Wastewater Innovation Forum

MINUTES of the 70th Forum meeting of 14th October 2020

Please note that for older reports some links will be to sites that are no longer active.

Oliver Grievson (OG) - Technical Secretary FWR/Z-Tech Control Systems
Gordon Jones (GJ) Foundation for Water Research
Steve Palmer (SP) Stantec
Darragh Hobbs (DH) Coffey Construction
Richard Cherry (RC) AJ Tensile Fabrications
Lila Thompson (presentation only) British Water
James Leverton (presentation only) AECOM
Amir Cahn (presentation only) SWAN Forum


Barrie Howe (BH), Alice Horton (AH), Ana Soares (AS), Steve Bungay (SB)


Item No Agenda Item
1 Welcome & Introductions
2 Minutes of the 69th meeting held on 24th June 2020
3 Agenda items
Reviews of Current Knowledge
Latest Newsletter
Future article proposals
Website & Social Media
4 Areas of Knowledge Focus
Anti-microbial resistance
Chemical Investigations Programme
5 Other areas of research
Anaerobic Water Treatment
Circular Economy
Digital Transformation
6 Sharing information about other member’s research areas
7 Any other business
Date of next meeting 
8 Presentation by Lila Thompson – British Water
9 Presentation by James Leverton - AECOM
10 Presentation by Amir Cahn - SWAN Forum
  1. Welcome & Introductions
    Everyone who attended the online meeting introduced themselves to the assembled members. The attendance list was as above. Darragh Hobbs was welcomed to the meeting as a new member

  2. Minutes of the Last Meeting
    The minutes of the last meeting were reviewed and accepted

  3. Agenda Items
  4. Areas of Knowledge Focus
  5. Other areas of research
  6. Roundtable discussions of members areas of research
  7. Any Other Business
    It was noted that there have been several ill-informed articles in the national press recently about both storm overflows and plastics within sludge It was also noted that Lord Deben has recently spoken to CIWEM (who have consulted with OG) about bioresources and sludge. If any members want to help CIWEM then they should get in touch with the CIWEM policy department. There was also a discussion about direct wastewater reuse and why this isn’t more widely done within the UK.

    In terms of wastewater pollution a private members bill was raised on the day of the meeting around pollution to the environment which was on top of a number of areas:- There is a barrier to the innovation around the way contracts are structured in the market at the moment and there is a resistance to take on novel approaches, this is mainly due to education and knowledge within the industry due to a poor understanding of the risks. This drives companies towards the traditional solutions where the risks are either not properly understood and as such the risk is under-costed. This makes any novel solution too costly to take on and thus novel applications aren’t adopted as much as they should do.

    OG is to send a Doodle Poll to the members of the panel to agree on a date for the next meeting.

  8. Presentation No.1 on AMP7 and the innovation landscape
    Lila Thompson – British Water

    To start the presentations we had Lila Thompson of British Water talking about the work that they do across the water industry and focussing on the recent release of the joint Water Industry Innovation strategies that have largely been built upon UKWIRs Big Questions and the OFWAT Innovation Competition that has a focus on SMEs with a smaller section of the competition as well as a much larger competition involving the water companies themselves. The Innovation Strategy published by the Water Companies is available publicly on a dedicated website .

  9. Presentation No.2 on the Use of BIM in the Water Industry
    James Leverton - AECOM

    The second presentation of the day was by James Leverton who is the Digital Solutions Lead at AECOM. James explained what BIM means for the water industry and what the applications that are available for the technology that forms part of the Digital Transformation of the Water Industry.

    BIM is a derivation of Building Information Management which is in wide use in other industries but it has significantly changed over the years. Laser scanning and 3D Autocad has significantly helped the water industry through the construction process and this covers up to 3 dimensions as in the diagram below.

    BIM takes the industry past this point and enables a digital reconstruction of the plant throughout the construction and operation enabling improvements in design and more value engineering to take place within the project. This can then act as both a construction and operational Digital Twin to be used.

  10. Presentation No.3 on Data as a Service on the Water Industry
    Amir Cahn – SWAN Forum.

    The final presentation of the panel was by Amir Cahn, the Executive Director of the Smart Water Networks (SWAN) Forum. In his spare time Amir is doing a PhD on the use of Data as a Service within the Global Water Industry. Amir presented some of the preliminary results from his global survey of both companies and end users. Amir explained the differing “Data as a Service (DaaS)” business models that are in use within the industry ranging from a basic “maintenance as a service” model which is relatively common although not consider as a DaaS model to a full infrastructure Data as a Service model. Amir discussed the barriers to the approach and why end users have adopted it versus those that don’t with the majority of the reasons behind not adopting is the fact that users already have a solution in place.

    Recording of the Meeting

    See the video of all of the presentations