Wastewater Forum


Meeting 8th March 2016
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This was the Forum’s 58th meeting and was held at CIWEM’s HQ.

Ofwat’s Water 2020 consultation

Ofwat’s Water 2020 consultation was discussed briefly. The next area to impact on sludge management in the UK is likely to be the potential proposed deregulation of the municipal sludge market by Ofwat. An initial consultation was completed in the first quarter of 2016 in Water 2020: Regulatory framework for wholesale markets and the 2019 price review. The industry is currently waiting to see how this proposed deregulation unfolds.

Sharing information about Forum members’ research

Topic Leads

It was agreed that the Topic Leads are important. However, given the resources of the FWR, it was proposed that an alternative might be to identify one of two significant issues and bring in people that are experts in their field to fill in the gaps, and use the FWR as a means to prime actions. It was recognised that there would be a need to manage the topics as attendance generally relates to the relevance of a subject to individuals field of expertise. It was agreed that the Topic Leads are maintained.

Potential Areas of Interest

One of the key objectives of the Forum is knowledge transfer and the dissemination of information. It was agreed that the FWR shouldn’t form policy or endorse technology However, regarding the technical presentations it was acknowledged that as new commercial technologies are emerging, presentations of proprietary technologies couldn’t be avoided. An example of this is the Nereda process, which is a novel aerobic granular sludge process. The process is offered by Royal Haskoning DHV who have agreed to present at a future Forum meeting.

Technical Presentations

Flexible Permitting
Barrie Howe, Senior Advisor – Water Quality, Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has been working with Industry to develop new permitting approaches that achieve more for water quality at reduced cost and carbon emissions compared to conventional permitting approaches. The first major trial of one approach; catchment permitting - is starting soon. His presentation explained this approach and some of the others that the Environment Agency are working on and how they may be applied more widely in future.

Statistical Modelling of Anaerobic Digestion for Process Optimization and Benchmarking
Professor Stephen Smith, Director Environmental Engineering MSc Programme, Imperial College

The Water Industry collects extensive amounts of monitoring data on its wastewater and sludge treatment processes. However, greater strategic value of this information could be gained as a ‘big data’ resource for the development of improved management tools and systems for process optimisation and efficiency performance. Stephen’s paper described a case study demonstrating how such operational data from across a major Water Utility company can be applied to achieve this goal.

Date of next meeting of the Forum Tuesday, 21st June, 2016