Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT January 2017

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 28 of 39

www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | JANUARY 2017 | 29 In the know Research Notes: wastewater treatment Farming algae to treat wastewater A collaborative project between the University of Bath's Water Research & Innovation Centre (WIRC) and Wessex Water is using high rate algal ponds to remove nutrients from wastewater and creating an added value by-product. The £0.45M project is funded by UKWIR and forms part of its phosphorus removal trial programme particular focus on how we might use natural and sustainable solutions for our wastewater challenges. One of these challenges is of course finding solutions to reduce the levels of phosphorus from our water bodies, which, with pressure from the Water Framework Directive (WFD), has become an increasingly important area for water utility companies, the Environment Agency, and the wider water stakeholder community. Many of our lakes, streams and rivers fail to meet the strict standards set for nutrients under the WFD and whilst our sewage treatment works (STWs) are overall achieving high rates of nutrient removal, more needs to be done if we are to meet the challenging targets. High levels of phosphorus in water bodies upset the natural balance of many plant and fish species. If levels become too high, eutrophication occurs leading to algal blooms and overcrowding, which in turn creates a downward spiral leading to a dramatic loss of plants and insects, and ultimately depleted oxygen levels which cause reduction or elimination of fish populations. The knock-on consequences for the whole food chain are therefore considerable. But what if the problem E very day over 11 billion litres of wastewater is produced in the UK through domestic and industrial use. This wastewater must be cleaned, or treated, before it can be safely released back into the environment or risk causing serious High rate algal ponds in action as part of the P removal trial Dr Tom ArnoT SeNIoR LeCTUReR, DePARTMeNT of CHeMICAL eNgINeeRINg, UNIveRSITY of BATH harm to both human health and nature. As a chemical engineer, my work through the Water Research Innovation Centre at Bath is about researching better, more efficient methods for wastewater treatment. One area of this work involves a ProFessor roD scoTT HeAD of BIoLogY & BIoCHeMISTRY, UNIveRSITY of BATH

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