NEWS • Flow and Level Measurement • Water and Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis Biogas and Energy Management • Wastewater Treatment & Technology
Be prepared Avoid expensive fines and reputation damage by knowing every environmental risk on your sites. We help businesses: • Understand environmental risks • Prepare, prevent and plan for floods • Provide emergency response for spill incidents • Deal with large scale flooding and environmental disasters Adler and Allan can provide: • Environmental/Ecology degree educated technicians (BSc and MSc) • Water quality, aquatic ecology and remediation expertise under one roof • Rigorous calibration and maintenance programme in line with Environment Agency procedures • Top of the market in-situ water quality meters to gather robust, impartial data
• 24/7 response and national coverage of over 20 depots We are: • Trusted by the industry’s leading water companies • Members of sector relevant professional bodies; CIWEM, IEMA, CIEEM and IFM • Trained in maintenance and calibration by the UK Leaders in water quality monitoring equipment
Get better prepared, call:
0800 592 827 adlerandallan.co.uk
Moving towards a circular economy Welcome to the latest Water Industry Journal, in which optimising our precious resources is at the heart of the issue.
Moving away from a throwaway culture to a circular economy, in which resources are used (and reused) for as long as possible, then recycled, recovered or regenerated, is central to these efforts.
Editor Ellen Rossiter
Looking at the role water companies play in the emerging circular economy, we gain an insight into the efforts being made to recover materials, energy and clean water from wastewater. Learning how a multimillion pound demonstration test-bed site at Spernal STW in Redditch, will be used to evaluate energy neutral wastewater treatment and the recovery of valuable materials contained in wastewater. Anaerobic digestion and biogas have a significant role to play in the growing renewable energy sector, but did you know the wastewater industry has been harnessing biogas for more than a century? Step back to Exeter in 1895 and you just might find a septic tank being used to run a sewage gas destructor lamp. Angie Bywater reveals the fascinating history of anaerobic digestion, biogas and the UK water industry and the vital part they’ll continue to play in the future. Given the pressures the water industry faces today, from unpredictable weather patterns to increased demand, ensuring our infrastructure is working as well as possible is imperative. Integral to achieving this is effective flow and level measurement, whether in our pipes, sewers, reservoirs or treatment facilities, allowing emerging problems to be addressed swiftly.
Researchers at Australia’s RMIT, give us the lowdown on Rheology, the study of the flow of matter. We also shine a light on several projects in which accurate flow and level measurement are vital. Upgrades to the sewer network in Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire are alleviating the risk of flooding, whilst over in East Anglia, we look at an initiative which has seen leakage reduction of 1.4 million litres of water per day in targeted areas. Both of these projects are making the water infrastructure more resilient through the application of flow and level measurement technology. The challenges facing the water industry are no respecters of geographic boundaries, so we find out about a major cross-border project, which aims to improve water quality in the shared waters between Northern Ireland and Ireland. Funded by the EU, this €35m project is working to raise the current EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) status of ‘moderate’ to ‘good’ through enhanced wastewater treatment. Discover more about this pioneering project and the unique legacy model which will be put in place enabling sustainable, evidence-based asset planning in the future. Where would we be without our teams? Here at the Water Industry Journal, no edition of the magazine would go to print without the contribution of numerous people within our publishing house, the broader water industry and academia. What we do would not be possible without you. Firmly believing that everyone’s working lives should be a positive experience, we hear how a utility company is demonstrating its commitment to their employees’ health, safety and wellbeing. Want to know which company was recently voted Glassdoor’s ‘Best Place to Work in the UK’? Dip into this issue to discover the answer.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
24-46 Flow and Level Measurement 47-49 Water and Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis 50-51 Clean Water Networks 52-68 Biogas and Energy Management 70-77 Wastewater Treatment & Technology
78-79 Health and Safety 80-81 Circular Economy
Ellen Rossiter email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
European Biosolids & Organic Resources Conference & Exhibition
19th – 20th November 2019, The Point at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester Europe’s leading conference for the biosolids and organic resources industries returns to Manchester on 19th – 20th November. Over the two days there will be over 50 technical presentations showcasing the latest innovations, best practice, cutting-edge technology and research in the bioresource and biowaste industries. Technical sessions for this year include: n Advances in anaerobic digestion n Pre-treatment
n 2020 and beyond n Resource recovery and new product development n Landbank security n Ammonia management n Making biogas pay (more) – markets for biomethane and CO2 n Converting genetic information into action – progress and problems We are still accepting abstracts from poster presentations. This a great way to share preliminary ideas / results with an industry audience. If you are interested in submitting
n Process modelling and control n Thickening and dewatering
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INDUSTRY JOURNAL MARCH 2019
& Technology | Sludge
and Management | Leak Detection
Full event details are available at www.european-biosolids.com or email email@example.com
If you would like to participate in the December edition of Water Industry Journal we shall be featuring:
n Biosolids & recycling
| Wastewater Treatment
The event includes an exhibition of around 30 organisations showcasing their key products and services – a limited number of stands spaces are still available so please get in touch if you would like to book.
n Utility security & incident management NEWS • Anaerobic Digestion • Wastewater Treatmen t& Phosphorus Removal • Improving Drinking Water Technology Quality
Attendees also have the opportunity to join a site visit to Leigh Wastewater Treatment Works on Thursday 21st November to see their THP and liquor treatment operations.
n Water & wastewater monitoring & analysis
‘Power from poo’ innovation
Sustained innovation to deliver leakage reduction
an abstract please visit the conference website for further details.
n Catchment management n Delivering resilience n Wastewater treatment & technology
Contact David Lancaster on 0191 580 5476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Ofwat unveils programme of huge investment
Ofwat has set out a major package of investment to signal a new era for what the water sector delivers for customers and the environment. Proposals unveiled involve water companies investing an additional £6 million each and every day over the next five years – over and above investment to maintain existing assets - to improve the environment and services for customers, at the same time as cutting bills by £50.
n helping 1.5 million customers who are struggling to pay, and; n cutting leakage to save enough water equivalent to the needs of the population of Manchester, Leeds, Leicester and Cardiff. Extreme weather events, climate change and population growth mean that water companies need to make sure they are doing everything they can now, so that they continue to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services whatever the future brings.
The announcement is laid out in Ofwat’s price review draft determinations for 14 of the 17 water companies in England and Wales. Three water companies, Severn Trent, South West Water and United Utilities, have already been fast-tracked through this stage of the price review in recognition of their high-quality plans for the next five years.
Ofwat’s draft determinations provide more money for new and improved services with an additional £12 billion to be invested over and above business-as-usual costs and investments.
In what is the most far-reaching price review the regulator has ever undertaken, there are ambitious new targets to drive water companies to do even more for customers and the environment. These include:
This extra funding is to improve services for future generations, including by building reservoirs, moving water to where it is needed most, and protecting the environment. The additional expenditure is the equivalent of £6 million every day for the next five years.
n cutting pollution incidents by more than a third, n reducing supply interruptions by almost two-thirds,
Falling financing costs and Ofwat’s insistence on more efficient business–as-usual from companies, mean that alongside better services and rising investment Ofwat expects water bills to fall by an average £50 before inflation. Ofwat Chief Executive, Rachel Fletcher, said: “The package we are unveiling today signals a brighter future for customers, with better services, a healthier natural environment and lower bills. “To get there we are calling for extra investment of £6 million each and every day to improve the environment and provide services for a growing population. At the same time we expect to see customers’ bills cut by an average of £50. “These are seriously stretching goals for the sector, but we know they can be achieved. We have seen three water companies leading the way and we now want the rest to show the ambition and drive to deliver this new era for customers and the environment.”
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Adler and Allan announces new brand
Leading environmental risk reduction company Adler and Allan, has launched a new brand and logo which is part of the strategy to bring its group of companies together and reflect an enhanced range of services and solutions. The benefit to customers is a more comprehensive set of solutions from one customer focused team. Bringing together knowledge, expertise and equipment Adler and Allan will provide market leading 24/7365 environmental risk reduction services through preventative and responsive services and solutions. A brand is more than just fonts and colours, it is about the people and the story. As part of the brand project Adler and Allan has also developed a suite of new employee values. These were developed in-house by a cross section of employees across different parts of the business to ensure they reflect the key priorities. Bob Contreras, Group Chairman, said: “I am really excited to be entering the next phase of our journey. The new brand and employee values will unite the business, giving us one common purpose, which will benefit our customers in many ways.”
Contreras explained how the brand roll out would take place: “Where we do need to replace physical items such as van livery and PPE this will be done when the item is worn out. Afterall, we are an environmental company so we wouldn’t just throw something away that is still usable.”
Adler and Allan started trading as Coal and Coke Merchants in London back in 1926 and since then, through over 90 years of steady growth and strategic acquisition, the Adler and Allan Group has grown to become Britain’s leading supplier of spill response, technical, fuel and environmental risk reduction services.
Anglian Water awarded gold standard for being top MOD employer Anglian Water has been recognised by Defence Minister Ben Wallace for its outstanding support for the Armed Forces community by being awarded an Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award. The Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards represent the highest badge of honour available to those that employ and support those who serve, veterans, and their families. It is awarded to companies for actively supporting the Armed Forces community in the workplace and for encouraging other employers to follow their lead. In total, 100 companies from the public and private sector have achieved the top grade and will attend a presentation on
12 November 2019 at the National Army Museum. As one of the biggest employers in the East of England, Anglian Water have a long-standing relationship with the military community. Employing over 150 veterans, more than 20 Reservists and an array of Cadet Force Adult Volunteers as well as military spouses and partners. Peter Simpson, Chief Executive for Anglian Water said: “I believe we have a real responsibility to do all we can to support our Service personnel. These are the people who have put their lives on the line for their country and we owe them a debt of gratitude. “As a businessman, I also want the very best people working for me - and often the skills our soldiers, sailors and airmen have are vital when it comes to the great engineering
challenge of maintaining and improving Anglian Water’s vast network of pipes, sewers, pumping stations and treatment works.” Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said: “These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one. “Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give.” Anglian Water lead by example having actively encouraged other companies to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and created a Defence community within their workforce via internal publications, intranet and social media groups.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Bell flow systems Fieldwork ready water level meters from In-Situ The In-Situ Water Level Meter offers a range of easy to read dip meters0 designed for professionals working in groundwater monitoring sector. The Water level Meter 200 is made from high-tensile steel with stainless steel conductors making this range highly durable and accurate. The water level tape is ASME- certified and encased in a protective polyethylene jacket which also adds to the durability and longevity of the tape in the field. The Water level Meter 100 offers an economical option, using a Kevlar reinforced polyethylene tape and stainless steel conductors. This range of water level meters also utilise an IP68 probe so can be fully submerged to find the bottom of a well or borehole. The meter is ready for effective, accurate fieldwork and was designed with this in mind. A key feature of the water level meter is that is has both static and drawdown modes to perform low-flow and pump tests. With its integrated well hanger, the base unit will stay secure and ensure the tape of the water level meter is not damaged by abrasion on the well case.
It is ergonomically designed to make it easy to unwind and rewind the tape, as well transporting on site. Additional features include a safety disconnect design on the tape that can disengage the probe if it were to get trapped inside the well. A probe can be replaced easily in the field so there is no need to return the tape to us for repair. The In-Situ Water Level Meter has a high strength tape so there is less stretching, which improves both the repeatability and accuracy of your measurements. A sensitivity dial on the reel allows for compensation of incorrect readings caused by cascading water. Bell Environmental recently helped a client with a 300m (1000ft) long water level meter 100 for a depth to water measurements. The flexibility of the level meter means that any lengths from 30m (100ft) to 600m (2000ft)
can be requested, all offered with a 5 year warranty. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01280 817304.
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Water innovations taking off at Bristol airfield development
Filton Airfield near Bristol has an assured place in British aviation legend. It is where the Bristol 167, the world’s first wide-body passenger aircraft, was developed – and was the home of Concorde in the UK. Several years after its closure, Filton Airfield is set to once again become a home for cutting-edge innovation – but this time in water, rather than air technology.
It is set for redevelopment into a new sustainable housing and business area, where University of Bath expertise will be used to create a hub for the development of sustainable circular economy concepts.
The Filton Airfield Development
The Filton Airfield site was purchased in 2015 by and slated for development by YTL Development UK Ltd, a subsidiary of the multinational YTL Corporation. The £800 million scheme, a new suburb to be named Brabazon, will comprise more than 2,600 new homes and 62 acres of commercial space, as well as new schools, recreation spaces and health facilities. As the parent company of Wessex Water, YTL is set to place significant focus on the development’s water management capability, and is working with the University of Bath’s Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC) to investigate and implement the wasteminimising circular economy practices it
will need to appeal to planners and future residents. The large size of the development presents a unique opportunity to fully demonstrate and test these practices.
The NextGen project
The development is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project ‘Towards a Next Generation of Water Systems and Services for the Circular Economy’, or NextGen. This project’s goal is to assess, design and demonstrate a wide range of circular economy concepts that could augment and increase efficiencies in the local water cycle. The project’s focus at Filton will be wide – instead of being limited to demonstrating new technologies for water, nutrient and energy re-use, it will also boost and create new market dynamics, by developing an online market place where technology suppliers can offer their new technologies to create circular economy solutions. Project team members will also work with stakeholders and residents to fully understand the
practicalities of the circular economy principles and help prepare homeowners to adopt the new behaviours needed to make the system work effectively. The project will also address social and governance questions to ensure long-term adoption and social acceptability of the circular economy. Professor Jan Hofman, Director of WIRC, explains: “We need to make sure people fully embrace the water systems that will be used at Brabazon. People have to understand how the circular economy system saves money and improves the living environment. Reusing water needs to overcome the yuckfactor and be fully accepted.”
Circular Solutions for Water, Energy and Materials Water
Although water supply in the Bristol area is sufficient, it is becoming a scarce resource on a national level, so the Filton development
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
presents a key opportunity for nation-wide learning. The UK water sector’s ambitions for the coming decades of reducing water consumption and halving the freshwater abstraction1 to sustainable levels could benefit greatly from planned studies at the Filton development. The water system developed at Brabazon will be focused on re-using water and the use of alternative water sources, such as the collected rainwater. In this way, the amount of freshwater abstracted from the environment can be reduced significantly. Applying circular economy concepts could be one of the solutions to reducing water abstraction. By re-using water and collecting rainwater for non-potable purposes (toilet flushing, washing machine use, or in garden hosepipes and sprinklers), the amount of water being taken from freshwater sources could be reduced. As the Brabazon community will be entirely new, it offers great opportunities to create a different future-proof water system. Plans include collecting rainwater the huge 10,000 m2 roof of the YTL Arena, a new concert and events venue planned as part of the scheme, as well as the roof surfaces of the new homes. Because water demand is constant and rainfall is generally unpredictable, storage capacity will be created on and around the site, including in green spaces in the Filton area.
Using water ponds and streams in parks integrated in the residential areas could also create a water treatment system to improve water quality before use. Additional storage could be created in underground aquifers, a technology already demonstrated at one of the other NextGen project sites in the Westland region in the Netherlands.
“An often-overlooked aspect of the water cycle is energy usage and wastage,” says Prof Hofman. “The use of hot water accounts for 30-50% of UK energy bills, and yet the heat from a bath or shower literally flows down the drain afterward, and is finally dissipated and lost in the environment.” In the Filton Airfield case, options for recovering the heat from the sewers will be explored. As sewer heat is low-grade energy, it cannot be transported over long distances, but could be re-used in the local area, for instance for heating of a swimming pool or a shopping centre. The Filton scheme, comprising mixed-use development, will be well-placed to explore heat recovery options – for example, the size of the development will deliver sufficient energy to be used for space heating in schools or public buildings. Additionally, options to use heat from the airconditioning and cooling system of the YTL Arena may allow further energy recapture.
We can help you reimagine your water R&D
Wastewater contains valuable materials, such as nutrients which can be recovered as fertiliser. A study will also be carried out to explore the potential of material recovery within the development. Under the current circumstances, it is expected that the wastewater will be transported to and treated at the Avonmouth Sewage Treatment Works, where biogas is produced at a large scale.
The Water Innovation and Research Centre at Bath
The Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC) at the University of Bath will support YTL Development in the NextGen project. WIRC will provide knowledge and expertise to design and potentially implement the water and energy recovery systems. WIRC will also perform the materials recovery study. Moreover, WIRC will be responsible for the energy assessments of the 10 demonstration cases in the NextGen project and provide input to the water and materials assessments of the new circular economy demos. More information: www.netgenwater.eu, www.ytldevelopments.co.uk, Professor Jan Hofman (firstname.lastname@example.org) UKWIR 12 Big Questions, https://ukwir.org/eng/big-questionsfacing-uk-water-industry
Water Innovation & Research Centre
Through the Water Innovation and Research Centre at the University of Bath our experts work with industry, academia, and other stakeholders to tackle the fundamental issues surrounding sustainable water. Through WISE, our Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics: Science and Engineering, we work with collaborative partners to train the next generation of skilled water scientists and engineers. To explore a partnership with water research experts and students at the University of Bath for your organisation, contact email@example.com.
There is no easy route to a greener future Matthew Hanson Head of Marketing, Adler and Allan
As we strive towards a greener future, we are entering a complex period of transition which requires careful navigation. As low carbon sources aren’t yet producing enough energy consistently, we cannot simply switch off the old hydro-carbon technology. The desire for a greener future is being driven in part by climate change, with more extreme weather events threatening business continuity in a variety of ways. Matthew Hanson, Head of Marketing at environmental risk reduction specialists Adler and Allan, examines this energy and environmental evolution and the complexities of the transition period against a backdrop of internal transition as the 90-yearold company refreshes its brand to join up its people, services and customers.
The energy evolution
To meet ongoing legislation you are likely to need to diversify your energy infrastructure and investment. At a time of transition in the economy as a whole, energy and the use of energy will change whether you are a supplier or a consumer. Many sectors will have a long transition period of using both hydro-carbon and renewable energy sources at the same time as we migrate over. The way you navigate the transition now, could determine your success in the future. We shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that a green future doesn’t come with risks and liquid fuels like hydrogen or renewables are still potentially hazardous and require asset protection. An effective transition plan will help you stay one step ahead of your competitors. As we transition to new energy sources, we will need to continue to maintain an aging infrastructure of hydro-carbon fuel tanks which require traditional skills such as tank cleaning, together with a knowledge of specialist health and safety. More and more we are seeing these traditional skills diminishing as young engineers future proof themselves by, understandably, specialising in the skills of the new technology. What will happen if the skills run out before the technology expires? As the energy market evolves so too does the legislation surrounding it, and not just around new technology. Recognising their age, traditional fuel assets are subject to more and more stringent legislation to prevent
contamination such as the SEPA legislation around containment and bund efficiency. Are you aware of your ongoing legal requirements in both new and old energy technology? Whatever business you are in, the energy transition will change the way you do business in the future. As technology skills and legislation evolves and we begin to phase out the old and welcome in the new, requirements are changing.
Protecting your assets from Mother Nature
In the future, as we transition over to green energy sources, we are likely to see increased effects from climate change including flooding. “Global overheating is changing our weather and increasing our risk of flooding,” said Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency. Flooding is becoming a significant risk to our infrastructure and assets here in the UK as we deal with more extreme climates. Flooding can have a hugely damaging effect on important infrastructure assets, such as water treatment plants, which in turn can have a negative impact on consumers and can be hugely damaging for your brand. Flooding often causes pollution incidents, and if your business can’t evidence a clear strategy to mitigate for flood, you could face prosecution. Law firm Clyde & Co points to a six-fold increase in average Environment Agency fines per prosecution in the last five years in this article in Resource, however the overall number of fines has dropped. In any business today, preparedness for flooding and flood resilience should be part of an ongoing asset planning strategy. More than
damaging physical assets, flooding can impact footfall, customer loyalty and reputation. Working with a partner that can help you to literally weather the hardest of storms with both mitigation and response services as well as a full grasp of current legislation can ensure you future proof your business for whatever Mother Nature sends our way.
Navigating the transition
We are all making this transition. Adler and Allan has always been involved in energy, we started in coal and coke, moved to liquid fuels, now our new brand reflects the wider evolution to a more diverse energy infrastructure. Recognising the impact of more frequent and intense weather incidents, we have diversified our offering to include flood risk management, planning and emergency response services. To meet evolving environmental demands, Adler and Allan has brought together a number of specialisms under its refreshed brand to drive a better customer experience and a more joined up service from one supplier. We give our customers peace of mind in detecting and identifying the environmental risks posed today and in the future. Partnering with you we will help you navigate the energy and climate transition supporting businesses through both predictable and unpredictable events. Our broad range of risk mitigation products and services keep businesses strong, reducing the prospect of litigation, costly fines and bad publicity, as well as reducing the threat to the environment. adlerandallan.co.uk
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Sheeplands Nitrate Vessel Refurbishment
All original design and installation work was carried out by Satec as well as refurbishment.
Distorted and damaged laterals
Sheeplands WTW external view Thames Water’s Sheeplands WTW processes borehole water at an average of 7.5 MLD and a surge flow of up to 11.3 MLD, increasing to 14.7 MLD when additional IX vessels are added. This water contains up to 154 mg/l of nitrate. In 2002 TWUL asked Satec to install 4 no. nitrate removal filters, which reduce the nitrate levels to 25 mg/l or less. The filters
This project posed several health and safety issues, particularly confined space entry, working at height and manual handling. Satec installed an access problem with appropriate hand-railing and kickboards and ensured that all operational personnel were equipped with harnesses. Gas monitors were employed inside the vessels and procedures were put in place for the top man to winch up any harnessed workers if the need arose.
work which they were also able to resolve for us. We were very happy with the outcome and have since requested they come back to carry out additional work on this and another site. I would highly recommend their services!” As a result of this work, Satec were asked to carry out a similar refurbishment of vessel S2 and were also given the contract to refurbish the pressure vessels at Ufton Nervet WTW. The filter is now back on-line and performing well. The work carried out by Satec has reduced costs, improved throughput and water
A particular concern was the delivery of the media to the vessel, as this would involve manual handling up an access ladder. Satec avoided this risk by installing a high-level elevator that lifted the bags of media up to the access platform.
Frontal view of Nitrate plant contain Purolite A-200E which is periodically recharged with brine. After fourteen years of quality service, TWUL asked Satec in 2016 to carry out a survey into the internal condition of these vessels. One of the spigots on vessel S1 had developed a corrosion hole and was depositing resin on the floor. Satec were asked to investigate the cause and carry out non-destructive testing on S1 and the other three nitrate filters. We opened up S1 and identified various gaskets, pumps, strainers and automatic and manual valves required replacing. Satec replaced these items, then balanced the flow rates and checked the regenerations sequence with the client’s PLC engineer. Satec also tested the resin and demonstrated that it was still in good condition; this was then topped up to replace the spilt resin.
This work ensured security of supply from Sheeplands WTW and reduced costs to TWUL by extending the life of the vessels. TWUL were very pleased at the results. Andrew Grant, TWUL Technical Manager said “Satec carried out some work on one of our water treatment sites to refurbish one of our Nitrate removal vessels after a recent structural failure. The knowledge and expertise offered by the team was outstanding which resulted in a practical and cost-effective solution. They identified a number of additional defects whilst carrying out the
Damaged top strainer & corrosion
Open top manway showing internals quality and enhanced security of supply. “I’m very pleased,” said Dave Heaven, Satec Clean Water Supervisor. “Closed vessels – pressure filters, nitrate filters, iron and manganese filters – can be very tricky but with the right refurbishment their lives can be greatly extended, with obvious cost savings to the client. We’ve solved a problem and made a customer happy. It’s been a good project.” Satec Service Ltd Units 10 & 11, Galveston Grove, Oldfield Business Park, Galveston Grove Stoke on Trent, Staffs ST4 3PE 01782 330 420 Mobile: 07730 525665 firstname.lastname@example.org www.satec.co.uk
SDS completes strategic acquisition of Asset International Weholite business SDS, the market-leading water infrastructure systems provider, has announced its acquisition of Asset International Ltd, which includes the exclusive rights to manufacture Weholite large diameter plastic pipes in the UK and Ireland. SDS takes over the operation of Asset International’s Newport-based manufacturing facility. The plant, which has been operating for more than 20 years, has the capacity to produce 10,000 tonnes of Weholite products each year, including the manufacture of its BBA HAPAS approved industry-leading HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) large diameter (gravity and lowpressure structured wall) pipe. The new business will trade under the names of ‘Weholite Limited’ and ‘Weholite International Limited’. SDS will provide continuity of service to all Weholite customers and takes on immediate responsibility for ensuring the delivery of current and planned projects. The move affirms the company’s strategic vision to advance the development of innovative products and services that
sustainably manage water, said Patrick Cullen, Managing Director of SDS. “Our acquisition of Asset International’s Weholite business marks a major milestone in our strategic vision to expand the development of innovative, efficient and cost-effective products and services that tackle the challenges of managing water from source to sea and deliver vital water security. “Water is both a vital resource for life and a danger to our livelihoods. Whether we have too much or too little, the critical infrastructure required to ensure its supply, whilst also protecting us from flooding, is under increasing stress. The way we manage water in future, therefore, will be fundamental not only to protecting the environment, but also to human well-being and commercial prosperity.”
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Pumps help biofilter during replacement Wessex Water’s recycling centre at Tetbury, Gloucestershire, contains a biofilter treatment plant which is used to remove nitrates from sewage, to improve the quality of wastewater and minimise risk to the environment. The filters are fed from a dosing syphon chamber at fixed rates and flow volumes. The system is gravity fed with no moving parts and was housed in a brickwork chamber which was built in the 1970s. The chamber was badly in need of replacements due to leaks and unstable foundations. YTL Engineering and Construction (YTL E&C) was tasked with replacing the chamber with a new concrete structure and syphon unit. Because of the gravity-fed nature of the syphon system, the new chamber had to be built on the footprint of the existing one. The filters, as a critical part of the water treatment process, needed to remain running for the duration of the rebuild – so a pumping system was needed that could mimic the gravity-fed device with 100% reliability.
There were a number of challenges to be overcome. The pump setup had to replicate the original system by feeding at a fixed rate that would not overwhelm the filter capacity but be sufficient to rotate the filter arms which were moved by water pressure alone. Insufficient pressure would cause a compliance failure due to uneven flow distribution. The pumps also had to feed the filters only intermittently, as constant flow causes failures of filters due to the biological elements not receiving oxygen from the air.
The location of the site also presented a challenge – on a hill with limited access for plant and no practical options for refuelling if diesel pumps were used. Working closely with Wessex Water and YTL E&C, Selwood used a disused storm chamber to house electric submersible pumps. The chamber was repaired to form a sump for the pumps, and the syphon feed was diverted into it. Due to a lack of power options in the area, Selwood’s pumps operated on a duty standby basis from generators provided by Power Electrics. These pumps were controlled with ultrasonic level control and alarm telemetry to deliver flows equally to the two filters at fixed volumes and variable flow rates, dependent on incoming flows to the works as a whole. Initial results were unsatisfactory as the filters adapted to the temporary system. Liaison between parties established further requirement for a recirculation pump to dilute the flows and provide a second pass for a flow rate of 20l/s. Mindful of the cost, a Selwood S150 electric Super Silent pump was used to provide this function as this could safely use the site power supply and would not need diesel power. Selwood electricians attended site frequently to make adjustments as advised by the Wessex Water scientist, and to synchronise the pump operations. The site team added an air valve supplied by
Selwood in order to provide quicker discharge times to the filter feed pipes to help maintain compliance. The finalised pumping system was complex and multi-faceted, working within the strict constraints of the site and the operation of the old system.
Once installed, the system ran faultlessly and the site remained in compliance for the duration of the works to rebuild the chamber. There were no mechanical failures, and Selwood’s electricians made regular visits to fine tune the system to keep it reliable and compliant.
Alex Adams of Wessex Water said: “Working with Selwood on this challenging project has been rewarding. Whilst the system that was replaced was simple, its function was complicated and to mimic it with a pumped setup was difficult. Thanks to close working with Selwood’s Framework Manager, site visits from Selwood electricians and a good understanding of the site requirements from all concerned, it was a great success to develop a system that performed reliably for the project.” www.selwood.co.uk
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
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Pipe bursting stands ready for Britain’s next big challenge ‘So reliable, it’s just common routine,’ says Mammoth’s director Ten years ago, the demand for trenchless pipe bursting to replace Britain’s gas and water infrastructure was surging “full bore,” so to speak. Some of the pipe bursting work was conducted on large diameter, low-pressure pipe for manufactured gas, as well as sewer lines. Many contractors were racing to keep up with water company pipe replacement initiatives generated by the asset management plan (AMP) period of that time. Water provision was privatized in England and Wales in 1989. The AMP is in large part based on a five-year review conducted by the Water Services Regulation Authority, assessing each company’s customer service, capability, water quality and environmental impact before establishing allowable price increases. Better performance garners the best prices. It also means each AMP period significantly impacts what companies do with their maintenance budgets. At that time, the AMP prioritized broken pipes and leakage concerns. Russell Fairhurst, Managing Director of Mammoth Equipment Ltd in Cambridgeshire, said the surge in demand for replacement pipe quickly demonstrated the effectiveness of the pipe bursting technique and the reliability and durability of the equipment Mammoth provides its customers. Mammoth is England’s authorized dealer of HammerHead Trenchless product lines. HammerHead is based in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, USA. The HammerHead Trenchless lines that Mammoth provides in addition to HammerHead Mole® earth-piercing tools include static pipe-bursting systems like the PortaBurst® cable machines and HydroBurst™ rod-pulling pipe-bursting systems, pneumatic HammerHead pipe-bursting systems, pipe ramming tools and HydroGuide™ winches. “The pipe bursting method quickly became a common, routine technique,” Fairhurst said, adding that the pipe bursting contractors, the technique itself and the equipment Mammoth provided for it were brilliantly effective. “Modern pipe materials such as HDPE provided an economical and permanent solution. And the equipment itself is so robust that contractors are still using equipment they first purchased over a decade ago.” Those who aren’t have sold theirs to eager buyers and to rental houses, who know that the equipment still has long useful life left in it. The surge in demand may seem to have peaked and passed. Not so, Fairhurst said: “That’s the nature of market here under the AMP. Infrastructure maintenance is a cyclical
thing. It never goes away, even when to align their investments with the AMP, water companies may focus their budgets, say, on water treatment for a period. But it will come back around to replacing pipe.” The introduction of the AMP period has also tended to cause surges and lulls in water company maintenance investments. Contractors see demand rise for their services during their customer’s mid-cycle spending peaks. Much of the large-diameter cast iron gas pipe used to deliver gas manufactured from coal has been replaced with smaller diameter, high-pressure natural gas line pipe. The smaller diameter pipe for the upgraded system doesn’t require the existing pipe to be burst. It’s slip-lined into place within it. Yet even with the introduction of additional trenchless techniques, including advances in curedin-place-pipe lining and materials, the pipe bursting technique continues to have its place. Most of the current pipe-bursting work Fairhurst sees makes use of pre-chlorinated pipe to replace potable water mains. Run length varies based on which spots along in situ pipe permit placement of machine pits. “A 300 m run might be performed, for instance, as a 150 m pull and then a 50 m run to accommodate an obstacle or a more practical place to tie back into the main.”
possible as separate 100m long pulls. The most common size of replacement pipe right now is 90mm to 100mm HDPE. The typical pulling unit Mammoth customers use for bursting shallow-lying, 3-inch to 8-inch (76 mm to 203 mm) cast iron pipe is the HammerHead 100XT or smaller rod-pulling machines like the HB5058. The HB5058 is rated for up to 45 tonnes of static pulling power using lightweight API-style threaded rods designed for use in pipes 2 to 8 inches in diameter. Although the emphasis of AMP7 (2020–25) is not known yet, the current AMP6 cycle is wrapping up. Conjecture is that the new plan may focus private water companies on environmental improvements. It’s too soon to know for sure, but that just might mean another rise in demand for trustworthy trenchless strategies, with private water companies giving English and Welsh pipe bursting contractors more work than they can keep up with. As an environmentally friendly and reliable trenchless technique, pipe bursting has already proven itself a winning method throughout Britain. www.hhtrenchless.com
The coiled HDPE used to replace the pipe in a typical project comes in 100 m lengths. Therefore, the runs are performed wherever
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
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 â€“ no matter how down and dirty your trenchless needs may be.
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A Charles Machine Works Company
Detect chlorine gas more efficiently and safely An omnipresent all-rounder
Its typical odour revives childhood memories of swimming floats, headers off the 10-metre dive board and water slides, but this same odour puts an employee or safety engineer in the industry on alert. We are referring to chlorine, Cl for short. The most prominent property of chlorine is its reactivity: it links with many elements, even at normal temperature and is frequently explosively. Chlorine is present in numerous organic and inorganic compounds, from harmless chlorides, such as sodium chloride (table salt) through to highly toxic dioxins, a chlorocarbon. Chlorine gas itself is an everyday and fundamentally controllable risk in the Water Treatment Industry if its presence is reliably detected. But this is not that easy...
The long path to the sensor
The problem with chlorine gas is that it quickly gets caught on device surfaces, on the diaphragm of a gas detector for example, on the bump test adapter or in the valves of a calibration station, explains Ulf Ostermann, Sensor Expert at Dräger. The consequence: it simply takes much longer for the gas molecules to reach the sensor, regardless of whether a personal gas detector, clearance measurement or a functional test is used a reason for the accumulation is contamination on the devices or hoses. Anyone working in the industry knows: a mobile gas detector is never completely clean, says Ostermann. Slight to severe contamination is impossible to avoid, depending on the environment in which it is used. Deposits are formed by particles,
vapours or even just the skin of the user. Chlorine molecules immediately get caught if a surface displays traces of grease. Chlorine also particularly likes to accumulate on soot particles.
Bump test cost factor
The design of test stations marketed by most manufacturers does not allow chlorine gas tests, as the path that the test gas has to travel to the sensor is too long. As a result, in many operations, the devices are exposed to gas manually. But this is error-prone, timeconsuming and expensive. The molecules often get caught in the device‘s fittings, reports Ulf Ostermann. For a test gas cylinder with 5 ppm chlorine, three litres of gas first have to be pumped through so that it functions in the first place. If the test gas is then fed through additional hoses to the gassing module, the number of surfaces to which chlorine can become stuck increases even further. A tedious procedure, especially if several devices have to be tested. And, from a commercial perspective, the workload as well as the test gas consumption have a significant impact. Wouldn‘t better cleanliness solve the problem of accumulation? This is a question that we are often asked in practice, says Ostermann. But you must not forget: we are talking about molecules. Even a device that is fastidiously wiped down with a moist cloth still displays minuscule deposits with which the chlorine molecules would react. Even the extensive use of cleaning agents does not improve the situation.
much more effective. Chlorine sensors have significant differences in their response times, the products available on the market range from 30 to 120 seconds and more. The expert Ostermann explains the practical implication of a sensor that is 4 times faster than another: sensor speed is a safety issue for safety engineers and gas analysts in a plant environment: faster response times means more time to react, more reliability when deciding on the safety precautions and, in an emergency, naturally also: fewer or lessseriously injured people and a smaller amount of damage. Faster means safer – this equation would be emphasized for a hazardous substance such as hydrogen sulphide. Ultimately, a few seconds can be the difference between life and death in the event of exposure to H2S. But how important is the sensor speed for chlorine? Ulf Ostermann explains: H2S is obviously a special case because it is impossible to smell in dangerous concentrations. In contrast, chlorine can be directly identified by its odour in all concentrations. This means that, in the event of unexpected exposure, e.g. due to a leak, your own nose would provide a warning even if the sensor did not respond. But: the odour alone does not indicate whether a concentration is within the workplace threshold range or 20 times over this limit and this makes a significant difference after a few breaths. Let‘s not forget: this is about the health and safety of employees. www.draeger.com
The smart solution
Countering the inertia of chlorine gas during detection with a rapid sensor is
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Motors and drives help implement Totex strategies at water companies WEG’s team of experienced professionals has developed a number of high-profile partnerships with water industry customers that have focussed on ‘Totex’ (total expenditure) management to support the UK’s AMP 7 industry framework. Totex is extremely topical at present, not least because it can help maintain the long-term performance and cost-effective maintenance of assets such as pumps, pumping systems and other associated control equipment and operational activities. Totex management is a real focal point of the UK water industry as it intensifies its preparations to adopt the seventh asset management plans (AMP 7) in 2020. Many companies are now adopting the Totex model when making investment decisions to focus on reducing cost over the lifecycle of the asset, typically through technological innovation for better energy efficiency and through-life maintenance optimisation, among others. As such, water companies and their main contractors are increasingly looking to
bring in reliable and established equipment manufacturers at the design stage, where their R&D capability and innovative solutions can help improve operational efficiency. Of course, one sure-fire way to improve operational efficiency is to reduce energy consumption. Operations within the water industry are relatively intensive, requiring large amounts of energy for pumping, water treatment and waste management. Clearly, there’s potential for significant savings in this
area, particularly as global energy demand is set to grow by 37% by 2040 in line with increasing global population. A Totex approach is a business framework that considers total cost throughout the lifecycle of a project when evaluating and planning expenditure, without differentiating between operational (Opex) and capital expenditure (Capex). This framework is able to fulfil regulatory requirements, especially with regard to providing better value to consumers,
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
the provision of efficient management for ageing infrastructure and leakage, and improvements in operational efficiency, which includes lowering energy consumption. Simply put, Totex is able to do all these by reducing cost. The Totex approach gives a more realistic view of the asset’s value as it provides the full economic consequences of investment decisions. This factor is important as water companies require complete and accurate information from all phases of the asset’s lifecycle to be able to make useful decisions on asset management, energy efficiency and maintenance requirements at the beginning of a project. By using this model, water companies have the incentive to reduce costs across the board based on the long-term objectives of extending and enhancing asset life, which in turn will ultimately deliver better value and lower bills for customers. A good example of Totex in action can be seen at the Littleton raw water pump station in Surrey, UK. The pump station is one of the largest extraction facilities managed by Thames Water, the UK’s largest water and wastewater company serving over 15 million customers. As part of a recent upgrade to the century-old facility, energy-efficient motors from WEG are being used to achieve expected energy savings of 5 million kWh per annum, with a corresponding annual energy cost reduction of £500,000. WEG supplied three W50 IE4 super premium efficiency motors (900 kW) as the most efficient solution for the pump drives. Operating at 96.9% efficiency, the
motors are playing a key role in significantly reducing energy costs. In France, WEG solutions are also having a major impact at Lille’s new wastewater treatment plant, where Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies turned to Atlas Copco’s ZS Premium compressors driven by WEG highefficiency W22 electric motors and CFW11M variable speed drives adapted to customer requirements. The W22 motors offer 355 kW of power, while the modular variable speed drives are made from 400 kW power modules. When combined, variable speed drives of up to 2 MW can be achieved, which is essential to control the Lille plant’s powerful and rapidly changing flow. By using a special transformer, WEG were also able to connect 12-pulse variable speed drives, resulting in less harmonic interference and thus higher energy efficiency. This concept enables the plant to control the flow over a broad range from 2,700 to 23,000 Nm3/h - at an excellent and relatively constant level of efficiency. In the water industry, pumps consume a large part of the energy used by industrial
electric motors. Variable speed drives are thus preferred to adjust the speed of motors for the specific application and subsequently increase energy efficiency and reduce cost. For example, when a pump is powered by a fixed speed motor, water flow is usually designed for maximum system demand, thus will be higher and so consume more energy than necessary. Therefore, where motors serve a varying process load, a VSD can automatically control the speed, or frequency as the case may be, of the power supplied to motors to match demand, so as to give efficient operation. It is worth highlighting the fact that while the appropriate technology is clearly an enabling factor, the successful implementation of the Totex model is only assured by partnering with a reliable and established equipment manufacturer. To discover more about ways in which WEG can help implement Totex at water companies, a white paper is available for download at www.wegwater.com
Flow and Level Measurement
Alleviating Flood Risk Residential properties prone to flooding in Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire prompts sewer network improvements with dB ultrasonic technology and pump control.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Wastewater FlowTreatment and Level Measurement & Technology
Varying factors including population growth and climate change mean that the UK water industry faces increasing pressure to address challenges such as water scarcity and environmental quality, while also improving the resilience of systems and services to customers. Situations like excessive rainfall causing flooding and unintentional sewage discharge to rivers, as well as long dry periods that cause droughts, are all part of the unpredictable weather conditions we now face. One of the key challenges facing our water companies is the management and improvement of infrastructure in order to cope with the everincreasing unpredictability of UK weather. Unintentional discharges can happen following extreme weather events when too much rainwater enters the sewers from surrounding roads, houses and land; or where rivers and watercourses overflow and back up the sewers and surrounding areas. Water companies across the UK have committed to investing in the improvement of infrastructure to improve our water supplies and to cope with unplanned weather events. Continuously monitoring the flow and levels in pipelines, sewers, reservoirs or treatment facilities is one way in which the water industry is addressing these challenges. NMCN PLC were tasked with improving the sewer network that runs through the village of Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire to alleviate the risk of flooding to 15 properties located within the village. NMCN work in partnership with their customers to deliver major built environment and critical national infrastructure projects across the UK. Their specialist engineering and construction teams bring multi-sector innovation and technical skill, from building and highways to large scale water networks and treatment plants.
The scheme carried out on behalf of Severn Trent Water included the installation of an offline stormwater shaft tank, which doesn’t receive constant flow to pump away and only comes into operation during long periods of rainfall/storm conditions – a common application seen throughout the UK water industry. The shaft houses 3 submersible pumps including 2 x duty pumps and 1 x ejector/mixer pump, a Pulsar dB10 transducer and 2 float switches. As well as the Pulsar dB10 Transducer located in the shaft tank, NMCN also installed an additional Pulsar dB10 transducer downstream in the sewer network constantly monitoring the rise and fall of the water level in the main sewer. In times of heavy rainfall/storm conditions, the water levels in the sewer rise meaning that a pre-set weir is breached upstream and the flow cascades down via a section of stainless-steel pipework into the new shaft tank. The Pulsar dB Transducer Series offer reliable level, volume, open channel flow, pump control and differential measurement within liquid and solids applications. The sensors utilize a low power transducer design with standard interconnecting cables – yet product extremely high acoustic power to give exceptional results in a wide variety of challenging applications. For pump control, NMCN installed a Pulsar UltraTWIN controller, offering twin channel ultrasonic measurement enabling the constant monitoring of the rise and fall of the level in the downstream sewer and in stormy conditions; the water level of the stormwater shaft tank. Pre-set levels are built into the Pulsar UltraTWIN controller and once the levels within the main sewer have dropped sufficiently, the Pulsar dB10 Transducer will
send a signal back to the controller to start the process of returning fluid back to the main sewer from the stormwater shaft tank. Once the shaft tank is empty, the Pulsar dB10 emits another signal back to the UltraTWIN triggering the stop relay, stopping the duty pump. As well as a wide range of sophisticated pump control features, the Pulsar UltraTWIN offers the ability to make each channel user-configurable to be able to operate independently, either as a full function open channel flow monitor, a pump control system or as a level and volume monitoring unit for liquids or solids. The controller calculates volumes and provides alarms, aiding the decision-making process about the condition of a network. Without having the ability to monitor the level downstream, the pumps may be called into operation early causing an unwanted discharge into the trunk sewer which will cause flooding at its lowest point – which had the potential to be residential properties. Commenting on the project, David Greaves, a Mechanical Project Engineer for NMCN PLC stated, “The Pulsar products are always critical to the operation/installation. Our engineers are experienced with the products and someone is always on hand should we ever encounter any issues.” Effective flow and level measurement are helping to ensure that our water infrastructure is more resilient and working as effectively as possible, emerging problems are quickly identified and addressed, mitigating the threat of flooding and sewer overruns for the benefit of customers and the environment. www.pulsar-pm.com
Flow and Level Measurement
Smartphone parameterisation and cable protection for level probes A new smartphone app, coupled with tried-and-tested cable glands, helps overcome problems when taking hydrostatic filling-level measurements. Filling tanks to a constant level is a broad field: Tanks can have different sizes, shapes and structures and the filling level must be monitored continuously. In addition to the various media, which vary greatly regarding their chemical and physical properties, the tanks and their monitoring systems also differ. Because the measuring range of the filling level transmitter depends on the tank height and the density of the medium, either the corresponding values are parameterised in the control – which requires a somewhat more complex control and an input option or the filling level sensors are calibrated for the required pressure measurement range individually. The main disadvantages of the individual calibration are the longer delivery times, due to the sensor being specially made, and complex warehousing, when replacement parts for various installations must be kept available at a central location.
Parameterising via smartphone
More expensive transmitters can be configured via a special tool on a PC. Trafag’s innovative solution is a standard filling-level transmitter, configured via an Android app. Only a Trafag interface tool is required, and a voltage source in the form of a “powerbank”. With these in place, the measuring instruments can be parameterised quickly via mobile. This opens up new options for manufacturers of tank and pump control systems: One can take a simple, standardized control (which does not require a programming interface) to input the tank and fluid parameters. The filling level sensor can then be parametrised with a smartphone on site during installation. This results in a, costeffective solution to realise simple tank control and monitoring systems.
Efficient tank monitoring and control on site: The pressure variables can be set and changed using the submersible pressure transmitter ECL 8439, a smartphone and the portable interface tool SMI
Overcoming installation issues
To prevent openings at the tank, and therefore potential leaks, the pressure transmitters are usually introduced into the tank suspended by a cable through special openings and immersed in the medium to be measured. Because both the measuring probe and the cable are in the tank and hang freely, problems can arise from two notable areas: the sensor can be pulled along by the flow in the tank and thus measure a level other than that intended; or the cable may be damaged during installation or operation allowing fluid to penetrate the transmitter between the sheath and cable wires, resulting in electronic failure, the most frequent cause of failure in immersed level sensors. The transmitters are often provided with an additional weight to prevent them from being pulled along with the flow or are fastened to the tank wall. Special cable protection is rarely used. Trafag’s especially clever solution uses an interface on the pressure transmitter for a special Serto® screw joint. With this metallicsealing screw joint, a simple metal pipe can be pushed over the cable and screwed bluntly with the supplied adapter. This solution is more expensive than a bare cable, but offers a wide range of advantages:
3 The entire upper part of the transmitter, including the cable, is insulated from the medium with the stainless-steel pipe and leak-tight screw joint. This removes the need for an expensive cable to protect against aggressive media, the user can select a more cost-effective cable material. 4 In the case of very deep tanks, the pipe can be welded in the lower area of the tank, saving a lot of cable length and wiring work (from the upper section of the tank). 5 Optimal equipotential bonding is ensured by the metallic connection of the sensor housing with the tank, which protects the transmitter with regards to EMC and electrochemical corrosion. The adapter system has been tried and tested over many years and is safe and easy to install. It is also corrosion - and ageing - resistant thanks to the metallic seal. All necessary parts, except for the steel pipe and the assembly tools, are included with the Trafag pressure transmitter. www.trafag.co.uk
1 The stainless-steel pipe protects the cable from damage, including the cable sheath.
Application sketches and structure of the Serto® screw joint
2 The steel pipe is firmly mounted to the upper part of the tank and fixes the immersed transmitter in its position, independent of any flows.
Submersible pressure transmitter ECL 8439
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
SUBMERSIBLE PRESSURE TRANSMITTER ECL
Suitable for thick and viscous media Different materials for optimum media compatibility Lightning protection integrated ConďŹ gurable measuring ranges
Parameterization via Trafag SMI Fast and easy operation via Android App
Trafag sensors & controls UK
Tel. +44 (0) 203 968 0020 Fax +44 (0) 203 727 0850
Flow and Level Measurement
Money down the drain: The high cost of poor flow Measurement In Activated Sludge Treatment By Jim DeLee
Fluid Components International (FCI) In wastewater treatment systems relying on the activated sludge process, diffused air is the most common method of aeration. Blowers push compressed air through a pipe distribution and diffuser system. Bubbles rise from the bottom to the top of basins, transferring oxygen to the microorganisms in the activated sludge that do the dirty work. As a result, process air energy costs are often the largest non-labor-related expense at this type of treatment facility. It’s therefore imperative that operators manage their air flow efficiently.
How Much Air Flow Is Needed?
Operators typically maintain dissolved oxygen (DO) levels around 2 mg/L at the end of the aeration tank. This ensures oxygen for the process without wasting electricity. But how much air flow is needed to maintain DO at the preferred level? Engineers design systems based on the actual oxygen requirement (AOR). The AOR depends on variables including biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and ammonia loading from influent and sidestream flows. Oxygen demand also fluctuates based on changes in temperature, flow and influent parameters. The AOR is converted by formula to a standard oxygen requirement (SOR) based on factors including bubble size, temperature, pressure, and DO required. Another part of the aeration equation is the specific oxygen transfer efficiency (SOTE), which is dependent on the aeration device, output, diffuser depth and layout. This information is used to calculate required air flow. Due to variable conditions, recommended air flow rates are usually noted as minimum, average, and peak values.
Inefficient Aeration Is Expensive
Optimizing aeration to control preferred DO levels not only improves plant operation, but reduces electrical costs. Blowers use
Thermal Dispersion Flow Sensing more electricity than other equipment at an activated sludge treatment plant. Figures often cited are that aeration accounts for 40 to 60 percent of a plant’s energy usage.
systems that lack a sufficient pipe straightrun, which is common in aeration basins, flow conditioners ensure accurate, repeatable measurement.
Blower operation is specific to individual treatment plants. Some plants operate blowers based on a predetermined on/off schedule. Some run the blowers continuously at a constant rate. Most facilities run blowers continuously and adjust blower operation based on actual field measured DO readings. If the DO is too high or low, air supply is increased or reduced.
Rugged and Low Maintenance
Air Flow Measurement
Most activated sludge plants have multiple blowers serving two or more aeration basins. Air is pumped through air header piping, which then branches out to each basin. Depending on the size of the plant, each basin may have multiple diffuser systems with individual drop lines feeding air to the diffusers. By monitoring air flow in the air piping system and feeding data back to a control system, air balance within the basins is optimized. This improves the treatment process and reduces energy costs.
Choosing Air Flow Meters
While several air flow sensor technologies are available, thermal dispersion flow meters such as those offered by Fluid Components International (FCI) are the most commonly specified solution. They use heat to measure air/gas flow. Two RTD sensors, one heated and one acting as a reference, are inserted into the flow stream. The mass flow rate is proportional to the differential heat dissipation between the sensors.
Easy To Install Wastewater Treatment Plant Aeration Basin
To simplify installation, look for insertion thermal meters that require a single tap with a ball valve for insertion and removal. For
Wastewater treatment plants are tough environments. It is therefore important to choose flow meters that are rugged and require little to no routine maintenance and have robust, weather-proof transmitters/electronics enclosures to ensure long service lives. FCI’s thermal mass flow meter sensors have no moving parts and no holes to foul or clog. Look for heavy-duty, metal enclosures that are rated IP65 or better. Avoid meter technologies that require extra temperature and pressure sensors to compute mass flow because they add cost and complicate installation.
Accuracy Over a Wide Range
FCI’s thermal flow meters are accurate— ±1.0 to ±2.0 percent of reading and with repeatability of ±0.5 percent. Due to variable demand at wastewater plants, meters must measure a wide range of air flow rates. Thermal meters feature wide, 100:1 turndowns covering low to these variable high flow ranges. Look for flow meters with temperature compensation circuitry to ensure accuracy is maintained throughout the temperature range to which the transmitter and its flow element will be exposed (think cold winters and hot summers).
Reduce Costs, Improve Treatment
Rugged, low-maintenance FCI thermal mass air flow meters are operator-friendly. Their accuracy ensures optimal aeration control with minimal electricity usage. Thermal mass flow meters help wastewater treatment operators optimize treatment, enhance sustainability and reduce costs.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Flow and Level Measurement
21st century solutions for 19th century networks
The demands on our existing waste water networks are many and varied. Population growth, for example, is rapidly forcing the expansion of urban areas in order to meet the demand for new housing. This directly impacts the quantity of water entering sewer networks which, in turn, reduces the capacity of a sewer to cope with flood events. The effects of climate change (hotter summers, wetter winters and longer high-intensity rainfall events) will further significantly challenge the sewer networks. Water companies also face multiple problems associated with pipe blockages. When undetected, blockages have the potential to cause untreated sewage to back up and potentially flood drains and streets. As well as causing physical damage to the pipe network, blockages can be expensive and timeconsuming to remove and can lead to financial penalties from regulators. When pairing together the challenges of maintaining a Victorian-era sewer network with urbanisation and climate change, water companies are finding themselves under increasing pressure to find smart, costeffective solutions. Monitoring of waste water networks in an effective way of ensuring the efficient performance of a sewer system. Monitoring also acts as an early warning indication for issues such as blockages and flooding. HWM provides a variety of solutions for waste water network monitoring.
Intelligens is a data logger that is specifically engineered for the rigours of waste water applications, including combined sewer
overflows, general sewer monitoring, storm drains, storage tanks and flood warning systems. Intrinsically safe (ATEX/IEC Ex Zone 0), fully waterproof (IP68) and designed specifically to interface with a variety of sensors, Intelligens is truly flexible. Integrated level to flow conversion software makes Intelligens easy to use and allows the operator to simply configure the device to measure flow rates. Intelligens is also fitted with an integral 2G or 3G modem and features SMS fall-back, ensuring efficient, reliable transfer of data. For waste water network monitoring, especially in remote or hard to access locations, the versatile Intelligens logger is perfectly suited.
Intelligens connectivity with multiple sources allows it to act as the â€˜brainâ€™ of a sensor network. By connecting SonicSens, the ultrasonic level sensor, water level can also be monitored. SonicSens is an intelligent sensor that uses ultrasonic pulse to measure level within a water channel. Easy to install, ATEX adapted and fully waterproof, SonicSens is ideal for remote or challenging installations.
come into contact with the environment it is monitoring. By not touching the water, SonicSens is much less susceptible to contamination, meaning it is both reliable and cost-effective, requiring little to no cleaning or maintenance. SonicSens is also highly useful as a secondary sensor in flow monitoring applications, where data is combined with velocity to generate flow information.
Intelligens Flow is an advanced monitoring system that combines both a Doppler-effect sensor and a piezo resistive probe with a telemetry data logger to monitor flow and level. An ATEX approved, intrinsically safe system, Intelligens Flow is designed to measure flow in part-filled pipes and open channels. This capability makes it the accepted technology for flow measurement in many sewer and drainage applications. Developed for versatility, Intelligens Flow is compatible with a variety of additional float and level sensors, including SonicSens, making Intelligens Flow a complete waste water network monitoring solution.
Through the use of ultrasonic pulse technology, the SonicSens device does not
For more information on our variety of waste water solutions please visit www.hwm-global.com.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Experts in Waste Water Monitoring
HWM is a technology leader in the design and manufacture of monitoring and telemetry equipment for waste water networks general sewer monitoring combined sewer overflows storm drains storage tanks flood warning systems
+44 (0) 1633 489479 www.hwmglobal.com
MONITORING ASSETS, DELIVERING DATA, BRINGING CONTROL www.hwmglobal.com
Metal Pipes Plastic Pipes Enigma3hyQ Enigma3m
Flow and Level Measurement
Revolutionary technology delivers major leak reduction
A joint Primayer - Anglian Water project has seen leakage reduction of 1.4 million litres of water per day in targeted areas. Primayer’s managing director Roger Ironmonger explains how new technology and close collaboration led to the fantastic results. Leakage remains one of the biggest concerns for the water industry – in the UK about 20% of water supplied is lost through leaks. After setting some tough targets for the 2020-2025 investment period, regulator Ofwat is expecting companies to adopt new tools and techniques to tackle it. The regulator said in its Emerging Strategy report that new technologies were “essential to increase productivity and meet strategic challenges in the most cost-effective way” – and, in its latest price review, it also called for “collaboration between utilities and business”. Primayer has collaborated with Anglian Water on a game-changing leakage project, that has resulted in a 1.4 million litre per day reduction in the areas where work has completed – a 35% shift in those areas.
returns all data from underground transmitters via cellular communication networks 3G or GPRS – there is no need to negotiate with local authorities over above-ground street hardware. It will also result in quicker and easier repairs – meaning less disruption to customers. Initial trials with Anglian, on 40km of mains in the town of Louth, Lincolnshire, showed the sensors were effective in accurately finding leaks over long distances of up to 4.6m, and inside pipes made from a large range of materials, including plastic. This was a breakthrough - one of the biggest challenges faced across the industry is the ability to detect leaks on plastic pipes. This is because the noise that plastic pipes emit when they leak is greatly damped even over small distances from the leak, making the signal hard to detect and correlate.
As a leakage specialist, Primayer’s research and development team works with utilities and their partners to develop best-in-class technologies. The team has been collaborating particularly closely with Anglian Water, which aims to reduce leakage by a further 22% across its network in AMP7, going above and beyond the target set by Ofwat. Anglian is already at the forefront of the water industry in tackling leakage – with half the amount of water lost to leaks compared to any other water company.
The development has been called a game changer by Anglian Water’s smart water strategy manager Andy Smith, who said it would “revolutionise what we do in terms of leakage”.
In collaborating, the two teams wanted to develop new leak detection technology to increase efficiency, save time, free-up staff and improve conversion rates.
So far, 2,023 loggers have been installed and 1,325 leaks found from 1,600 potential leak locations identified. This represents a conversion rate of 83%, which is exceptionally high.
After detailing a joint brief with Anglian Water, Primayer decided to develop its existing noise correlation technology. The result was the Enigma3hyQ, a multi-point noise correlation system that uses immersed acoustic hydrophone sensors, that in essence “listen” to sound waves inside the pipe to pinpoint leaks. The hydrophone sensors are placed permanently into the pipe at convenient fittings such as fire hydrants or dedicated access points. This means greater sensitivity, resulting in more leaks being found more quickly. It
The system is now being rolled-out across Anglian’s whole network with the first installation of 3,500 loggers well underway – another 1,000 will follow.
High conversion rate
Richard Fielding, hydraulic optimisation engineer at Anglian Water, said: “The consistent performance from the Enigma3hyQ is enabling us to make a real step-change in how we manage leakage. In addition to locating previously undetectable leaks on plastic pipes, we are improving the service we provide our customers by detecting and repairing leaks before they become visible. “The permanent nature of this technology also increases our efficiency by allowing us
to prioritise the deployment of our detection teams to the parts of our network with the highest need, resulting in reduced travel time, increased productivity and a reduction of the associated health and safety risks of routine leakage detection surveys.” The significant reduction in leakage across Anglian Water’s network shows how much can be achieved when the supply chain and water companies work closely together to develop new solutions. With Anglian’s first roll-out of loggers well underway – with more to follow - a rapid uptake of this revolutionary technology worldwide is anticipated.
The Enigma3hyQ loggers transmit daily leak noise data to Primayer’s server via the 3G or GPRS communication networks. Correlation is performed automatically every 24 hours on signals received from many loggers in order to locate leak positions accurately. The user can listen to the recorded noise, helping to confirm that correlation results are due to leak noise. The data is available at any location, on any desktop or mobile device, via PrimeWeb, Primayer’s cloud-based data collection software. Ensuring Anglian Water meets its targets is very much a collaboration. Primayer is one of 10 companies jointly awarded the framework agreement, and the Enigma3hyQ noise correlating loggers form a key part of the leakage strategy. More information available at: www.primayer.com
Flow and Level Measurement
Valeport launches new Environmental range Leading designer and manufacturer of hydrographic and oceanographic instruments, Valeport, who celebrates 50 years serving the underwater community in 2019, has launched a new Enviromental range of optical sensors.
The Hyperion Turbidity Leading the Environmental range is the new Hyperion Turbidity, the first turbidity sensor combining Nephelometer and OBS readings in such a compact size. Also introduced is a new SWiFTplus Fluorometer offering the combined power of Valeport’s SWiFT SVP technology and a fluorometer. The Hyperion Turbidity – is the industry’s first standalone turbidity sensor with such a small footprint to combine Nephelometer and OBS readings in the same instrument. Created for inshore, coastal and oceanographic monitoring, this new sensor is essentially two sensors in one and delivers a minimum detection level of just 0.03 NTU (Nephelometer) and can measure turbidity up to 6,000 NTU (OBS). Both the Nephelometer and OBS sensors output data simultaneously, at a programmable rate so there is no need to switch ranges as conditions vary. Intelligent sampling and the use of a 24 bit ADC eliminates the need to switch gain. The Hyperion Turbidity offers a compact and robust package and is ideal as a standalone sensor for ROV and AUV integration, or used
SWiFTplus Fluorometer as part of a multi-sensor array and data logger system. The titanium housing, data output up to 16Hz and low power requirements ensures this sensor can be placed in situ for extended periods with easy access to highly accurate data.
Valeport designs and manufacturers for a worldwide customer base that includes the environmental, defence, oil & gas, renewable, construction, dredging, civil engineering and scientific research sectors.
SWiFTplus Fluorometer – designed by Valeport’s in-house specialists, this unique new range of probes combine the power of the SWiFT technology and a fluorometer for the high performance measurement of Chlorophyll a, Fluorescein, Rhodamine or Phycocyanin. Compact and robust, the suite of instruments are ideal for shallow water bathymetric and environmental survey, where observations can be monitored and recorded for surveys for up to three days continuous operation.
Over 50 years of engineering and production excellence is built into every Valeport product and the company recognises that the supply of a new instrument is the start of a relationship with customers, not the end. Valeport’s confidence in the quality and reliability of its products has enabled it to offer a lifetime product care approach alongside a three year manufacture warranty. This unique 12-month service warranty on any Valeport product, allows a customer to send a product back for a service every year, and the product warranty never runs out.
The package incorporates the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity, rechargeable battery and an integral GPS module to geo-locate each profile. These savvy sensors combine all you need to carry out survey grade Sound Velocity, Salinity, Density, CTD and optical profiles up to 200 metres, in a single instrument.
Valeport provides solutions for the underwater industry including: Sound Velocity Probes/ Sensors, Altimeters, Current Meters, Tide Gauges, Fluorometers and CTD’s. For more information on the Environmental range and Valeport please visit: www.valeport.co.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 50 years of engineering and production excellence is built into every Valeport product and the company recognises that the supply of a new instrument is the start of a relationship with customers, not the end. 34
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Hydrographic and oceanographic instrumentation ENVIRONMENTAL SENSORS TIDE GAUGES TELEMETRY OPTICAL SENSORS WAVE RECORDERS CTD AND MULTIPARAMETER CURRENT METERS OCEAN ENGINEERING ECHO SOUNDERS AND BATHYMETRY SOUND VELOCITY
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Flow and Level Measurement
Process sensors from ifm electronic The new generation of PN sensors from ifm electronic combines the tried-and-tested strengths with a considerably increased user-friendliness and robustness. After over 20 years of successful ifm pressure sensor history, the new generation of PN sensors has been developed in response to requests from users. Ease of use is obviously paramount, so the PN series offers everything at a glance for enhanced transparency during setup and identification of machine conditions. Although the housing size has remained unchanged, the display size has been increased once again and the two switching status LEDs on the sensor head are bigger, brighter and can be clearly seen from all angles. The user can change the display to switch from red or green to an alternating indication of red or green, so switching states can be highlighted or an independent colour â€˜windowâ€™ can be created. The sensor is now easier and quicker to set using the three pushbuttons.
High overload protection, IP67 for all types of the series and the captive laser labelling make the new PN sensors from ifm the perfect solution even in the harshest environments.
Flexibility in use is also an important factor highlighted by our customers. So now, after fitting, the sensor can be rotated for visibility from the desired direction. This also allows multiple units to be aligned in the same direction. Another innovation in the update to the PN range is the inclusion of versions with external thread as well as internal. The PN series covers ten different pressure ranges, starting at 1 bar negative pressure right up to 600 bar, and different units can offer switched outputs or combined switched and analogue. One of the most important features of any modern sensor is the facility to remotely set the device, store parameters externally and ensure that the device is correct for the application. All this, and much more, is possible with IO-Link, the IEC61131-9 standardised communications protocol that ifm electronic pioneered and all sensor manufacturers are now implementing. For further information, contact Gemma Anderson. tel: 020 8213 2234 email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Flow and Level Measurement
UK Flowtechnik partner with GPI to distribute revolutionary new Ultrasonic Flowmeter to the UK commercial irrigation market FLOMEC® QS200 Insertion Ultrasonic Flowmeter measures flow instead of sensing it UK Flowtechnik are excited to announce that they will become the leading UK distributor for the FLOMEC QS200 insertion ultrasonic flowmeter, designed and manufactured by U.S flow meter specialists Great Plain Industries, Inc. (GPI®). The flowmeter has been designed specifically for commercial irrigation applications. The QS200 provides an accurate reading of liquid flow rate and accumulated flow. “The irrigation market has shifted to the need to measure flow, especially in low flow situations like drip irrigation. The QS200 was designed to do just that” said, Jim Peterson Director of Sales at GPI. The QS200 has picked up awards along the way including the ‘New Product Contest award’ for its unique design, ease of use, water/resource-use and product life expectancy at the 2018 Irrigation Show held in North America.
The QS200 has no moving parts and utilizes ultrasonic technology to measure flow instead of simply sensing it. The QS200 provides high accuracy (2% of Reading) and extended leak detection down to 0.1 fps (0.03m/s). It measures flow rates five times lower than current flow sensors on the market, as low as 0.22 GPM (.83 L/min) and is compatible with most common name brand irrigation controllers. Additionally, it offers LED indication of power and flow activity and retrofits into Data Industrial PVC tees. “Current flow sensors in the industry cannot read low flows required in many irrigation applications. Even at their lowest detectable flows, the accuracy is extremely poor, basically making them flow switches. This dramatically limits the ability of finding leaking valves or other irrigation system leaks” said Edwin Fetzer, QS200 Lead Engineer.
About UK Flowtechnik - UK Flowtechnik is a joint venture company involved in the manufacture, supply and distribution of flowmeters, instrumentation, process sensors, specialist pumps, magnetic couplings and high quality hydraulic components. UK Flowtechnik Ltd represents quality brands such as: VSE, Beinlich, DST, HBE, Flomec, GPI, Lake Monitors, Seametrics, Elis Plzen, Bopp & Reuther and Comeco as well as many others. We also offer a competitive calibration & repair service. We work closely with our customers to provide innovative solutions for the most demanding of applications or for the most demanding of budgets using our huge portfolio of products. Discover more information incl. data sheets on our website – www.ukflowtechnik.com. Alternatively call the team on +44 (0)115 901 7111 or email – email@example.com.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Flow and Level Measurement
Water Solution Specialists
Do You Abstract Water From a Well? View and Survey Your Well
Audible leak detection success Work continues apace at Yorkshire Water on a project that aims to save millions of litres of water being leaked from water pipes. In order to audibly detect water escapes, 38,600 ‘acoustic ears’ are to be installed by the water company in its underground pipe network before the end of September, bringing the total number of devices in operation to 40,000. Overall, £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.
Pump Water from Your Well
Providing an update on the project, Yorkshire Water revealed that 30,579 of the devices are already in place and feedback on their performance has been extremely positive. Team leaders working on the project have reported brilliant results, with the ‘acoustic ears’ locating leaks which traditional techniques have struggled to do so in the past. 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.
Rehabilitate Your Well
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 the earlier 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.
Contact Us For More Information.
Tel: +44(0)1473 462046 firstname.lastname@example.org
Martyn Hattersley, Head of Leakage Operations at Yorkshire Water, said: “Each acoustic ‘ear’, or logger, is capable of identifying a leak within a 150 metre 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.
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WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Flow and Level Measurement
Downhole camera puts the focus on borehole investigation in Nepal
Innovative project helps tackle contamination and shares expertise with local teams In Lahan, a fast-growing town in south-eastern Nepal, less than half of the 98,000-strong population have access to piped water. Started in 2017, a unique programme called The Beacon Project has been working to expand and enhance water supplies, and deliver sanitation and waste water management to the town. Lahan has only one water treatment works and water is supplied from five boreholes via around 59km of pipes. The project, an ongoing collaboration between Anglian Water, its Alliance (capital delivery) partners and WaterAid, involves experts from the UK spending time in Nepal to provide practical help, advice and training for local teams, as well as sharing knowledge on water resource planning and delivering better facilities. One of the key problems identified early on was sand contamination within the boreholes, as Nick Walters, who was involved in the project as Anglian Water’s Groundwater Surface Water Manager, explains: “The borehole we were working on should have been around 180m deep but because it had back-filled with sand, it was more like 50m deep. “There were real concerns about the quality of the water, a lot of sand was being pumped out and we needed to look down the borehole, understand how much sand there was, and where it was coming from.” Without any suitable monitoring equipment available locally to help solve the problem, the Anglian Water team turned to UK water industry specialist Geoquip Water Solutions, who recommended the R-CAM 1000 XLT Downhole Camera. Completely portable but robust and lightweight, it is ideal for use in the field and its
Photo credit: Nick Walters self-contained video inspection system delivers real-time inspection footage on-site. Five adjustable light settings also make for ease of use, allowing boreholes up to 300 metres deep to be inspected. With the arrival of the camera system, Nick and his colleagues began working with WaterAid Nepal and local partners including Nepal Water Supply Corporation to deliver borehole management training workshops for around 20 managers and engineers from across the country. “The training was very successful,” continued Nick. “A lot of the local managers and engineers had never been able to use a camera to look down a borehole before, so it was fascinating for them. “The focus was getting them hands-on using the camera and enhancing their skills and the sessions sparked a lot of discussion and debate about the problems and how they could be dealt with. “Although the system enabled us to make some recommendations and short-term fixes, the biggest value was allowing them to visualise the problem that was going on. At the same time, there was opportunity to talk about wider hydrology and groundwater issues and the education element of the workshops was very valuable.” The camera identified a number of issues, including a breech in the casing of one borehole which was allowing in sand and water; plus wider problems with the overall design of the boreholes, something which the project is busy addressing.
Photo credit: Nick Walters
Nick says that once again the downhole camera will prove invaluable in facilitating the work. He concluded: “Ultimately, the idea is to be able to help deliver a 24/7 water supply which will make a real difference to the local communities, and we couldn’t have done it without the equipment and support of Geoquip.” The Beacon Project, which began in 2017, is expected to last around five years and aims to plan and deliver improved and expanded water networks and waste water management services, giving some of Nepal’s poorest communities access to clean water, sanitation and good hygiene. The R-CAM 1000 XLT camera includes a state-of-the-art solid state DVR that records survey footage to 16GB internal storage. Footage can then be exported in a single .mp4 format file, while a playback feature allows image capture. It also comes with a mini Bluetooth keyboard remote, a builtin microphone recorder and five stages of adjustable lighting. Geoquip Water Solutions is the sole European Partner and Service Centre of the Laval R-Cam 1000 XLT downhole camera and provides a comprehensive technical advice service and a complete after sales care plan. www.geoquipwatersolutions.com
Work will soon take place to reline one borehole by putting in a new inner casing, and
Flow and Level Measurement
Providing a cost effective solution to Remote Water Quality Monitoring While many water quality applications in the water and waste water industry utilise continuous monitoring equipment, a common requirement we have seen is the ability to remotely monitor where power sources may not be available. These types of applications can include short term monitoring requirements to assess treatment performance or where long term monitoring has previously not been possible. However with recent developments in sensor technology, Bell Environmental is able to provide the solution, offering cost effective remote water quality monitoring packages.
How does the sensor technology work?
All the sensors offered with our Remote Water Quality Systems (RWQS) utilise digital technology and protocols. The use of these digital protocols means we can collect multiple parameter information back from a single sensor with reduced interference to provide reliable and accurate information. The digital technology on board the sensor also means calibration data can be stored directly onto the probe. This is beneficial as the sensor can be easily removed and calibrated or verified without the need to remove the data collection hardware. This technology also provides
additional benefits. For example, if a sensor was to be vandalised or damaged it could easily be replaced by a new sensor utilising the systems plug and play design. Power consumption is also reduced, as the on-board digital technology ensure the sensors consumption is kept to a minimum. This is achieved without affecting the quality of your data, ensuring the system can be left for the maximum amount on site.
What Parameters are available?
We offer sensor solutions for monitoring a range of basic water quality parameter including pH, ORP, Conductivity, Salinity, Suspended Solids, Turbidity, Dissolved Oxygen and Sludge level. All of these sensors can be powered directly from the telemetry system, using the systemsâ€™ internal power supply option. External options are also available and include a solar input or external batteries for longer term deployments.
What data collection features does the system offer?
Data from the system is typically provided directly to a secure web based portal where you can review the latest readings in a tabular
or graphical form from your PC, tablet or smart phone. Data can also be provided from the system to a FTP server or WITS-DNP3. A dynamic trending option also allows the user to increase or decrease data recording and data transmission intervals based on predefined conditions, for example an increase or decrease in pH or conductivity. Please feel free to contact Bell Environmental for further information on our Remote Water Quality Systems (RWQS) firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bellenviro.co.uk
Flow and Level Measurement
Going with the flow Rheology is the science of describing the flow and deformation of materials and provides valuable information about the flow behaviour of liquids and the deformation behaviour of solids. One useful piece of information which can be gathered from rheological measurements is a fluid’s flow behaviour. A fluid’s flow behaviour can be either Newtonian or non-Newtonian. In Newtonian flow, the fluid’s shear rate is proportional to its shear stress – in other words, how ‘fast’ the fluid flows is directly proportional to the ‘amount’ of force applied to it. The viscosity – or ‘thickness’ – of Newtonian fluids remains constant regardless of shear stress. On the other hand, non-Newtonian fluids have viscosities which vary with shear rate. These fluids can be either shearthickening, where the viscosity increases with increased shearing, or shear-thinning, where the opposite is true. In the real world, most fluids can be considered non-Newtonian. Fluids can also possess a yield stress whereby flow can only be initiated once a limiting shear stress is applied. Furthermore, fluids can also possess viscoelastic properties – where their deformation behaviour can be described by a combination of ideally viscous liquid behaviour and ideally solid elastic behaviour. Considering this, rheology plays an important role in all fluid-handling processes. Accordingly, sewage sludge rheology is an essential design parameter in wastewater treatment plants which determine the efficiency of sludge-handling systems. The hydrodynamic behaviour and rheological properties of sludge is significant to the
optimization and design of sludge handling processes as noted by several researchers. Sludge rheological properties such as viscosity, yield stress and viscoelasticity are design parameters related to heat and mass transfer operations, mixing and power requirements, transport, dewatering and pumping. Thoughtful consideration of sludge’s rheology can go a long way to reducing operating costs in wastewater treatment plants, where sludge treatment comprises up to 50% of these costs. Sewage sludge rheology is notably complex, especially at high sludge concentrations and numerous studies have been done to characterize its non-Newtonian behaviour. However, most of these studies only described sludge rheology at ambient to moderate temperatures and at lower range of sludge concentrations. A gap of information is encountered when considering sludge rheology in thermal pre-treatment processes. Although some work has been done, most rheology studies were limited to posttreatment sludge. Sludge’s rheology during actual process conditions remained largely unobserved. Thermal pre-treatment is a branch of technologies which have found increased usage in sludge treatment processes. They involve the use of elevated pressures and temperatures, often above the boiling point of water, to achieve desirable physico-chemical
changes in the sludge. Notably, thermal pre-treatment finds application in sludge anaerobic digestion where they help boost anaerobic digestion performance. One of the main advantages of thermal pre-treatment is an increase in biogas production from the anaerobic digestion of thermally-treated sludge. Besides that, thermally treated sludge is significantly reduced in viscosity, and is also much easier to dewater. The lack of rheological information had been largely due to practical challenges associated with high-temperature and high-pressure measurement of the sludge rheology. However, recent commercial availability and advancements in rheometer technology have made some of these measurements possible. In our study, we performed in-situ rheological measurement of sludge’s flow behaviour at conditions mimicking a one-hour sludge thermal pre-treatment process at constant temperature. This was achieved by measuring the sludge in a pressure cell attachment which allowed the required high-pressure conditions. Since rheological measurements were performed in real-time, this allowed us to characterize the changes in the sludge rheology as thermal pre-treatment progressed, which had not previously been attempted. Based on these measurements, results showed that sludge behaved as a non-Newtonian, shear-thinning fluid, exhibiting a yield stress.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Wastewater FlowTreatment and Level Measurement & Technology
but can also provide an indication of sludge’s extent of solubilization.
Figure 1 – (a) Flow curve for waste activated sludge at 13 wt% concentration during thermal pre-treatment at 140 °C and 5 minutes treatment duration and (b) time-dependent reduction of sludge (13 wt%) apparent viscosity at constant temperature (140 °C)
Figure 1(a) shows the shear stress-shear rate response of a sludge at 140 °C during thermal pre-treatment which was fitted to the Herschel-Bulkley rheological model. Sludge remained non-Newtonian despite being at high temperature conditions (< 150 °C). The yield stress and shear-thinning properties of sludge are both parameters which can affect the efficiency of mixing and heat-transfer performance. This means during thermal pre-treatment sludge should not simply be handled as a Newtonian fluid, if optimal performance is being considered. It is well documented that thermal pretreatment greatly reduces the viscosity of sludge. However, our results also showed the viscosity reduction was a time-dependent process which occurred progressively during thermal pre-treatment at constant temperature. As shown in Figure 1(b) the viscosity reduction followed a logarithmic trend with treatment duration whereby most of the viscosity drop occurred in the first 20 minutes of treatment. After that, the viscosity change was minimal. This observation was interesting as it reflected the behaviour of organic matter solubilization, which also
follows a logarithmic trend with treatment duration. It further supports the idea that sludge’s rheology is partly due to the presence of biological flocs. This is interesting as it highlights the potential for online monitoring of thermal pre-treatment processes via rheological measurements. We have shown in a previously published paper that a linear correlation existed between sludge’s rheological parameters, including yield stress and apparent viscosity, and its organic matter solubilisation (measured in terms of chemical oxygen demand). Compared to traditional methods for determination of sludge solubilization via chemical analysis, rheological measurements can be done much quicker and in real-time. The rheological changes in sludge during thermal pre-treatment could be described using a combined model, based on logarithmic time-dependence and linear temperature relationship. These equations are useful for quick estimation of in-situ values of sludge’s rheological parameters in thermal pretreatment, which is handy for process design,
Interestingly, rheological observations suggested that sludge concentration had minimal impact on the effectiveness of thermal pre-treatment. This was based on the observation that regardless of sludge concentration (7 – 13 wt%), the extent of viscosity and yield stress reduction were nearly equal at constant treatment time and temperatures. This suggests that plant operators are allowed a certain degree of flexibility when it comes to thermal pretreatment of increasingly concentrated sludges, which is often desirable. Combined with the desirable viscosity reduction offered by thermal pre-treatment, this potentially means an increasingly concentrated sludge feed for anaerobic digesters, which translates to higher biogas production. In our study, it was also found that the results from measuring the flow behaviour of sludge via oscillatory rheological methods were comparable to rotational rheological methods. Usually, oscillatory methods are reserved for measuring material viscoelasticity. However, this comparability with rotational measurement enables new possibilities for in situ rheological measurement and process monitoring as well as for overcoming practical difficulties in conducting experimental work, such as non-destructive sample measurement. This study was headed by lead investigator Associate Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi and PhD researcher Kevin Hii, from the School of Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and the work is published in Water Research (DOI: 10.1016/j. watres.2019.03.039).
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Water and Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis
Collaboration on the road to resilience
A hot topic in UK water companies right now is “resilience”. ATi UK’s Managing Director, Dr Mike Strahand, believes it is a key part of what the DWI expects from water companies and is a big element in many PR19 submissions. This is particularly important in water distribution systems. With the population still growing, there is an ever-increasing demand for more water to be moved from treatment works to users at the end of the long distribution systems. Changing flows in water distribution systems can provoke discoloration events, by dislodging material from pipe walls. Moving water from concrete pipes to metal pipes can cause pH changes, which in turn can give rise to corrosion issues that again can provoke discoloration. Water standing still in storage tanks or in pipeline dead legs can “age” and disinfection levels could drop to potentially risky low levels. If the resilience of the network could be improved, changes in flow, pressure and water quality will have less impact on the customer experience. In order to understand these types of phenomena and to then take action to minimise the risk of them occurring, big changes are needed. Water quality is going to have to be measured at 1000’s of points in distribution networks, to allow water companies to start to understand their networks. To deliver real value, water companies in the traditional supply chain will have to collaborate. Finger pointing and the blame game must become a thing of the past. All that matters is delivering insights to the water industry. Sensor manufacturers will need to work hand in hand with installation and project management companies. Handing over thousands of sensors and an instruction manual is not an approach that will work. Training, development of SOP for start-up and
maintenance is vital. The terra bytes of data generated by the sensor need to be moved to somewhere useful. Sensor manufacturers and “data movers” will again need to work together to optimise the sensor locations for optimum signal strength and data transmission rates. Compromises may need to be made. Terra bytes of data are no use on their own. Water companies will need to allow model developers and programmers access to this new data to extract value and meaning and deliver the actionable insights that will allow water companies to improve their networks and make them more resilient.
Delivering innovative and integrated solutions
Embracing new technologies also presents opportunities. Cloud computing can be used, quickly expanding the evidence base from which options can be developed and decisions made. By collaborating to connect people, data and resources, we can open opportunities to achieve more cost-effective solutions with greater benefits to the water industry, the environment and society. Thanks to developments in analytical technology, the industry has seen a huge step forward in the analysis of water, allowing water companies a bigger insight than ever before into water quality. New, innovative and ground-breaking technology, such as the MetriNet, has seen a surge in transparency, meaning we know more about the makeup of our water. Securing enough water resources for the coming years will take more than a
single solution; it will require a collaborative and holistic approach.
Why collaborative working is the answer
Developing an integrated approach to address water quality challenges, working collaboratively with partners, stakeholders and regulators is what is needed to meet the challenges ahead. There is a need to develop a long-term multi-sector water resources strategy to provide a sustainable supply for the next 100 years, resilient to the effects of climate change, population growth and drought. By collaborating with partners from different sectors, water companies can optimise their expertise and expenditure, ensuring a robust outcome for themselves, wider society and the environment. Collaboration between as many as five or six suppliers working hand-in-hand with new business models is the only way to deliver water quality as a service. Some water companies have taken the first steps on the path to improved resilience and in every single instance to date, water quality monitors in the network have identified previously unknown issues. Delivering a twenty-year improvement plan will be a tough task, but the goal of resilient water distribution networks is delivering better quality water at a lower cost makes a task worth undertaking..... collaboratively of course. The need for innovation is ever present and collaboration is no longer just an option - it is an obligation. www.atiuk.com
Water and Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis
Optimised water softening systems thanks to qualitycontrolled regeneration
Novel water hardness monitoring
For the production of soft water, ion exchangers with sodium chloride regeneration have been used for more than 50 years. The course and dynamics of the softening process depend on the ion exchange resins used, the regeneration processes, the removal quantities and their dynamics. In practice, these processes do not operate consistently, so the resin capacities are not exhausted in all water softening systems for reasons of variability and the lack of process monitoring, indeed, investigations have revealed reserves of 20% to 50% of resin. Constantly monitoring the softening process, as shown in figure 1, is desirable to control the water softening system more accurately and appropriately. However, this is not possible with todayâ€™s largely traditional photometric measuring techniques.
Limits of conventional processes
In recent decades, the cyclic photometric measurement method has emerged as the technical standard for soft water monitoring. The residual hardness is determined randomly by means of colour change, the residual water hardness value determined is compared with the specified soft water threshold value and the alarm is triggered when the threshold value is exceeded. With a larger number of measurements, the indicator consumption and the mechanical wear of the measuring device increase, resulting in readjustment, cleaning and functional control with increased service costs. To avoid this, long measurement breaks
figure 2 with low indicator consumption and low measurement frequency are sought. Regardless of this, however, ageing processes occur, which lead to creeping problems that would not occur with increased measurement frequency. In addition, manual control activities must be performed to verify the process safety and to compensate for the lack of accuracy. Thus, a compromise between measurement frequency and susceptibility has to be found in order to limit operating and maintenance costs. However, a high level of process reliability and continuity is increasingly being sought.
Process-safe continuous soft water monitoring
By means of a novel soft water monitoring process, which was developed with the product line â€œSoftcontrolâ€? of the OFS GmbH, a measuring and control device with potentiometric measuring capabilities for the permanent monitoring of soft water is now available. This monitors the residual hardness and the measurement functionality very sensitively and cyclically and also incorporates intelligent self-monitoring. Previous problems and obstacles associated with conventional measuring techniques are solved and a highly reliable, economically viable and continuous measuring functionality is ensured over long periods. The process principle is based on a calciummagnesium-selective electrode, which constantly monitors the variability in water hardness and evaluates this to a predetermined threshold value.
A method which offers the possibility of excluding sensor drift and the need to monitor the sensor quality, enabling water hardness to be monitored in a controlled, secure and robust process. A process which also allows for the quality-controlled regeneration of water softening systems. Thus, a premature release of water softeners is prevented and the existing soft water is utilised optimally.
Effective capacity utilisation
For the first time, this equipment, with a sensor life independent of the measuring cycles, enables continuous monitoring of water softening systems under economically effective conditions. Thus, according to different practical conditions, 20% to 50% fewer regeneration cycles could be achieved when switching from batch to the quality-controlled operation of the water softener. This reduces the costs of regeneration, keeping the amount of soft water constant and the quality of the water high (figure 2).
The new measurement process provides an economically viable and process-safe alternative to manually monitoring the softening process. Ensuring the full utilisation of the softening plants so that resources are saved, the amount of rinse and salt water used is significantly reduced and the amount of soft water increases. The device range leads to high process reliability and at the same time an ecological operation. www.water-monitoring.com
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Water and Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis
Modular, multi-parameter water quality monitors for networks t. 0800 8046 062 www.atiuk.com
Clean Water Networks
South West Water leads the way in unique inline valve installation Newly acquired equipment and expertise make South West Water the first water company in the country to become self-sufficient in installing AVT’s unique inline valves
South West Water has taken a major step forward in controlling burst situations and reducing service interruptions to customers by becoming the first UK water company to acquire Advanced Valve Technologies’ (AVT) EZ Valve™ kits. The acquisition of these kits from AVT’s UK distributor, R2M Ltd, means South West Water operatives now have the ability to quickly install valves using their own resources. In 2018/19 South West Water reduced the overall duration of any interruptions to customer supplies, beating its target for average duration of interruptions per property and achieving its best ever performance in this area. This was despite a 40% increase in the number of mains bursts during the summer due to ground movement arising from the prolonged dry period. Recognising customers’ priorities, the company is focused on delivering further improvements in this area, particularly given the challenging targets it has set itself for the 2020-25 period. Improvements include the establishment of an enhanced
monitoring centre, expanding the company’s fleet of alternative water supply vehicles and operatives and increasing the use of business intelligence software using network data to provide further insight. While leaks and bursts are inevitable, the AVT EZ Valve system will enable South West Water to repair damaged pipes without shutting off the water supply and interrupting service to customers. The innovative system is designed with a built-in isolation gate that allows the valve to be installed under pressure in challenging conditions and enables faster restoration than alternative solutions. The kits include an innovative machine that mills a small 120° slot in the top of the pipe, eliminating the need to cut a coupon or remove a section of the pipeline. This design preserves pipe integrity and allows the valve to be installed under full pressure. South West Water’s Director of Networks, Mark Hillson, said: “We were eager to have access to the specialised kits so we could begin installing the valves ourselves. With
the exceptional training our field teams have received, we’re now in a position to act much more quickly to emergency situations and will be better able to manage burst situations to offer even more reliable service and keep customers in supply. “We’ll also utilise the equipment to reduce the impact of planned work on our customers. Where it’s not possible to use other alternative water supply mitigation options, such as one of our fleet of newly acquired tankers, we’ll use the EZ Valve kit to install additional isolation points and minimise the area impacted by any such activities.” As part of the partnership, 30 installers, a mix of internal resource and operatives who are contracted to the company from the Kier Group, were put through intensive training at South West Water’s Exewater depot in Exeter, Devon, to learn how to install the inline valve. Trainees received classroom instruction followed by hands-on training, during which they familiarised themselves with the installation process.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Clean Water Networks
Additional employees will receive training to install AVT EZ Valves using the three installation kits, which will be located at South West Water regional hubs and will serve customers across the South West and Bournemouth operating areas. In addition to the EZ Valve equipment, the water company has purchased a fleet of eight new water tankers and 15 fully equipped alternative water supply (AWS) vehicles which will carry the full range of supply mitigation equipment. To fully utilise this equipment South West Water has recruited a 17-strong AWS team who will be focused on deploying the equipment with the sole aim of keeping customers in supply. Mark said: “As part of our PR19 process we spent a lot of time talking to customers. It’s clear that a safe and reliable supply of drinking water remains their number one priority. As an organisation we absolutely recognise the importance to customers and the local economy of keeping supplies on, whatever the circumstances. We’ve learned from recent extreme weather events, such as the
Beast from the East, and have responded by investing in the people, skills and equipment that will help us achieve our ultimate aim of zero interruptions.” South West Water’s Network and Customer Services Manager, Richie Adams, added: “From an operational point of view, it is exciting to be taking delivery of this new equipment, giving the frontline teams new tools and greater flexibility to minimise disruption to our network and importantly our customers. “The EZ Valve kits are another tool in our toolbox to aid the reduction in properties affected and where we currently don’t have valves, or existing valves are not functioning correctly, they will enable us to install a valve live. This will reduce the need to disrupt customer supplies, which may have been affected without this new kit. “We are committed to taking on and achieving the challenging targets and performance improvements that face us going forwards and this substantial investment in a new team
and equipment will allow greater focus and flexibility to achieve our goals.” Speaking about the partnership, AVT President Harry Gray said: “We’re pleased to help South West Water improve its internal capabilities for managing potential interruptions to supply using our award-winning inline valve. We designed the AVT EZ Valve kits to put our technology in the hands of companies that need it. As the first water company in the UK to take advantage of this innovation, South West Water is in a position to respond swiftly to emergency situations and better manage its supply interruption outcomes.” R2M Ltd. Valve Division Director Matt Harris added: “We have a long history of close collaboration with South West Water. They were looking for more ways to reduce customer minutes lost and provide a better level of customer service as they work towards their AMP7 commitments. They like the EZ Valve as it’s compact and fast to install valves on live networks. Importantly, they wanted an asset that not only looks like a valve but also operated the same as the standard valve.”
Biogas and Energy Management
Anaerobic Digestion, biogas and the Water Industry Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a process by which micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen break down organic material into biogas, which is approximately 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide, and biofertiliser. Many such systems are run at a temperature in the region of 37 oc.
Pittâ€™s Mill package digester, ca. 1980, built by Farm Gas Ltd for Severn Trent ÂŠ James Murcott
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Biogas and Energy Management
The UK’s waste water industry has harnessed the biogas produced from the biodegradation of sewage for more than 100 years, with numerous sources reporting that gas from a septic tank was first used to run a sewage gas destructor lamp in Exeter as long ago as 1895. By the late 1970’s, when UK agricultural anaerobic digestion was in its infancy, sewage works digesters were more established as a method of removing dry matter, with some systems in uninsulated tanks heated by diesel boilers, and biogas vented to atmosphere. About this time, Gerald Noone, a senior waste treatment manager from the Severn Trent Water Authority, became interested in the more compact, efficient farm AD plants built by James Murcott and Michael Chesshire of UK company Farm Gas Ltd. Unlike the early sludge digesters which were built as one-off civil engineering projects, these insulated digester systems were largely pre-fabricated in a range of sizes, before being assembled on site, opening the possibility for their cost-effective use on smaller sewage treatment works (STW). Severn Trent’s interest culminated in the construction of the UK’s first package sludge digester, built in 1980 by Farm Gas at Pitt’s Mill STW. Throughout the 80’s, Farm Gas continued to build these systems for Severn Trent and other water companies, becoming South Shropshire’s largest employer with over 100 people. The company was bought out by the newly privatised Anglian Water plc in 1990. Starting in 1990, UK government incentives for renewable electricity generation helped to increase the number of AD plants, both within and outside of the water sector. This is because the biogas produced by the process could be utilised in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant to create renewable electricity. These incentives included the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO, 1990-98), the Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs, 2002-17) and the Feed-In Tariffs (FITs, 2010-19). The introduction of the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI, 2011-21) provided the economic impetus for larger plants to shift their focus to producing biomethane. Water companies have taken advantage of these incentives, with a steady increase in the deployment of biogas technology over the years, so that by 2012, 75% of sewage sludge was processed through AD. Ofgem’s yearly ROC reports, although not necessarily providing a definitive count of all the biogas plants in use within the water industry, certainly provide a good indication of the growth of the technology. The first
ROCs report published in Feb 04 noted that there were 46 sewage ‘generating stations’ commissioned before 1 Apr 02 producing 44.9 MWe. During the next 8 years, this number increased significantly, with 147 sewage ROC stations producing 111.06 MWe in the 2009-10 ROC report. At the end of 2017-18, the total capacity for sewage gas ROCs amounted to 175 plants producing 210MW, the third smallest technology behind tidal stream and wave power, with onshore wind coming tops at 11,774 MW. Under the Renewable Heat Incentive, a biogas plant needs to be relatively large in order to economically produce biomethane: certainly in excess of 1MWe equivalent and usually larger. This is due to the significant capital cost required for the equipment that separates the biomethane from the rest of the biogas (known as upgrading), as well as the equipment required to inject the biomethane into the gas grid. The October 2014 Market Report from the Anaerobic Digestion Bioresources Association (ADBA) announced that, in addition to biogas plants producing electricity from sewage, there was now one sewage AD plant generating 750m3/hr of biomethane. ADBA’s April 2019 Market Report showed 10
sewage AD plants, generating 8,720 m3/hr of biomethane, a very impressive growth of such capital-intensive plant in a relatively short time-frame. These figures may be impressive to water industry or biogas aficionados, but hardly capture the imagination of those producing the sewage – the great British public. Credit here goes to Geneco, part of Wessex Water, who launched the Bio-bug in 2010. Unable to find off-the-shelf biogas upgrading equipment in the UK, they imported some and used it in a VW Beetle Bug, chosen by local students because it is the ‘bugs’ who break down the sewage to produce the gas. The concept of the ‘poo-powered’ car which could run for a year on toilet waste from 70 homes, caught the imagination of the press, with the story reaching an estimated 80 million people worldwide. As an arm of a water company, Geneco took another first-of-a-kind step by opening a food waste AD plant at Avonmouth in 2012, which allowed them to grid-inject up to 1900m3 of biomethane an hour from sewage and food waste through their upgrading plant built in 2014. In that same year, Severn Trent also commissioned their biomethane upgrading and injection facility on their Minworth (Birmingham) STW. Page 54
The UK’s waste water industry has harnessed the biogas produced from the biodegradation of sewage for more than 100 years, with numerous sources reporting that gas from a septic tank was first used to run a sewage gas destructor lamp in Exeter as long ago as 1895. www.waterindustryjournal.co.uk
Biogas and Energy Management From page 53 An AD plant fed on agricultural crops was another first for the water industry, commissioned by the newly-formed Severn Trent Green Power (STGP) in 2010. This system converts 37,000 tonnes of crop a year into 2 megawatts of electricity, with the vast majority of the crops grown on contaminated land which is unable to grow food. With the 2018 acquisition of Agrivert’s AD and composting facilities, STGP is now the UK’s largest food waste recycler and composting business, another example of diversification of the ‘green arms’ of water companies into what is generally considered to be the UK’s more traditional waste sector. A 2007 Government report estimated that almost 1% of the average daily electrical consumption of England and Wales was used to treat their daily sewage production. The water industry knows that it has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and utilising the energy within wastewater through AD is an obvious part of the solution. Severn Trent, for example, are aiming to produce 50% of their energy consumption from renewables by 2020 and currently have 6 sewage works which use AD to generate more energy than they use. Thames Water also has a ‘handful’ of sites which are energy positive, such as the Basingstoke STW which utilises a thermal hydrolysis process (THP) in conjunction with anaerobic digestion to create energy from the sewage from more than 130,000 people. With the first THP plant commissioned through a JV with Norwegian company Cambi
in 2000 at Thames Water’s Chertsey site, THP is an innovation which has been around for many years. It has been increasingly installed in waste water treatment plants, since it can reduce parasitic energy and increase biogas production of sludge digestion, so is an important part of increasing the efficiency and reducing the GHG emissions of such systems. Scientists continue to work on innovation in order to improve the efficiency of these wastewater treatment systems. Prof Tom Curtis and his team at the University of Newcastle are studying ways to efficiently digest materials at the UK’s cool ambient temperatures. Prof Charles Banks at the University of Southampton is working on a process called biomethanisation, whereby hydrogen produced through excess renewable energy is injected into the AD tank in order to produce much more energy, since it creates biogas which has a methane content in excess of 90%. Numerous researchers, including those in Newcastle and the University of South Wales, are investigating different types of bioelectrochemical systems which use the power of microbes to treat wastewater and create electricity, hydrogen and even some chemicals. And there are numerous technologies being developed to extract and re-use nutrients such as phosphorous within the wastewater. With the future of wastewater treatment evolving and changing both in the lab and at the works, it is certain that anaerobic digestion will play a vital and continuing part.
Angie Bywater is co-Manager of the Environmental Biotechnology Network (EBNet) led by Prof Sonia Heaven at the University of Southampton. EBNet is one of 6 free-to-join Networks in Biotechnology and Bioenergy funded by the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council to facilitate interactions and fund research between industry and academia. See: www.EBNet.ac.uk
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Biogas and Energy Management
New treatment Concentrated/ Challenging Odours Biogas In a modern world, Biogas has the potential to replace a large part of fossil fuel consumption by generating energy from a wide variety of feedstock. A good example of such a biogas plant is in Alvesta, Sweden. This plant specializes in turning sewage and slaughterhouse waste into energy which powers up local houses and businesses in the surrounding area. While being one of the most strategically active plants in the municipality, Alvesta Biogas started appearing in the news, however not in the light they intended to. The process of generating slaughterhouse energy starts with the storage of the biomass in hygienization tanks. During this process the biomass is heated up in order to remove the liquid elements from the material as a pre-processing stage. As a result, a strong smell started to escape the tanks and the facility. This has caused a mass outrage with continuous complaints and threats from the municipality. The Biogas plant is now threatened to be shut down which could leave the area without energy supply. When Scandinavian Centriair AB had received the request to help Alvesta Biogas solve their odour problem, nobody knew what was going to come. With extensive experience in the field of waste and biogas, Centriair experts along with ÄF consultants started the sampling of the gas to identify H2S, Ammonia and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The results were shocking as the VOC concentration has showed 8 000 000 OU and 8 000 ppm H2S in the gas stream. To get an idea of how unpleasant that smell can get, we can say that at 0,00047 ppm of H2S a human nose can already detect the odour. According to the statement of ÅF consultants, this had been the highest VOC concentration that they have witnessed in Sweden. The task was not easy since there are few technologies in the market that can handle extreme concentrations. For Centriair there was only one solution: DEO™ - a catalytic conversion technology. DEO-100™ is a regenerative catalyst system for elimination of VOCs from industrial processes through the use of a catalyst technology. After the installation the smell seemed to disappear, and it became more bearable to stand around the plant. Knowing all the challenges of this application, Centriair team has done another round of sampling at the outlet of the DEO-100™ system. The test results indicated 99,6% reduction rate on VOCs and H2S compounds with less than 1 OU/M3 in the distance of 200 meters from the plant. This was a win-win situation for everyone. In conclusion it is important to point out the necessity of odour treatment within Biogas plants. Alvesta Biogas is a good example of how ignorance of the odour problem could lead to sever consequences. It does not matter what a plant decides to use as a feedstock, it will all generate unpleasant smell for the staff and for the unlucky people living around biogas sites. www.centriair.com
Biogas and Energy Management
Evonik obtains patent for 3-step membrane process for efficient gas separation in Europe The European Patent Office has granted Evonik Fibres GmbH, based in Schörfling (Austria), a patent for a three-stage process for membrane-based purification of biogas and natural gas In the gas separation process, which has been developed by Evonik, binary gas mixtures such as raw biogas, which consists primarily of biomethane and carbon dioxide, can be separated very efficiently and cost effectively. In addition to increased yields and lower equipment and energy requirements – a second compressor is no longer required - the membrane process eliminates the need for additional purification, so that the enriched gas can be fed directly into the natural gas network.
Gas separation with SEPURAN® hollow-fiber membranes
At the core of the separation process are the innovative hollow‑fiber membranes of Evonik’s SEPURAN® Green brand. These consist of a high-performance plastic, developed by Evonik, which can withstand extreme pressure and temperatures. The membranes also have excellent selectivity. In combination with the three-stage separation process, recycling streams can be minimized which helps to optimize the energy costs of biogas processing plants. With the purchase of the SEPURAN® Green membranes, Evonik’s contract partners – plant engineering companies - also receive a license to use this three-stage separation process. In turn, when a company buys a
Evonik obtains patent for 3-step membrane process for efficient gas separation in Europe biogas processing plant with SEPURAN® Green membranes that has been constructed by Evonik’s contract partners, the plant can be operated using the patent-protected process. In addition to the patents granted in the relevant markets in America and Asia, the three-stage membrane process developed by Evonik now enjoys legal protection in all the key European markets. Evonik’s SEPURAN® product family includes membranes for biogas processing, nitrogen
generation, and helium and hydrogen processing. In 2011, SEPURAN® Green membranes for biogas processing were introduced successfully to the market and since then, have been deployed successfully in more than 100 biogas plants worldwide.
Contact Volker Wehber Director SEPURAN® Green Phone +49 6151 18 4513 email@example.com
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Donâ€™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
Biogas and Energy Management
Turning municipal organic waste into clean energy and profit
Quebec biogas upgrading project illustrates the potential for municipal participation and success in the circular clean economy In 2009, Canada’s Province of Quebec announced its intention to ban organic waste from landfills, prompting the City of SaintHyacinthe, located east of Montreal, to look for new ways to treat its municipal waste. Ten years later, Saint-Hyacinthe is converting 25,000 tonnes of organic waste—100 per cent of what is produced annually by the city, local agri-food businesses, and 23 surrounding municipalities in the region—into revenuegenerating renewable natural gas.
Turning municipal biogas into a valuable renewable feedstock
Saint-Hyacinthe began treating its wastewater sludge with biomethanisation in 2010. A year later, the city started looking for better ways to utilize its raw biogas. Greenlane Renewables Inc. is a leading global provider of biogas upgrading systems which cleanse impurities and remove the carbon dioxide from biogas to produce high purity biomethane, also known as renewable natural gas (RNG). This RNG can be used to decarbonize the natural gas grid and also for direct use as clean, low-carbon vehicle fuel. Aware that the City of Saint-Hyacinthe was exploring its biogas options, Greenlane connected with city officials in 2011 to introduce the idea of converting raw biogas into RNG. Soon, the two organizations began collaborating on a large-scale upgrade to the city’s biomethanisation plant. The upgraded plant commenced operation in 2017.
Simplifying the procurement process for municipal decision makers
Greenlane is the only company globally to offer systems solutions utilizing the three main biogas upgrading technologies: water wash, pressure swing absorption, and membrane separation. The company has a strong international footprint with more than 100 biogas upgrading units in operation in 18 countries and counting. Half of the projects are in the wastewater treatment sector, making Greenlane a go-to solution provider for municipalities looking to extract greater value from their waste. “We hear time and again how much our customers value the ease of dealing with a single supplier who’s willing to work with
The Saint-Hyacinthe biomethanisation plant utilizes Greenlane’s water-wash biogas upgrading system because of its ability to remove H2S without any pre-treatment.
them to identify the right technical and commercial solutions for their projects,” says Brad Douville, Greenlane’s President and CEO. “We want to make it easy for municipalities and wastewater treatment plants to increase their participation in the fast-growing RNG market.”
Collaborating for mutual success, pre-project and postimplementation
Greenlane collaborates closely with its municipal customers on every project to ensure their objectives are met for maximizing value from their biowaste facilities. Greenlane also provides aftercare support for the life of installed equipment. “We chose Greenlane’s water-wash technology based on their experience and track record,” explains Pierre Mathieu, Conseiller Technique of the Saint-Hyacinthe Wastewater Treatment Plant. “They had municipal experience with their City of Hamilton project; worked on the largest RNG project in Canada in Montreal; and the RNG produced from their systems meets utility requirements.”
Realising tangible benefits in SaintHyacinthe
The results of Saint-Hyacinthe’s biogas upgrading project speak for themselves. The city has reduced the sewage sludge sent to landfills by almost 50 per cent, resulting in annual cost-savings of CDN$1.5 million and a 15
per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions tied to transportation and disposal activities. In addition to converting its municipal vehicle fleet to run on RNG (reducing noise, greenhouse gas, and particulate emissions), Saint-Hyacinthe also uses its RNG to heat and cool municipal buildings at cost savings of approximately CDN$500,000 annually. Any surplus RNG is sold to regional utility, Gas Métro, for profit. City residents and neighbours in the surrounding region are seeing lower taxes, improved services, and the launch of several regional development initiatives, as a result.
Enabling participation in the fast-growing global market for renewable natural gas
Consumer demand for low-carbon renewable fuels is driving the transition of RNG from a niche to mainstream substitute for natural gas. The Saint-Hyacinthe project illustrates clearly how municipalities can participate in this profitable and rapidly growing market. Converting endlessly renewable organic waste into RNG creates a valuable strategic, sustainable asset for any municipality, improving their environmental impact, green credentials and, ultimately, their bottom line. To learn more about Greenlane Renewables’ municipal biogas upgrading solutions, visit greenlanerenewables.com. Contact the sales team at salesEU@greenlanebiogas.com or +44 (0) 114 261 2344.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
COMPLETE BIOGAS UPGRADING SYSTEMS TO CONVERT LOW-ENERGY BIOGAS TO HIGH-VALUE RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS
Full system design & implementation 30+ years of experience 100+ system installations
Water Scrubbing | PSA | Membrane greenlanerenewables.com SalesEU@greenlanebiogas.com +44 (0) 114 261 2344 www.waterindustryjournal.co.uk
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Biogas and Energy Management
Activated Carbon Applications in the Water Industry Activated carbon is a high purity form of carbon with a very high surface area, making it suitable for a wide range of purification applications in a variety of different sectors. The water industry has a long history of using activated carbon filtration technology for the purification of liquid and gas phase streams. It is widely used for the purification of drinking water, where its role is to remove a range of taste and odour-forming compounds as well as trace contaminants such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals. On the wastewater side of the business, carbon filtration is used for general odour management applications as well as for the purification of biogas streams. This can be for either combined heat and power (CHP) engine protection, or as part of the upgrading process to convert raw biogas into biomethane, making it suitable for injection into the gas grid. Typically, in these biogas applications, the activated carbon’s role is to remove hydrogen sulfide, siloxanes and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the gas streams, to protect the CHP engine from corrosion/ deposits or, in the case of biomethane gasto-grid facilities, to protect or enhance the performance of the downstream biogas upgrading equipment. Different types of carbons are suitable for removal of the various possible contaminants in a typical biogas stream. Siloxanes and other VOCs are normally removed with a standard carbon grade, typically pellets or larger granules, whereas hydrogen sulfide and other inorganic contaminants are most efficiently removed with an impregnated carbon grade. Depending on the process conditions, notably residual oxygen levels within the biogas
The Clean-Flo® 30m3 VOCSorber® filter, delivered on a dedicated tipping trailer stream, different impregnant types can be selected, and an experienced carbon expert can advise on the most suitable and cost-effective choice for a given set of circumstances. When granular or pelletised carbon is ‘spent’, i.e. it is no longer performing as required due to partial or complete filling of its pores with impurities, it can usually be recycled via a thermal reactivation process in a specialised kiln. Spent carbon is generally categorised into one of two possible types – ‘green’ spent material from drinking water applications, or ‘amber’ spent carbon from industrial/ environmental processes such as biogas. These two ‘waste’ streams need to be kept separate, to avoid cross-contamination. There are many environmental and economic benefits of recycling spent carbon, rather than disposing of it and replacing it with virgin material. It has been calculated, for example, that the carbon footprint associated with reactivation is typically 80—90% lower than virgin carbon. CPL Activated Carbons is a leading supplier of carbons and services into a wide variety of sectors. The company has recently invested heavily in an expansion of its state-of-the-art reactivation facility, located at Immingham on the Lincolnshire coast, where is has completely separate processing facilities for ‘green’ and ‘amber’ spent carbon streams, a set-up that is particularly appreciated by visitors from UK water utilities.
High pressure carbon filters and pipework installation at a WWTP biomethane facility
CPL Activated Carbons, formerly trading as CPL Carbon Link, has been reactivating spent carbon at Immingham since 2013. Initially this was only ‘amber’ list material, but in 2018 the company converted the existing rotary kiln to allow it to handle ‘green’ spent carbons from drinking water treatment plants. At the same time, it installed a brand new, and much larger,
kiln to handle the increasing demand for ‘amber’ carbon reactivation, particularly from the growing renewable energy sector here in the UK. The capacity of the new rotary kiln is more than treble the previous set-up, making it by far the largest facility in the UK and indeed one of the biggest in Europe. Another unique feature of CPL Activated Carbons’ product and services offering is the company’s in-house carbon filter manufacturing capability, thanks to its subsidiary CPL Icon. A range of mobile carbon filters, known as Clean-Flo® units, can be supplied, from small 180 litre drums through to large 30m3 vessels delivered on dedicated tipping trailers. The Clean-Flo® 30m3 VOCSorber® unit is the largest mobile carbon filter on the market, and was developed specifically with the requirements of the biogas industry in mind. Fixed carbon filters can also be supplied, including high pressure variants. A second advantage of having an in-house engineering capability is that CPL Activated Carbons can assist customers, particularly those who have not used carbon filtration systems before, with the design, manufacture and installation of all necessary pipework and connections. It is all part of CPL’s desire to be the one-stop-shop for all carbon filtration requirements. CPL Activated Carbons: “The Active Force in Carbon & Service” www.activated-carbon.com Author: David Reay, Marketing Manager, CPL Activated Carbons
Biogas and Energy Management
Christian Toll CEO AeroThermal
AeroThermal a first for bio waste processing
AeroThermal work on THP vessel
Optimising renewable energy
Christian Toll, CEO of AeroThermal, discusses Thermo-Pressure Hydrolysis (TPH) technology and how the business’s milestone in the handling of household and business organic waste could help shape the future of renewable energy. According to the Environment Agency report, ‘Renewable energy potential for the water industry’, the water industry provides 8.5 per cent of energy from renewable energy generation but “must, in common with other sectors, contribute to the UK target of 15 per cent by 2020.”
Christian Toll, AeroThermal CEO said: “Our experiments revealed autoclaving had the effect of producing a feedstock for Anaerobic Digestion (AD) allowing stable digestion at very high loading rates, without the addition of trace elements which could be harmful to the environment.”
The target to almost double the provision of energy from renewables in the water industry is critical to the Government’s four energy policy objectives including reducing the use of fossil fuels, securing energy supplies, enabling the UK to be competitive in energy markets and, as renewable technologies become cheaper and more readily available, contribute to ensuring homes are affordably heated.
The significant increases in digester performance were attributed to the denaturing of protein during the autoclaving pre-treatment, which had the effect of reducing the quantity of ammonia generated.
In 2008 the National Audit Office cited five sources of renewable energy for exploration water, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. Among these, biomass stands out as a sustainable all-rounder which can be used to generate biogas and biofuels for use in transport, heat and electricity. Waste which currently goes to landfill, with its associated environmental and sustainability issues, can be significantly reduced and utilised to generate environmentally friendly fuel, clean recyclables and soil conditioners. In 2015, AeroThermal published research showing that pre-treating food waste in an autoclave could double the throughput of an anaerobic digester and significantly reduce the amount of ammonia concentrations by denaturing proteins. This has a direct impact on the ability to produce more organic material open to the biodegradation process resulting in higher gas yield, higher methane content and quicker reaction times.
For Mr Toll, the benefits of autoclaves for processing municipal and household waste cannot be underestimated, he said: “For the plant operator, using an autoclave can potentially double the throughput of the plant and in doing so, revenues could double for only a marginal increase in operating costs, since the autoclave predominantly uses waste heat from the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) process.” Autoclaves easily facilitate the co-processing and blending of different types of waste, since it pasteurises, homogenises and hydrolyses the feedstock in one simple and highly effective process along with the ability to retrofit onto existing plant machinery. The technology also has the capacity to be used in sewerage processing, Mr Toll said: “With Thermo-Pressure Hydrolysis (TPH) we are opening up the cell structure, breaking down lignin infraction and preparing the organic material so when it goes into AD you get a much faster reaction time and generally a higher release of methane.” “Textiles and plastics are screened off, while and fats are collected, none of which can go
into the AD. These fat bergs and screenings currently go to landfill and this costs millions of pounds. Our process turns the vast majority of these materials into a feedstock suitable for AD.” While the current focus is on household and municipal wastes, using AeroThermal’s THP technology for sewerage could mean a decrease in disposal costs and an increase in materials going into anaerobic digestion, an uplift in biogas yield and the ability to increase revenues whilst decreasing disposal costs.
Case study – research in action
AeroThermal’s first commercial scale ThermoPressure Hydrolysis (TPH) vessel, based in the Midlands, is onstream processing bio-waste in a first for a renewables company in the UK. The 65m3 TPH is a key component at a new bio-waste anaerobic digestion site with the technology pre-treating food waste and other bio-waste organics prior to mesophilic anaerobic digestion. The TPH operates in cycles of 2.0 - 2.5 hours, each processing more than 20 tonnes of bio-waste, translating to up to 50,000 tonnes annually. High temperature saturated steam is used while the drum rotates. The cellulosic material is hydrolysed and after the process is complete, the product exits the vessel as a pumpable slurry. This is then separated into the predominant organic fraction which goes into anaerobic digesters, producing high yields of biogas, which is upgraded and injected into the national gas grid. www.aerothermalgroup.com
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Biogas and Energy Management
Biogas Products Ltd secure multiple gas holder installations across wastewater sites Biogas Products Ltd, a leading contractor in biogas storage solutions and process equipment, 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 completing the installation of a new 3000m3 membrane gas holder at Oldham WwTW for United Utilities contractor Nomenca. Plans to upgrade and extend the current anaerobic digestion facility 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. The teams have a combined knowledge, experience and expertise that is unrivalled in the UK, and have been championing UK-based manufacturing in the Biogas industry for over 15 years. They have been steadily building a strong reputation in the water industry based on their well-thought out design
solutions, process engineering knowledge and quality manufacturing capabilities – this ethos has seen them grow where others have encountered problems.
are now investing in upgrading their existing technologies to enable them to better utilise their biogas by generating electricity or upgrading to biomethane.”
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.
Biogas Products have also been awarded a contract to design, manufacture and install 4no sludge/hot water tube and shell heat exchangers on the Hull site which will be used to maintain digester temperatures.
“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
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Biogas and Energy Management
Increasing Biogas Recovery through Hydrodynamic Cavitation The Challenge
Biogas is one of the most important by-products of many processes nowadays. It is often used as fuel to produce electricity and steam, typically via Combined Heat and Power (CHP) or boiler system. In some cases, it is further treated and compressed for export to the Gas Grid. Our client, a UK Water Authority has applied and developed different innovative technologies to try and maximize biogas yield from anaerobic digestion of secondary sludge. By working together with Projective, an opportunity was identified to apply novel hydrodynamic cavitation technology to improve biogas production.
CaviMax hydrodynamic cavitation technology has proven itself to be very effective in increasing biogas yield in applications using high lignin feedstocks and agriculture residues in general. Projective and CaviMax have come together to extend such technology to secondary sewage sludges (hydrolysed and non- hydrolysed), SAS, RAS, sludge cake and biosolids, and imported sludge mixes. Benefits to the sludge processing AD plant Increase in methane content from 56.5% to 59.4% Biomethane potential increased by ~17% over 5 days Biomethane potential increased by ~20% over 28 days Hydrogen Sulphide levels reduced by 31% over 28 days Epic Srl’s ROTOCAV is the hydrodynamic cavitation reactor at the heart of every CaviMax system. CaviMax are proud to be partnered with E-Pic. Please view www.epic-srl.com/en/ to see how process intensification can be utilised in multiple industries and applications for energy and feedstock reductions.
A UK Water Authority that runs various Sludge Treatment Centres, was engaged to carry out a first trial to assess the benefits of cavitation on hydrolysed sludge.
The CaviMax device manipulates fluid dynamics producing a cavitation field. When these cavitation bubbles collapse, millions of microjets release their energy into the biomass solids. This imparts extreme forces on solids within the liquid media and causes particle disintegration and reduction in particulate sizes. 50L of hydrolysed sludge was collected and transported to the CaviMax Lab, where it was cavitated once and 5 times. Three samples, uncavitated sludge, sludge cavitated once and sludge cavitated 5 times, were collected and analysed. A BMP (Biochemical Methane Potential) analysis was carried out on each sample by an independent laboratory. BMP represents the useful, combustible part of the biogas that can be used to generate energy.
Cavitation has proven to be effective even on hydrolysed sludge. A 17% increase in Biomethane production was obtained after just 5 days, when sludge was cavitated 5 times. An overall increase in methane content from 56.5% to 59.4% was also obtained and a 31% reduction in H2S.
Projective are now working with our UK Water customer and our partners to deliver a fully engineered solution that has the potential to significantly reduce the net electricity spend of approximately £85,000 p.a. at one of this customers Sludge Treatment Centres. Further trials are currently being carried out with a portfolio of sludges, and a selection of Water Authorities. Our research and data will be presented to the Biosolids / WWTP industry at the European Biosolids & Organic Resources Conference 2019.
CaviMax AD & Biosolids Hydrodynamic Cavitation Technology are exhibiting and presenting at The European Biosolids & Organic Resources Conference in November 2019 Hydrodynamic cavitation reactors provide the anaerobic digestion plant the following benefits: AD process optimisation
Increased surface area of feedstocks
Unlocked biogas & biomethane yields Decreased feedstock costs
Projective have partnered with CaviMax to commercialise novel hydrodynamic cavitation technology. Projective bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the water and wastewater treatment sector, industrial engineering, project management and renewables. This allows for an intelligent solution to be seamlessly incorporated within client’s process, thus minimising risks and maximising return on investment. www.projective.co.uk
Reduced viscosity of substrates
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Reduce energy to run agitation equipment Reduced sulphur dioxide concentration
Process intensification & plant efficiencies www.cavimax.co.uk CaviMax Cavitation@CAVIMAXltd
Simply do more with less WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Biogas and Energy Management
Optimisation of plant, operations and outputs of the AD, biogas & biomethane & WWTP industries Dutch company Wiefferink’s award winning product range has been designed to optimise biogas plants, increase your profits & reduce ammonia emissions New products for UK Triple membrane AB roof biomethane storage – Farmergy are launching the new, biomethane industry innovation Triple Membrane Biomethane Digester Roof Storage for Biogas Plants. Where space and tariffs are at a premium, in-roof biomethane storage will make your biogas to biomethane plant more competitive without needing extra land for additional biomethane storage. This will give you the operational edge, even if there is no floor space on-site to store biomethane. In the UK, biomethane attracts subsidies, and any way to maximise on your investment in infrastructure will pay dividends. We have already installed and road-tested this design, the results were a massive thumbs up. Are you having problems with reject gas? Then this store acts a buffer to reduce reject looping. The Flexfermenter – is a double membraned combined biogas digester and gas store. Combining the best features of the Wiefferink Air Blown Cover and the Wiefferink Combibag to create a second generation ultra low capital cost high quality primary or secondary anaerobic digester, half the price of above ground high concrete content digesters, plus ‘through-the-wall’ agitation system that can be serviced without loss off gas production. The Ecobag – store digestate in an Ecobag and improve the potency of your ferilizer as well as reduce ammonia emissions which helps the UK achieve The Clean Air Strategy ammonia reduction of digestate and slurries of anaerobic digestion and the farming sectors. The Combibag – we are relaunching this heritage Wiefferink favourite. A single skinned flexible digester has now been rebranded as a gas capture end store for digestate, as well as the usual secondary digester scenario to provide extra retention time, we have achieved a payback period of months on one of our customers sites, a rapid ROI
Wiefferink B.V. focuses on processing flexible synthetic materials. They are one of the leading European specialists in manufacturing and marketing storage and covering solutions in flexible foil. Their main strength lies in the development and innovation of new solutions and products based on customer needs. Wiefferink have been in the innovation business for over 60 years. www.wiefferink.nl/en/
Service boxes – service your agitation system with zero loss of gas or plant operation, we have designed these to be used when the plant is fully operation, no need to remove the roof or empty the digester to service these mixers once installed.
Farmergy have years of experience in planning, designing, building, operating, managing and maintaining biogas / biomethane plants, come discuss your plant with us to see how we can turn around a poorly performing plant or maximise your biogas plants current output. We have a range of options to keep you up and running and performing at the top of your game, capitalise on your tariffs Farmergy bring to market innovative sustainable, profit margin increasing products that help you work smarter not harder. We pull together expertise from the sectors of renewable energy, anaerobic digestion, water treatment, engineering, healthcare, farming and agriculture, food and drink production VISIT THE FARMERGY WEBSITE FOR THE NEW WIEFFERINK PRODUCT RANGE
Transforming pollution into solutions www.waterindustryjournal.co.uk
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Biogas and Energy Management
First minister gives Stirling’s £6million green heat network seal of approval A ground-breaking energy hub which will deliver low-carbon heat to a city community has been welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. She toured the site at Stirling which harnesses energy from waste water through a mixture of cutting-edge technologies and is the first in the UK to deliver heat in this way. The £6 million project is being delivered by Scottish Water Horizons in partnership with Stirling Council with additional funding provided by the Scottish Government. The facility, at Forthside in Stirling, will deliver low-cost and low-carbon heat generated from waste water from the adjacent treatment works serving the city. It is projected to save 381 tonnes of carbon per annum – the equivalent of 1.5 million miles driven in an average petrol car or a passenger jet flying from Glasgow to Sydney, Australia about 82 times (source https://climatecare.org/calculator/). The Stirling District Heat Network will deliver low-carbon heat and energy cost savings to a number of key public buildings, including The Peak Leisure Centre, Forthbank Stadium, St Modan’s High School and organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland and Volunteer Scotland. The First Minister visited the site as it enters final preparations for the big switch-on by early September.
She said: “Earlier this year Scotland became one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge the fact that we are facing a global climate emergency, and it is only right that we take appropriate action. “I am proud of the bold, innovative and world-leading policies we are implementing to address the climate crisis we face. “The Stirling District Heat Network project is a fantastic example of this, using waste water to help provide energy to local public buildings and businesses. It is a great demonstration of how we can work collaboratively to make a real difference.” Representatives from Scottish Water, Scottish Water Horizons and Stirling Council welcomed Ms Sturgeon to Stirling Waste Water Treatment Works and hosted a tour of the newly-built energy centre. The First Minister heard how the project will deliver a range of significant environmental and economic benefits with scope to expand the scheme further. Scottish Water Chief Executive Douglas Millican accompanied the First Minister on her tour of the facility. He said: “Sustainability is vital for homes, businesses and services and using the energy from waste water is a great example of using resources to their maximum benefit. This new scheme in Stirling will go a long way towards helping reduce our carbon footprint and protecting the environment.” Paul Kerr, Managing Director of Scottish Water Horizons, said: “We are very proud to have this project recognised by the First Minister for its contribution to reducing Scotland’s carbon footprint. “Scottish Water Horizons is dedicated to supporting the Government in their ambitious carbon saving targets, utilising Scottish Water’s asset base to create a greener Scotland whilst reducing costs for our customers.” Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Scott Farmer, said: “Making Stirling the first place in the UK to harness this mix of cutting-edge renewable technologies shows Stirling Council is determined to lead the way on tackling climate change by reducing our carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency. Stirling-based building services company FES is delivering the project on behalf of Scottish Water Horizons and Stirling Council.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
New £72m AD plant will help Yorkshire Water reduce carbon footprint and keep customer bills low Yorkshire Water’s £72m new anaerobic digestion plant at Knostrop Energy & Recycling Facility in Leeds has been officially opened in what is the latest step in the company’s commitment to invest in renewable energy and keep customers’ bills low. The state-of-the-art facility is Yorkshire Water’s single biggest investment in the last five years and will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the site. The sludge is imported from across the Yorkshire Water region and treated in the county’s biggest digesters, which have the capacity to treat 131 tonnes per day. Over a two-week period, the digesters convert the sludge into fertiliser which is used for agriculture and create a biogas that is turned into green electricity. The site will create enough electricity to run 55% of the site, the equivalent of powering 7,600 homes. It is the latest step in the company’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030, with the firm reducing its carbon footprint by 80% over the past 10 years. Yorkshire Water Director of Waste Water Delivery, Ben Roche, said: “Environment and
keeping customer bills as low as possible are huge priorities for us at Yorkshire Water and are two of our five big goals. “The Knostrop Energy & Recycling Facility shows our commitment to a more sustainable future and I am thrilled at the difference it will make. There is plenty more to come and we will continue to invest in innovation and look at ways we can reduce our carbon footprint to become carbon neutral by 2030.” The site will recycle almost all of the sewage sludge in Leeds and also supports Leeds council’s ambition for the Lower Aire Valley to become a hub for green energy and industry. Leeds Central MP, Hilary Benn and Leeds North MP, Alex Sobel were at the official opening alongside members of Leeds Council. Hilary Benn said: “The opening of the new anaerobic digestion plant at Knostrop treatment works is a really important
investment in our future. By recycling 94% of the sewage sludge in Leeds to create enough electricity to power over half of the treatment works’ energy needs, this scheme is helping to create a lower carbon future in the Lower Aire Valley.”
Wastewater Treatment & Technology
EU invests €35m to improve water quality in Ireland A major cross-border project, which aims to improve water quality in the shared waters between Northern Ireland and Ireland through enhanced wastewater treatment, has been launched. The Shared Waters Enhancement & Loughs Legacy (SWELL) project, which has been awarded €35m under the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, will see the construction of new wastewater treatment works as well as upgrades to sewerage networks on both sides of the border to enhance the quality of water in Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle. The improvements to the wastewater assets will help contribute to raising the current EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) status of ‘moderate’ to ‘good’.
The four-year project – which is being led by NI Water working in partnership with Irish Water, the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute, Loughs Agency and East Border Region - will culminate in the development of a unique environmental legacy model that can be used to identify how further water quality improvements can be made in these shared waters. Match-funding for the SWELL project has been provided by the Department of Housing,
Planning and Local Government in Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland.
Compliance with the WFD requires an integrated approach to the sustainable management and protection of water resources across multiple sectors and national boundaries. SWELL adopts a cross-border management strategy to ensure provision of the necessary water quality improvements within the shared waters.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Wastewater Treatment & Technology
Warrenpoint WwTW early site works
Existing Killea WwTW
Strabane WwTW on banks of River Foyle
Donemana WwTW early site works
Lifford WwTW on banks of the River Foyle
The desired improvement to water quality will be implemented by means of increasing the quality and/or decreasing the quantity of wastewater discharging to receiving water bodies deemed to be impacting on the shared transitional waters. This ‘end of pipe’ pollutant load is the only mechanism by which the project can be considered to have met its INTERREG VA programme output indicators, since many other external factors have an impact on achieving ‘good’ WFD status.
Current operational problems at Warrenpoint are due to excessive flows being pumped to the inlet works. This problem is exacerbated by network infiltration/tidal ingress and inadequate flow balancing at the WwTW. A new inlet works, activated sludge process, attenuation tank and aeration tanks are among the new assets being constructed to improve inlet flow management and provide effective use of storm storage facilities during periods of heavy/prolonged rainfall.
Water quality within Carlingford Lough will also be improved through enhancement of the treated effluent.
The SWELL project involves a total of eight wastewater infrastructure upgrades, as well as catchment studies and ecosystem modelling within the Carlingford Lough drainage basin and the Lough Foyle drainage basin. The majority of upgrades involve constructing new wastewater treatment works to deliver a higher quality discharge as well as providing storm storage to protect the receiving watercourses – and ultimately the shared waters - from stormwater spills. The capital projects are being undertaken on both sides of the border by NI Water and Irish Water working in partnership. The investment under the SWELL project will ensure wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with EU regulations. A brief description of the planned work is detailed below: Warrenpoint Wastewater Treatment Works (Carlingford Lough)
Upgrade of the existing treatment works to address potential loss of untreated wastewater to Carlingford Lough.
Newpoint Wastewater Pumping Station (Carlingford Lough)
Newpoint WwPS is currently equipped with three wastewater pumps that transfer flow (approximately 500 litres per second) 1km to Newry WwTW, as well as four storm pumps that pump storm water flows to two storage tanks within the WwPS site. Under the SWELL project, new coarse screening equipment will be provided to protect the existing pumps from blockages and potential loss of wastewater to the adjacent Newry River. Fine screening apparatus will also be provided on the storm tank overflow to provide further protection to the river during periods of prolonged heavy rainfall. Construction of underground chambers to house the new mechanical screening equipment represents a significant engineering challenge given the restricted site area, extremely poor ground conditions and the need to deal with existing high wastewater flows. Early contractor involvement was utilised to develop
appropriate temporary and permanent works designs. These include for the application of sophisticated construction techniques such as sheet piling cofferdams, dewatering systems and piling installations to overcome the challenging conditions. Omeath Network Improvements (Carlingford Lough)
Under the SWELL project the capacity of the sewer network in Omeath will be upgraded to transfer more wastewater to a new treatment plant that is currently being designed by Irish Water (separate to the SWELL project). This will involve surface water separation and redirection of storm flows. Sewer relining and repairs will also take place on the network along with the rehabilitation of 60 manholes, including replacing covers and making structural repairs. Killea Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lough Foyle)
Construction of a new 850 PE wastewater treatment plant providing secondary treatment with nitrification and phosphorus removal. Included will be a new inlet works, stormwater holding tank, secondary biological treatment process, final settlement tanks and new control building. Carrigans Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lough Foyle)
The upgrade at Carrigans will involve the decommissioning of the existing Carrigans WwTP septic tank - converting this to a storm tank - and constructing a new pumping station at the site. A new 3,500m long rising main will transfer the full Carrigans load to St. Johnston WwTP for treatment. Page 72 71
Wastewater Treatment & Technology From page 71 Donemana Wastewater Treatment Works (Lough Foyle)
A modern replacement WwTW comprising inlet works, two new primary settlement tanks, three new rotating biological contactors, two new final settlement tanks, a refurbished storm tank and a new sludge holding tank. To facilitate the phased demolition of the existing works and construction of the new works, a compact temporary treatment plant has been set up to maintain treatment capabilities in line with current consent standards. Work is progressing well with the three new RBCs recently installed. Strabane Wastewater Treatment Works (Lough Foyle)
The upgrade of Strabane WwTW includes the construction of a new inlet reception chamber with new screw pumps to lift Formula ‘A’ flows to the existing preliminary treatment works. During periods of prolonged heavy rainfall, flows greater than storm flows will be screened to 6mm and pumped to the receiving watercourse. A new inlet balance tank will be constructed at a high level, sized to deal with normal operational flows. During storm events additional flows will be diverted via the overflow weir to the existing storm tanks with screenings caught in a new 6mm side weir screen and returned back to the inlet works for treatment.
Lifford Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lough Foyle)
Construction of a new 2,500 PE wastewater treatment plant, providing secondary treatment. The upgrade works will consist of a new inlet works, stormwater holding tank, secondary biological treatment process and final settlement tanks as well as a new control building. Upgrades to the network will also form part of the work. The solutions outlined are being implemented to serve catchment needs over a 25-year projection horizon.
Unique ‘legacy’ model
Setting it apart from other wastewater schemes, the SWELL project includes for an ambitious modelling strategy that seeks to develop a unique ecosystem ‘legacy’ model for both the Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough drainage catchments. This ecosystem modelling approach with built-in source apportionment, represents a first-time integration of urban drainage, river, coastal and ecology models on a catchment-wide cross-border basis. Through extensive catchment investigations and the use of innovative modelling techniques, the SWELL ecosystem models can be used to track the pathways of nutrients and contaminants from wastewater, industrial or
agricultural sources to determine their impact on the environment within both sea loughs. The models will be used by the water utilities to facilitate water quality compliance assessments with respect to the EU Water Framework Directive and will inform sustainable asset planning through the apportionment of bacterial and nutrient loading contributions from wastewater and diffuse agricultural sources. Once the SWELL capital wastewater asset upgrades have been completed, the models can validate that the required INTERREG VA programme outputs and results indicators have been achieved. Subsequently, on completion of the SWELL project at the end of 2022, the ecosystem models will be held in public ownership to provide a sustainable legacy tool for crossborder use by water utilities, environmental regulators and other stakeholders. Ultimately, these legacy models will provide a useful platform for future engagement and the progression of an evidence-based decisionmaking approach to legislative compliance that builds on the skills, relationships and investment planning techniques developed by the SWELL project. www.swellproject.com
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WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Wastewater Treatment & Technology
Most reliable and effective way to remove scum Installation of the UK’s first two Scum Skimmers has been completed: one on a Final Settlement Tank (FST) at Europe’s largest sewage works, Thames Water Beckton WWTW, and the other on a Primary Settlement Tank (PST) at Severn Trent’s Lichfield STW. The Scum Skimmer was developed in 1997 and is in use throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Over 1000 installations to date are proof that the Scum Skimmer is the most reliable and effective way to remove floating scum from wastewater tanks and chambers. The Scum Skimmer has opposing screws which float on the wastewater surface and draw scum into a central hopper. A submersible pump then pumps the scum out of the system via a designated disposal route. The Scum Skimmer’s floating design ensures that it remains effective with fluctuating water levels of up to 500mm. They can be designed to suit each individual application, including circular and rectangular tanks, and channels of all sizes. The Scum Skimmer is driven by a small, 0.11 kW drive unit and a maintenance-free, engineered plastic chain – giving powerful
scum removal with very low energy usage. Maintenance of the system is minimal with weekly visual checks and a 6-monthly scum pump oil change.
For more information on the Scum Skimmer or to discuss a specific requirement, please contact Tori Sellers at Corgin on 01785 229300 or visit Corgin’s website at www.corgin.co.uk
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Broadholme Water Recycling Center, UK Blower Replacement
Secondary wastewater treatment at Broadholme WRC comprises a diffused-air aeration plant where air was previously provided by three large positive displacement (PD) rotary lobe blowers powered by 250 kW motors on variable speed drives. The PD blowers were installed in 1979 and were recently identified for replacement due to the following factors: inefficient operation, unreliable (required a major overhaul), expensive maintenance, excessive noise and heat generation due to operational inefficiencies and potential process resilience and compliance issues. Anglian Water established that, in order to refurbish the old, outdated, noisy, maintenance intensive and inefficient blowers, it would cost in the region of £110,000. With the possibility of significant energy, carbon footprint and maintenance reductions from introducing the latest technology, Anglian Water decided to review all available options. Following a competitive tender process, involving all major blower manufacturers, two new APG-Neuros high speed, high efficiency, centrifugal turbo blowers were approved for purchase. The blowers were independently selected, based on process requirements and lowest whole life cost, to act as duty/assist, with the remaining positive displacement blower providing a stand-by function. “The new blowers have improved the process resilience, blower house working conditions; time needed onsite by ops for blower maintenance and saved energy, so a win-win result.” Steve Richardson, Anglian Water Energy Efficiency Engineer Ruthamford. Centrifugal blowers are more efficient than rotary screw and rotary lobe alternatives. Although the units are more expensive, it is proven that savings achieved by operating high efficiency turbo blowers by far outweigh the initial cost differential. Additionally, it has been verified that these units are satisfying TOTEX requirements, providing Anglian Water with the lowest whole life cost solution for this aeration process. The package efficiency of turbo blowers is superior as they do not lose capacity over time, whereas positive displacement and screw blowers do, through coating wear and increases in tolerances. APG-Neuros turbo blowers include the latest motor (PMSM IE4) which is direct drive and have no gear or bearing losses. Turbo blowers provide major savings in ongoing maintenance costs requiring only the air intake filters to replace, whereas screw blowers need a major overhaul after 2-3 years. With the turbo blower not requiring any oil, grease or drive belts, it is also far better for the environment. The APG-Neuros blower also offers Anglian Water unrivaled flexibility, allowing it to upgrade the unit without having to replace the complete blower. The versatility of APG-Neuros blower design and build enables Anglian Water to develop for the present and upgrade if required in the future, at a fraction of the cost. With high speed turbo blower technology being the latest and most efficient solution for many aeration processes, it still is relatively new to the UK industry and will be more expensive when considering only the capital costs of products. Therefore, as demonstrated earlier, it is vitally important to fully recognize the equivalent installation, operational and maintenance costs of cheaper, less efficient alternatives, so that there is a clear understanding of the full cost of asset ownership. Since installation in February 2018, the two new NX300 APG-Neuros blowers helped: • Saved £87,400 annually on energy • Avoid costs for replacing power quality filters, ventilation systems and VSD, saving an additional £90K • Reduce noise from 94 dB to 76 dB • Eliminate heat rejection into the blower room • Reduce CO2 emissions by 392 tonnes • Enhance process resilience
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Wastewater Treatment & Technology
Maximising the efficiency of tanks D:MAX is industry-standard for tank cleaning. cdenviro.com/dmax
Sludge holding tanks, primary tanks, digester tanks, storm detention tanks, pumping stations and culverts: they are all tanks that play vital roles in wastewater and sludge management. Although these processes are proven to be effective, grit is a major problem when it comes to their efficiency. Grit is an umbrella term for all kinds of inert high-density materials. These materials are highly abrasive at full-flow and cause wear on PD pumps, rotors and decanters. Not only that, but when the grit settles it significantly reduces the capacity in the tanks, meaning their effectiveness becomes significantly impaired. Usually, when the tanks are cleaned, the material is sent to landfill incurring large costs in disposal and transport for the contractor. However, D:MAX technology allows the waste products to be classified and treated, minimising the costs associated with cleanouts. In the case of anaerobic digestion, instead of pumping straight to balance tanks, D:MAX can be used before the sludge enters the digester in order to minimise the need for cleanouts or the technology can be employed post-digester to minimise the waste to landfill. This has improved the throughput and system uptime for many operators. D:MAX is a trailer-mounted system used to process a variety of materials within the water and wastewater industries. The mobile nature of the unit is a key benefit, minimising the transport cost of waste materials. For more information on tank cleaning solutions visit: www.cdenviro.com/dmax or get in touch at email@example.com.
Beach Landing for Harris Water Works A new Water Treatment Works that will serve three small communities in North Harris has been delivered by sea to one of the island’s most spectacular beaches.
Chairman of the North Harris Trust Calum Mackay added: “The North Harris Trust is pleased that improvements to the water supply to the villages of Gobhaig, Beadersaig and Huisinis are progressing well. The water supply to these villages has not been sufficient to meet demand in recent years, particularly in Huisinis. Beadersaig will now receive mains water supply for the first time. The improved water supply will enable much needed housing and small business developments to take place.”
The new Scottish Water plant was loaded on to a specialised barge at Kishorn, before crossing the Minch and sailing through the Sound of Harris to lie offshore at Huisinis. In ideal weather conditions, the delivery on to the beach was achieved ahead of schedule at high tide, before a final short journey by road to its long term home, west of the Gobhaig road junction. The new Water Treatment Works has been manufactured by Ross-shire Engineering in recent months at their specialised factory in Muir of Ord, near Inverness, as part of a longstanding partnership with Scottish Water to help meet the needs of rural and island communities. It is the central element of a £4.5 million investment to provide a single, improved water supply for the communities of Gobhaig, Beadersaig and Huisinis. Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Farrer said: “Scottish Water’s goal is to provide the same high level of service to our
customers for the same low price, no matter where they live in Scotland. We know that requires us to respond to a huge range of different challenges all over the country. “This significant investment will replace two of our smallest Water Treatment Works with a single, improved facility, capable of meeting high seasonal demand from visitors on a more reliable basis and accommodating future growth in the area. “The unusual way in which the delivery has been achieved is a striking response to the particular circumstances of this very special location.”
Following completion of the deliveries, Scottish Water’s Project Manager Kathy Auld said: “The construction and testing of the new Water Treatment Works in factory conditions brings major benefits, greatly reducing the time taken on site and the volume of extra traffic on the Huisinis road. “Once complete, the new Water Treatment Works will enable us to make use of a good quality local water source in Loch Cnoc Mòr to provide both residents and visitors with an improved water supply for many years to come.” Construction work on the project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
Health and Safety
Anglian Water’s commitment to employee LIFE “As a utility company with a wealth of moving parts, people and processes, we take our employees health, safety and wellbeing very seriously. With over 4,500 direct employees and over 10,000 alliance partner employees across a geographical region of 27,500m2, we believe everyone’s working lives should be a positive experience,” as Anglian Water’s David Hartley explains. In order to bring about a positive change to the lives of our hard-working, dedicated and water-loving employees, LIFE was born. LIFE is our holistic approach to health, safety and wellbeing with the aim of ensuring our people are in an environment which delivers on all levels, making sure they are happier, healthier and as safe as possible whilst at work. In April 2018, following on from the successful rollout to our partners, a central team was set up within the company’s Health and Safety team, tasked with delivering the programme across the whole of Anglian Water, and helping to bring LIFE to life! The first step for the business was to be really clear on what LIFE is. We were already really good at communicating health and safety messages to our staff. However, LIFE is different. It’s all about behaviour change, and is based on a number of key principles: Creating a culture of care and concern Looking out for one another Building strong relationships by having good quality conversations Making the right choices It’s not just a work thing! It seeks to build stronger, and more meaningful, relationships within teams. We want LIFE to empower leadership, making everybody more aware of their colleagues
and the environment they work in to ensure that we can make Anglian Water a happier, healthier and safer place to work. It’s a move that we feel is the right one for our business and, more importantly, the right one for our staff.
Roadmap to success
The challenge for the team was how to differentiate this programme from health and safety compliance, particularly with employees who have been with the company a long time and are used to working in different ways. The team created a clear ‘roadmap’ of activities that gave structure and meant that everyone across the company could participate and easily relate to the principles. Five LIFE introduction days were held to identify volunteers from across the business to become LIFE orientation leaders. The leaders would be expected to facilitate a series of four-hour LIFE orientation sessions which were open to all employees. These introduction sessions were endorsed by Directors who participated in every session, with Chief Executive Officer Peter Simpson taking a lead role. The central team trained the orientation leaders on the principles of behavioural safety to enable them to facilitate the next stage of the rollout – the orientation sessions. LIFE orientation sessions are the main events, introducing staff to new ways of thinking about health, safety and wellbeing.
Further to that, training has contributed to personal development, providing orientation leaders with skills in the art of facilitation, listening, and questioning. All orientation leaders have also attended a one-day mental health awareness course to enable them to recognise the signs of mental health issues and signpost anyone in the business who may need help so they receive the right support. We felt it was important to have LIFE orientation leaders throughout all walks of the business to give staff a chance to integrate, communicate and implement the values and principles of LIFE. Leaders can help to spread the message that LIFE carries and bring the challenging ways of thinking into the business a lot quicker.
Large scale rollout
With such a large workforce, it’s a challenge to put almost 4,500 members of staff through training. However, to date, we have already delivered orientation sessions to approximately 1,265 employees within the business. A staggering number considering the initial rollout began in April 2018, with the complete rollout to be completed over the next two years. After orientation sessions, the next phase involves localised activities to ensure that behavioural change starts to embed across teams. The central team are there to provide support to all the orientation leaders and drive
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Health and Safety
forward the development of LIFE by keeping it alive and making it business as usual. Alongside the orientations, the team is developing quarterly LIFE conversations. These provide managers with key information to allow them to have the right safety and behavioural conversations, as well as reinforcing wellbeing within their teams. The essence of LIFE is that the discussions are applicable to home life as well as work. Using the ‘nudge’ theory – a relatively subtle policy shift that encourages people to make decisions that are in their broad self-interest – helps to get key messages to resonate with staff. To help embed LIFE, the central team have visisted local sites to assist managers on how to deliver a LIFE conversation. Howerver, the work cannot stop there, with the team continuing to train the remaining managers across the business. By working closely with the Health, Safety and Wellbeing teams they ensure that LIFE is aligned to all business plans to show a cohesive approach to the overall wellbeing of employees. We believe that feedback is essential to success. The team are provided with regular updates so that delivery of the programme can be improved, and the results continue to be positive. Emily Hansford, LIFE Administrator, said, “Feedback from our staff is vital to ensure
we continue to build, develop and improve our LIFE programme and the orientation sessions that are run. We’ve already received a wealth of positive feedback from some of our members of staff and it’s great to see the programme receive such a good reaction”. Emily added, “We’ve already landed it with different business units across the company and people are already willing to learn and develop a deeper understanding of the programme in order to fully embed it within their teams. This is exactly what we want to see from our staff and ultimately, it’ll make a lasting impression on the lives of everyone”.
It’s more than LIFE
LIFE is the internal brand that is fast becoming the pillar of our health, safety and wellbeing strategy, with its own dedicated team within the Health and Safety department working tirelessly to spread the vision and principle across the business. Its rollout and success will continue over the next two years but that won’t stop us from improving the lives and wellbeing of our staff in other ways. As a company, we’re continually striving to provide the best support, care and service to our employees so they can lead a healthier, happier and safer life. A commitment which has been proven successful as we were recently voted Glassdoor’s ‘Best Place to Work in the UK’ for 2019, a prestigious honour that
highlights our commitment, and which is made even more rewarding by the fact that it is based on reviews left by former and current members of staff. Not only are we providing an excellent service to our staff, but they are actually feeling the benefit of it and making it known too. Staff can access a plethora of benefits from private healthcare and gym memberships, to mental health treatments and a virtual GP. Our excellent staff reward system – Going the Extra Mile (GEM) – also won us the Employee Benefit Award for ‘Most Motivational Benefits’ last year, showcasing how our benefit and reward strategies have made a positive impact on staff. This was further supported by our success of winning Best Healthcare and Wellbeing Strategy of the Year in 2018, judged on by our improvements in sickness absence rates, mental and physical health as well as financial wellbeing. Health, safety and wellbeing are always firmly on the agenda at Anglian Water and we’re excited to see how far and wide LIFE can improve the lives of our employees across the business. It’s a strong message to supplement and support the wealth of wellbeing initiatives we are already running and we’re hopeful it will make a real impact. Our amazing, hard-working and dedicated staff are the bedrock of our business. We want to ensure they all lead happier, healthier and safer lives, and with LIFE, we can do just that.
Recovering value from sewage The Importance of the Circular Economy – The linear economic model where we “take, make and dispose” of things is not sustainable. It relies on large quantities of cheap easily accessible materials and energy. A circular economy is one that keeps resources in use for as long as possible and then recovers and regenerates products and materials at the end of each service life. In the Water Industry, we can play an important role in the emerging circular economy, we receive huge amounts of “waste” water that is full of potentially valuable material that can be recovered and regenerated, and then either used by us or sold to be made into value added products. Severn Trent have advanced plans to be at the forefront of the emerging circular economy through recovering materials, energy and clean water from the wastewater we treat. Delivering on our circular economy ambition is becoming more and more important as the resources required to effectively treat wastewater such as energy and chemicals are in increasing demand. By reducing the amount of resources we need to effectively treat sewage we can keep customers bills low.
The Spernal STW Test bed
This summer we will be opening our multimillion pound demonstration test-bed site at Spernal STW in Redditch which will be used to validate technologies and flowsheets that are consistent with a transition to a circular economy approach. The test-bed offers us the exciting opportunity to evaluate energy neutral wastewater treatment and to recover valuable materials
contained in wastewater such as fertilisers, bio-plastics, cellulose and even protein (for example for livestock and aquaculture feed, but ultimately perhaps even beef burgers!).
Energy neutral sewage treatment
The initial focus of our trial programme will be low energy treatment consisting of enhanced primary treatment and mainstream anaerobic treatment. An enhanced primary treatment stage removes more suspended solids and more organic load than conventional primary settlement tanks. This directs more of the organic load to the energy generating anaerobic sludge digesters and less to the energy consuming wastewater secondary treatment process. A number of enhanced primary treatment technologies are being considered for trialling on the testbed, including dissolved air flotation and microscreen filtration. This trial work is scheduled to run in the second half of 2019. We’ve been developing the anaerobic technology over the last 10 years or so with one of our research partners, Cranfield University. Anaerobic treatment is already successfully used in warm countries like Brazil, but recent research breakthroughs with anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) have developed a process capable of efficient
treatment in temperate climates like the UK’s. Next year we’ll be commissioning, at Spernal, the largest demonstration scale AnMBR system in Europe, capable of treating up to 500m3/d. An AnMBR treats wastewater by using the same types of anaerobic micro-organisms used extensively to treat wastewater sludge in anaerobic digesters. However, in sludge anaerobic digestion the process is heated to between 35 and 40oC, with a municipal wastewater AnMBR the process has to be designed to successfully treat wastewater down to temperatures as low as 8oC. The system utilises an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB) twinned with an ultra-filtration (UF) membrane. The bacteria break down the organic pollutants into biogas before being separated from the treated wastewater, and returned to the UASB by the UF membrane. The treated effluent is passed to a membrane contactor where any dissolved biogas is extracted. The biogas can then be converted to renewable electricity and used to power the treatment process. The AnMBR process is expected to work best where the majority of suspended solids have been removed from the influent and hence the combination of enhanced primary treatment with AnMBR is likely to be very complimentary.
The test-bed offers us the exciting opportunity to evaluate energy neutral wastewater treatment and to recover valuable materials contained in wastewater such as fertilisers, bio-plastics, cellulose and even protein (for example for livestock and aquaculture feed, but ultimately perhaps even beef burgers!). 80
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Severn Trent’s Spernal Test Bed under construction
Anaerobic MBR Schematic
Nutrient recovery media – Mesolite (left) and iron nano-particle embed ion exchange beads (right)
Nutrient recovery pilot plant at Packington STW
In most of our wastewater treatment plants we also remove nutrients - nitrogen and phosphorus - to protect the streams and rivers we discharge into. Nutrients, however, are an essential resource, they are a component of all living cells and without them we can’t grow crops, fruit or vegetables, and they are an essential ingredient in the feed that farmers give to livestock. Nitrogen fertilisers are manufactured by the Haber-Bosch process which chemically converts nitrogen from the air to ammonia - this is a very energy intensive process. Phosphorus is a non-renewable, finite resource that is mined and incorporated into fertilisers. The Earth’s phosphate rock reserves are becoming rapidly depleted. There is a compelling argument, therefore, to recover both nitrogen and phosphorus from sewage. Mainstream anaerobic treatment won’t remove nitrogen and phosphorus from the sewage which in the context of nutrient recovery is yet a further advantage. The effluent from an AnMBR will be relatively rich in nitrogen and phosphorus but crucially it is free from solids and hence very amenable to adsorption and ion exchange based
nutrient recovery technologies that we will also evaluate at Spernal. These technologies, developed by Cranfield University, use a media – mesolite for ammonia recovery and an iron nano-particle embedded ion exchange bead for phosphorus recovery. The nutrients are removed through adsorption onto the media bed, meaning there is no need to dose chemicals. The media bed can then be regenerated, allowing the nutrients to be recovered as useful minerals, for example calcium phosphate and ammonium sulphate. Previous trial work at our Packington sewage treatment works was an important step in developing the technology at pilot scale , however further work is required to validate the compatibility of the process with upstream anaerobic treatment and to optimise the regenerant clean-up and nutrient recovery aspects. This will be the focus of the trial work planned at Spernal next year.
Innovation Fund has provided approximately £450,000 worth of funding for the AnMBR demonstration plant through the “NextGen” project. This European consortium, consisting of over 30 world-leading partners from across the EU, is setting out a four-year programme to evaluate and champion circular economy solutions and systems in the water sector. The project is also helping to fund another nine circular economy case studies across Europe. The “SMART Plant” Horizon 2020 project has been running since 2016 and has been instrumental in developing the nutrient recovery technology described above. Our project partners are also developing technologies for the recovery of cellulose and bioplastics from wastewater. The “WOW!” project, an EU Interreg North West Europe funded project is focusing on developing the markets for the materials we are able to recover from sewage.
European research programmes and other opportunities
Severn Trent believe that by embracing circular economy principles we will deliver energy neutral, bio-refineries at our sewage treatment works, creating valuable products from what has traditionally been viewed as waste.
Our work in developing resource recovery from sewage has been strongly supported by our involvement in a number of EU research projects. The EU’s Horizon 2020
11 million trees to be planted
Water companies in England have announced ambitious plans to plant 11 million trees, part of a wider commitment to improve the natural environment, to support their goal of achieving a carbon neutral water industry by 2030. The joint proposals will see trees planted on around 6,000 hectares of land across England together with work to restore original woodland and improve natural habitats that themselves provide carbon capture. While some of this land is owned by the water companies themselves, additional land will be provided by partners such as local authorities, The National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts and The RSPB. Local partnerships with councils and regional NGOs will ensure that projects include urban tree planting, to bring much needed health and wellbeing benefits to communities in towns and cities. In addition, The Woodland Trust has agreed to work with all the water companies to help identify sites and manage the planting programme once it is developed. Many water companies already work with charities on habitat improvement and regional planting programmes. This initiative will see those local partnerships taken to a national level to ensure that the industry achieves its ambitious plan. Water companies will also look to join forces with existing initiatives such as the National Forest and Northern Forest. The plan builds on a strong track record in habitat conservation and tree planting by the water industry. For example, United Utilities has already planted around 800,000 trees since 2005 and is committed to a further 440,000 in the next five years, primarily across urban environments. Severn Trent has planted over 500,000 trees since 2015 and plans are in place for 250,000 trees to be planted in the next five years. In addition, Anglian Water has plans to
plant a million trees, hedging plants and shrubs in urban areas, as part of a 25-year initiative. The companies, including the nine major water and sewerage providers in England, have committed to fully deliver the habitat improvement programme, which will include hedgerows and grasslands as well as trees. The scheme will provide “nature corridors” to offer significant biodiversity benefits as different habitats are connected. Companies are also committed to ensuring their plans align with government tree planting and habitat improvement programmes and has already had discussions with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, including through the Government Tree Champion Sir William Worsley. The industry already has plans in place to plant the first 2.5 million of the 11 million trees. The next priority will be to identify additional sites across England which are appropriate for tree planting or habitat restoration. Commenting on the initiative, Sir William Worsley said: “I welcome this pledge from England’s water companies, who have clearly seen the value in planting trees and acknowledged the vital role they will play in helping us to reach net zero emissions by 2050. “Trees are carbon sinks, provide crucial habitats for precious wildlife, mitigate flood risk and provide a valuable renewable resource in timber – and I encourage other industries to follow Water UK’s excellent example to ensure we boost planting rates across the country.” Richard Flint, chief executive of Yorkshire Water, who are helping to coordinate the
project, said: “As an industry, the water sector is committed to fighting climate change through becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Our ambitious pledge announced today will go a long way to meeting that target, and will also deliver greater biodiversity, improved water quality and better flood protection. In recent years water companies in England have made significant contributions towards tackling some of the greatest environmental challenges that we face, and today’s announcement is just the latest example of that commitment to the environment.” Michael Roberts, chief executive of Water UK, said: “Water companies play a unique role in running a vital public service and acting as long-term stewards of our natural environment. The trees they plant today will be a testament in years to come of the sector’s ground-breaking Public Interest Commitment, which goes beyond regulatory compliance and which, with the support of our partners, will deliver real social and environmental progress.” John Tucker, director of woodland creation at The Woodland Trust, said: “The Woodland Trust is delighted to be working with water sector in this exciting initiative. Trees and woods in the right place can deliver a multitude of benefits and we urgently need a massive expansion in our tree cover if we are to adapt to future climate change” The Government’s committee on climate change aims to increase UK woodland coverage from 13% of land to 17% to help meet the target for ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2019
Securing National Infrastructure
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