Wastewater Forum


Meeting 9th July 2014

This was the Forum’s 53rd meeting. Andrezj Nowosielski (Environment Agency) chaired the meeting. It was the first we have held in CIWEM’s conference room at its new HQ, 106-109 Saffron Hill, London.

Please note that for older reports some links will be to sites that are no longer active.

The Forum reviewed and discussed its Terms of Reference and purpose. This was particularly useful because we have not visited them for several years. Andrezj Nowosielski agreed to prepare a paper for the next meeting.

A roundup of members’ research included the following:

Chris Chubb

– the book on how to do Water Quality Regulation will go to the printers in July. The plan is for it to be a living document. The EU provided the initial funding and the Stockholm Institute, Atkins and Cranfield University have all provided sponsorship.

The cost of remote sensing e.g. for coastal monitoring and leak detection is reducing as drones become available and the cost of small satellites (5-10 kg) comes down to £100k.

Andrezj Nowosielski, EA

– the EA has led on a project to give better short-term warnings about the possibility of compromised bathing waters based on rainfall, which it wants to improve by adding in river flow and ambient UV. It is working with WaSCs defining “significant” in relation to CSO discharge.

Don Ridgers described projects with which he is involved:

– our understanding of the biology within rising mains, especially linked to deterioration and odour is inadequate. We think we know but we do not. We don’t know what we don’t know.

[This is ironic because a reviewer for EPSRC has just scored an application from the in-sewer process team at Sheffield to research this subject as not worth funding. TE. TE to provide contact details.]

- revision of BS 7903:1997 “Guide to selection and use of gully tops and manhole covers for installation within the highway”; BS EN 124:1994 “Gully tops and manhole tops for vehicular and pedestrian areas. Design requirements, type testing, marking, quality control” is very poor. - sewer renovation systems: what it known and what is not known.

Vasiliki Koutsospyrou

– Loughborough University (deputising for Andrew Wheatley) reported projects in the department:

- her own project is “Novel, non-intrusive microwave sensors for water analysis” using Dynamic Flow Technologies Ltd.’s meter that was presented at the last meeting. To research the fundamental interactions of the meter based on microwaves within water and wastewater and develop and validate it for quantitative and qualitative water analysis (e.g. plasticisers, pesticides and pharmaceutics in clean water). Research will use a test rig at Loughborough to test and calibrate the new meter (including MCERTS certification) and field Trials for 100 units at Wessex Water with real time data collection.

-Hydrothermal carbonisation of wastes: Gates’ project to generate biochar and useful liquids for reuse: project extended to field trials and looking for overseas partners.

- Hydrothermal project extension applied for under the EPSRC SUPERGEN II call; the concept is to utilise any type of waste biomass by applying hydrothermal pre-treatment: Cranfield, gasification; Nottingham, fermentation for liquid fuels; Loughborough, AD and Birmingham, LCA.

- impact of browning and caramelisation on AD

- collection and treatment of food waste; the sustainability and role of separate collection of food waste and LCA of AD for domestic food waste.

- contribution of AD in the design and potential of hybrid, distributed, small-scale renewable energy.

- organic and inorganic ligands for P removal/recovery during wastewater treatment.

- novel media and redox control for N and P removal in low energy wastewater treatment filters.

Oliver Grievson, Anglian Water

- assisting suppliers get instruments through MCERTS.

- SWIG sewer systems for the 21st century.

- SWIG big data and data security workshop.

Roi Otero, Scottish Water

- getting ready for SR/5 and seeking the requirements of large stakeholders.

- considering/planning/implementing development test sites,

- wastewater R&D has been increased for the next business plan.

Technical Presentations with members of CIWEM’s Wastewater Management Panel

FlocFormer – the best floc for every dewatering task
Dr. Christian Schröder, aquen aqua-engineeringGmbH

Dewatering is a key step in sludge management processes. Correct polyelectrolyte addition is essential to maximise water removal but the surface chemistry of the sludge particles and the dry matter content of the feed sludge change continually. Dosing for the average feed quality means overdosing half the time and underdosing the rest, it also means sub-optimal water removal. If continual optimisation were possible it would reduce polyelectrolyte and transport costs, improve cake stackability and calorific value, decrease the cost of drying or whatever other process happens downstream of dewatering. FlocFormer claims to do just that, which if true will be a financial and operational boon to water companies.

Rapid determination of sewer serviceability using acoustics
Richard Long, Director of Technology, Acoustic Sensing Technology (UK) Ltd Mike Faram, Consultant - Technology & Innovation, Acoustic Sensing Technology (UK) Ltd

The presentation described the use of acoustic methods to determine the serviceability of sewers and drains. The method was developed over a ten-year period at the University of Bradford. In 2013 the spin-out company Acoustic Sensing Technology (UK) Ltd was set up to manufacture, sell and support the product worldwide. The paper will describe the development of the technology and how it can be applied in the water and transportation industries to increase service levels and reduce costs.

Remote sensing for the water industry
Stuart Clough APEM Ltd

Advances in remote sensing and image analysis enable more efficient and cost effective data collection, with significant benefits to the water industry. Mapping includes thermal effluent from treatment works, underground pipe networks, pipe leaks, invasive species, algal blooms, river habitats and 3D topographical visualisations.

Thermal cameras can map subtle temperature variations and show subterranean pipes and leaks. The near-IR shows areas of vigorous vegetation growth associated with wet, nutrient rich ground resulting from water or sewage leaks. Remote sensing techniques can map the likely route of domestic sewers. Even if the signature from the pipes is not visible directly, features such as manhole covers and soil pipes in very high resolution oblique imagery can be used to indicate the pipe route. Thermal IR from water treatment works can show areas of heat loss for heat recovery programmes, and the relative efficiency of filter beds based.

Remote sensing is relatively new to the water industry and can allow large areas to be surveyed quickly and efficiently, including remote and hard to reach areas. Data collected for one purpose can often be re-used multiple times for different applications, and monitor change over time.

The next meeting of the Forum will be Thursday, 30th October 2014