Wastewater Forum


Meeting 30th October 2014
This was the Forum’s 54th meeting. Andrezj Nowosielski (Environment Agency) chaired the meeting. Again it was held in CIWEM’s conference room at its new HQ, 106-109 Saffron Hill, London.

Members of the Forum agreed with the thrust of Andrezj’s review of the Terms of Reference that whilst the original ones are still entirely valid and appropriate, we might make more progress more rapidly by dividing if individual members would volunteer to be topic leaders for the ones we considered had highest priority. Six members volunteered.

The Forum agreed that the major “grand challenges” in its subject area are climate change and demographic change. We should have realistic expectations of the Topic Leaders recognising that they have day jobs. They could propose/co-opt/recruit new members, report on progress on the topic, suggest and help organise speakers and involvement of other groups and organisations, suggest a strategy for the Forum to promote developments in a topic and look for opportunities to progress developments.

A roundup of members’ research included the following:

Andrew Wheatley – Loughborough University:

Oliver Grievson, Anglian Water

Chris Chubb

Nick Orman – WRc

Gordon Jones – FWR

Mike Hutchins [for Richard Williams] – CEH

Steve Palmer – MWH

Christine Sweetapple [for David Butler] – Exeter University

Tim Evans – Tim Evans environment

Andrezj Nowosielski, EA

Technical Presentations with members of CIWEM’s Wastewater Management Panel

Tapping the Potential: A Fresh Vision for UK Water Technology
Mark Lane, Consultant for Pinsent Masons LLP

In the last 25 years, the UK has declined from an innovation maker to an innovation taker in the water sector. Its share of the water market is only 3%. A new coalition involving UKWRIP amongst others is seeking to change that around and estimates in its report HTechO: Tapping the Potential: A Fresh Vision for UK Water Technology that we have three years to catch the wave. Its aim is to build the UK’s share of the global water market to 10% by 2030.

Phosphate capture technologies
Francisco Simões, Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University

The particular focus of the research was bio-struvite (precipitation of struvite within microbial cells) which might be able to scavenge more P from lower concentration solutions than crystallisation methods but it still requires stoichiometric amounts of magnesium and ammonium. The research is currently at the stage of perfecting sustainable cultures.

Wastewater wetlands' life expectancies could double
Dr. Robert Morris, Lecturer in Physics, Nottingham Trent University

A €1.1 million EU-backed study at Nottingham Trent University is addressing how to prevent the clogging and increase the life expectancy of reed bed (constructed wetland) installations… Read More

The inexpensive magnetic resonance sensors for assessing clogging were particularly interesting to members.

Investigation into the performance and suitability of low range hydrogen sulphide monitors for background and boundary monitoring”
Dejan Vernon, Thames Water

In urban areas where land is at a premium, existing and new wastewater assets are becoming closer to residential and commercial customers, therefore it is essential that background and boundary gas concentrations are monitored. The human nose is very sensitive to hydrogen sulphide, it can detect concentrations down to low ppb levels, this poses a problem for accurate and reliable monitoring. The purpose of this investigation was to look at a selection of monitors and assess their performance against each other and their relative advantages and disadvantages.

The next meeting of the Forum will be Wednesday, 25th March 2015