Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT March 2018

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 20 of 47

www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | XXXX 20XX | 21 Bioresource data leads to focus on sludge quality The Works T he recent publication of data about the quantity and quality of sludge produced at water company wastewater treatment works has ignited commercial interest in the wastewater sector ahead of reforms to create a new market for bioresources in 2020. Water and sewerage companies in England have each published statistics on the volume and thickness of the sludge produced at their wastewater treatment works, together with details of the treatment processes that have been applied to the material, and the regularity with which it is collected by tanker. The data is intended to help the utilities identify opportunities for trading sludge across water company boundaries, and also for third parties to propose alternative arrangements and destinations for these bioresources, such as the PR19 price review process, there will be a strict boundary around bioresources activities and the rest of a water company's operations. Water companies will not be able to cross-subsidise bioresources activities using money from their other activities. They will however have every incentive to either maximise the efficiency of their own operations, or to find third parties who can carry out these activities more efficiently. "Through our price setting process, the water companies will receive revenue from customers to safely treat the bioresources they produce but there will be no obligation for the companies to use their own facilities or people to transport, treat, recycle or dispose of these bioresources," explains Ofwat. "Companies will be incentivised to look for the most efficient option for dealing with bioresources." www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | MARCH 2018 | 21 anaerobic digestion plants run by waste management companies, agriculture or others. However, the figures have also highlighted the potential for efficiencies that can be made within the field of sludge treatment and transport. In particular, they reveal where sludge thickening technology might be employed to reduce transport costs, and where improvements to treatment works – such as screening and grit removal - might result in a higher quality of end product. Supply chain companies in these fields are using the data to initiate useful conversations with the wastewater utilities, while the latter are keen to maximise efficiency of their operations ahead of the opening of the market. Since regulator Ofwat is initiating a separate price control for sludge as part of By James Brockett

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