Wastewater Innovation Forum
MINUTES of the 71st Forum meeting of 17th March 2021
|Oliver Grievson (OG) - Technical Secretary
||FWR/Z-Tech Control Systems
|Barrie Howe (BH) Chair
|Alice Horton (AH)
||National Oceanographic Centre
|Gordon Jones (GJ)
||Foundation for Water Research
|Steve Palmer (SP)
|Ana Soares (AS)
|Steve Bungay (SB)
|Pete Vale (PV)
||Severn Trent Water
Kevin Ridout (KR)
||Welcome & Introductions
||>Minutes of the 70th meeting held on 14th October 2020
Reviews of Current Knowledge
Future article proposals
Website & Social Media
||Areas of Knowledge Focus
Chemical Investigations Programme
||Other areas of research
Anaerobic Water Treatment
||Sharing information about other member’s research areas
||Any other business
Date of next meeting
||Open Discussion on pollution with:-
Rt Hon Phillip Dunne MP
Helen Wakeham - Environment Agency
Dr Nick Mills - Southern water
- Welcome & Introductions
Everyone who attended the online meeting introduced themselves to the assembled members. The attendance list was as above.
- Minutes of the Last Meeting
The minutes of the last meeting were reviewed and accepted
- Agenda Items
Areas of Knowledge Focus
- Reviews of Current Knowledge (ROCKs)
A Review of Current Knowledge on the Circular Economy, written by SP, has been published and is available on this website.
- Latest Newsletter
The latest newsletter has been published and features articles on Natural Flood Management and Overcoming the Pollution Problem. It was also announced in the latest newsletter that the FWR CEO, Caryll Stephen, has retired due to ill health. In the meantime the trustees have taken responsibility for the continued operation of the Foundation..
Other areas of research
AH talked about the delivery of the Microplastics programme as part of the Chemical Investigations Programme and how it is currently in delivery within the water industry.
There are still several research grants that are available in this area including those from NERC and Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging fund.
- Anti-microbial resistance
There was no update on Anti-Microbial Resistance at this meeting.
- Chemical Investigations Programme
It was confirmed that the Chemical Investigations Programme is currently being delivered within the Water Industry Asset Management Plan. It is too early for any results to be released at the current time.
There were no updates in this area at this meeting.
Roundtable discussions of members areas of research
- Systems based thinking
A long conversation was had about producing an output from the Wastewater Innovation Forum with regard to Systems-Based Thinking and to use this as an educational tool for both the water industry itself and the wider general public.
This would not be a Review of Current Knowledge but would be something much larger and would be more of a manual for the industry. This would look at all of the interactions within the water industry and how they related to each other from physico-chemical-biological perspective but also relate to socio-economics as well.
At a top level this could and would be used as a educational tool for the water industry for the general public to understand how the water industry works and at a deeper level be more useful for the industry to understand a systems-based approach.
Action – SP to put together a draft contents for a Manual of Systems-Based thinking for Water
Any Other Business
- Wastewater BS/CEN Standards
OG highlighted that the work on wastewater BS/CEN Standards are ongoing and Part 12 on Instrumentation, Control & Automation have been submitted for CEN comment. The work on Part 2 on Storm Water Management Systems is approximately 6 months behind Part 12.
Open discussion on the current Pollution Crisis in the water industry.
- OG is to send a Doodle Poll to the members of the panel to agree on a date for the next meeting.
For the presentation section of this meeting we had a different format and had a more open-discussion approach featuring speakers who are at the centre of the crisis.
There were several areas of importance that were highlighted during the open discussion including:
- Right Honourable Philip Dunne MP
- Helen Wakeham – Deputy Director – Environment Agency
- Nick Mills, Head of Pollution – Southern Water
The challenge after the meeting was to increase the public outreach in a relatively short timescale as there is approximately one year to kick off a cooperative campaign by all stakeholders within the water industry and the wider environmental industry.
- Philip Dunne highlighted that the Inland Waters Private Member’s Bill has basically failed to progress through the parliamentary session due to a lack of time due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Due to parliamentary rules it will not pass to the next parliamentary session. However things have been included in the Environment Bill and the Environment Audit Committee, which Philip Dunne chairs, is looking into this moving forward. There is a chance that the Inland Waters Bill will be discussed in a second session which would at least allow for a debate.
- The importance of monitoring where the pollution is and the challenge to the water industry about the technology that can be used to highlight where the problem’s within the wastewater system lies.
- The importance of water stewardship within the UK on a national basis and how water, especially the wastewater side of the industry, are not value as much as they should be.
- A discussion how the value of water can be promoted within the national industry and the importance of the water industry, regulators and the not- for-profit organisations coming together to help to address the public education issue and address the misinformation that is being portrayed in the national press.
- The fact that Southern Water are publishing the CSO data that they are collecting that affects their coastal assets. This is being done in an open data format and will help the public and make information available for those who want it. This is a definite way of addressing the large number of Freedom for Information Requests that water companies are seeing at the moment.