WASTEWATER RESEARCH AND INDUSTRY SUPPORT 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:
- work is progressing on the developing area of recovering/removing phosphate using ligand exchangers. Some of these are biomimics.
- the Gates’ funded project on hydrothermal carbonisation of wastes to generate biochar and useful liquids for reuse has progressed into field testing in a 150 people apartment building in China in collaboration with the University of Chongqing.
- work on anaerobic digestion continues
Oliver Grievson, Anglian Water
- is organising three workshops at which he will also be speaking on smart networks in water and wastewater and on data security.
- Regulation for Water Quality – How to Safeguard the Water Environment has been published as hardcopy for £50 [or £20 for students] and is available online. A rollout programme is planned as well as an MSc module at Cranfield University based on the book.
Nick Orman – WRc
- the UDG proposes to update the sewer modelling manual following its R&D workshop “Climate Change & Rainfall” on 11th November
- WRc is starting work on failure rates and failure modes of manhole covers and in particular settlement; the UK has been unique in designing covers to have 3-point bearing whereas others use circular bearing. 3-point bearing should be stable unless something becomes a 4th bearing point; it also has the unintended consequence of significant infiltration through the diagonal join between the sections.
- improving aeration efficiency using DO and bubble size [Anglian Water has replace surface aerators with fine bubble aeration and is saving £200k per year]
- work continues on misconnections
- ISO 224 “Service activities relating to drinking water supply systems and wastewater systems - Quality criteria of the service and performance indicators” is defining “flushable products”
Gordon Jones – FWR
- Regulation for Water Quality – How to Safeguard the Water Environment has been receiving much online interest.
- the wastewater area of www.fwr.org continues to receive the most hits
- the deslination ROCK is being revised
Mike Hutchins [for Richard Williams] – CEH
- the project to forecast and map the changing risk of eutrophication consequent of climate change and forecast P reduction requirements is due to be completed in march 2015.
- Andrew Johnson and John Sumpter have published Putting pharmaceuticals into the wider context of challenges to fish populations in rivers. February 2015 Volume: 370 Issue: 1661 which summarises the situation with a diagram (right) suggesting timelines of stressors faced by fish in urbanized catchments in the Western world and the magnitude of threat they posed. The width of a band at any time point reflects its considered relative impact on fish. The greater the width, the more harmful the impact on fish.
- CEH has begun a £7.5 million NERC ESRC programme of research into solving urban problems with innovative data to arrive at better defined solutions.
Steve Palmer – MWH
- modelling water as a business-convergence from the WaSC down and from the individual works up specifically for the Water Framework directive and for TOTEX.
- concrete as a barrier to innovation, especially as the cost of concrete increases: how much does its cost and longevity inhibit innovation?
- UKWIR project on demand side management for energy; tariff trials; generation efficiency; biogas storage
- the margin on electricity grid is now down to 5%, the lowest it has been for 20 years
- an iBook resource recovery textbook
- full-scale demonstration project on pyrolysis
Christine Sweetapple [for David Butler] – Exeter University
- Safe & SuRe examining reliable and sustainable resilience with different failure modes and systems that are safe to fail.
Tim Evans – Tim Evans environment
- ISO/TC 275 “Sludge recovery, recycling, treatment and disposal” held its second meeting [Burlington, Ontario] and TE became Convenor of WG7 Inorganics and nutrients recovery.
- commenced a project to ready United Utilities to start charging farmers for its dewatered biosolids. It includes market research amongst farmers to measure their needs, wants and willingness to pay, training the sales team and auditing the existing operations to identify a strategy. Many issues are emerging.
Andrezj Nowosielski, EA
- the EU is developing a legal standard for viruses using Norovirus as the standard. Hopefully the limit value will be decided after the method of measurement has been developed and its performance evaluated.
- bathing waters performed well in 2014; the revised bsthing water directive will be twice as stringent as the current one. It will classify bathing waters as excellent, good, sufficient or poor. The UK Government's target will be 'sufficient', which is higher than the current good (mandatory) standard. Further revisions are possible in 2020.
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
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
Dr. Robert Morris, Lecturer in Physics, Nottingham Trent University
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