Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT August 2018

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | XXXX 20XX | 17 The Works P oor air quality may not be as visible or obvious as other forms of pollution, but it has a serious impact on all of us, and it is an area in which the UK has a problem. The Government's Clean Air Strategy, published in May, described air pollution as "the fourth biggest threat to public health, a•er cancer, obesity and heart disease" and it is a particular affliction in urban areas. London recorded concentrations of 102 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) per cubic metre of air in 2016, compared to the EU safety limit of 40 micrograms. And the capital was not alone - 16 urban areas, including Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow, were found to have regularly breached limits in a recent legal case brought by the European Commission. www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | AUGUST 2018 | 17 Diesel engines are one of the main culprits, and while the Government's policy to slowly phase out diesel cars has made the headlines, new regulations are also clamping down on use of polluting engines in a number of different contexts. One such measure which is currently impacting the water and wastewater industry is the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD), which together with the Specified Generator Regulations, became UK law in January and applies to diesel generators and other equipment up to 50MW. Some water utilities own hundreds of diesel generators, which are used as back- up energy sources where needed and are also turned on to avoid peaks in energy prices (triad avoidance) and as part of demand-side response (DSR) initiatives. Yet making these diesels compliant with the three emission types controlled by the MCPD – nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, and particulates (dust) – is likely to involve significant cost. So will water companies need to rethink their use of diesel entirely? Regulation Questions New equipment will have to be compliant with the emissions rules from December 2018. But most of the question marks surround the use of existing assets, which will need to be made compliant from 2019 onwards, by an exact date which depends on their size and usage. Generators that are used solely for backup purposes (defined as needing 50 hours of operation per year) are exempted, but those that are used to provide "balancing services" Air quality regulations that come into force next year are making water and wastewater companies reconsider the role of diesel equipment in their operations and energy strategy By James Brockett Something in the air

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