Wessex Water to publish sludge data

Company hopes transparency over bioresources will encourage others to enter £1.6bn treatment market

Wessex Water hopes that its move to make publicly available data on bioresources produced at its sewage works will encourage other companies to offer services for removing and treating sludge.

The data on the volume and thickness of Wessex Water’s sludge will be made available on the company’s website.

Moves to treat, transport and recycle sludge - the energy and nutrient rich by-product of sewage treatment works – have gathered pace in recent months, with the UK’s bioresource treatment market estimated to be worth up to £1.6 billion.

In October, Yorkshire Water announced plans to offer third-party companies opportunities to help it treat and transport its sludge. Severn Trent has also invested £75 million in two separate sludge treatment plants in recent weeks.

However, until now information on the volume of sludge produced has not been in the public domain, making it difficult for anyone interested in providing a service to quantify the opportunities available. Wessex Water said it hoped that “greater transparency of this data will encourage others to enter the market for transporting, treating and recycling bioresources”.

George Taylor, wastewater director at Wessex Water, added: "These are exciting times for the bioresources industry.

"We think that a competitive market has an incredibly valuable part to play in getting the most out of the energy and nutrients in bioresources and passing financial benefits back to customers.

"We're very interested to see if there are opportunities to trade this valuable product with others."

The move comes after Ofwat published guidelines in October requiring companies to share common and consistent information about their sludge, including quantities and moisture content.

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