed a fleet of electric distribution vehicles deep

inside the city, which will have a positive long-term effect on the environment, and ease congestion.” This new facility saves 86 articulated lorry movements into and out of the capital for every 1,200-tonne barge that leaves the hub. It also provides Land & Water with a major operational foothold in the Thames, allowing the company to offer credible logistics solutions to its clients and the London basin. James continues: “This long-term, cost effective solution has already attracted three separate businesses to trade with Land & Water at the facility. We hope many more will come to use this strategic asset, located just inside the M25 on the banks of the River Thames.” www.land-water.co.uk

I am convinced that innovative logistics solutions will unlock future supply chains into London as the days of diesel fuelled heavy trucks delivering commodities into the capital are numbered. 104



Take Time To Think Safety: Brenntag UK & Ireland Safety Day Brenntag is working continuously to further improve safety within the company. Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) strategy encapsulates principles in the areas of occupational health & safety, product stewardship and product safety, the environment, compliance and quality. Brenntag adopts a predominantly decentralised approach to its HSE management, as the global strategy is implemented in regions as part of their own HSE programmes. Thus Brenntag UK & Ireland are able to apply their knowledge of the local operating conditions including legislation, culture, infrastructure and industry standards (water treatment in particular), whilst supported by Brenntag HSE expertise worldwide to continue to drive safety standards and culture across the sites in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Russel Argo, Regional President Brenntag UK & Ireland, said: “The Safety First principle is our most important company value. We have celebrated our best safety period for our company over the last five years. We are extremely proud of that level of success and I personally thank everyone at Brenntag UK & Ireland for their role in that achievement. We recognise however that we must continue our relentless pursuit of sustaining a safety culture in which zero incidents is the only acceptable objective“. The day was organised under the banner of “Let’s Take Time To Think Safety”, with the aim for all employees across Brenntag UK & Ireland sites to participate in various activities focusing on operational and behavioural safety. Argo said: “The level of engagement


of our employees was remarkable, making me personally extremely proud of our safety culture. Building on our daily pledge of commitment to our own safety and the safety around us, we structured the day around See, Stop, Do: when I SEE Something, I will STOP and DO Something, taking action when we see a hazard, an unsafe habit, or a risk that can be avoided. Every Brenntag employee has the right to stop any unsafe work and positively influence the culture of our company”. The format of the day was developed by Brenntag UK & Ireland HSE team. All employees were encouraged to wear the Safety Day badge and join with the activities around the key safety messages that have been chosen to remind all of the importance of Safety. Activities on the day included safety equipment demonstrations, first aid training, interactive presentations run by representatives of local ambulance, fire, police and anti-terrorism departments, “Safety Safari” hazard spotting exercises, emergency drills and many more activities ran at each site. The poignant video on Ken Woodward OBE experience which generated thought provoking discussions and reflections (WIJ: Ken Woodward’s presentation at Brenntag Safety Day 2017 left a lasting positive impression on the event’s delegates). All staff were also encouraged to complete the “Personal Safety

Action Plan” focusing on personal safety at work, personal safety at home, and the safety of their colleagues. The day culminated in the Big Picture Reveal, demonstrating the company wide commitment to Safety First.

SAFETY LEADERSHIP AWARD The Chemical Business Association (CBA) inaugural Safety Leadership Award, which recognises the key role played by senior management in the successful management of safety at work, was presented to Russel Argo at the CBA Annual Luncheon in April, 2019. Judged on a range of criteria including overall safety performance, levels of innovation, best practice initiatives, as well as engaged management and highly visible commitment, the Award recognises Russel’s commitment to effective and continuing safety leadership, contributing to an industrywide dialogue about Operational and Behavioural Safety.


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Profile for Distinctive Publishing

Water Industry Journal 11  

The magazine connecting all those who work in the UK Water Industry

Water Industry Journal 11  

The magazine connecting all those who work in the UK Water Industry

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