Wastewater treatment

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Yorkshire Water has announced three smart wastewater network pilots aimed at improving understanding of assets as well as reducing sewer flooding and pollution.
News
Yorkshire Water, with the University of York, has begun work on a research hub to improve efficiency of wastewater treatment and extract value from sludge processing while working towards its 2030 net zero carbon ambitions
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Thames Water has set out plans to go beyond carbon net-zero goals with an ambition to enter carbon neutrality by 2040. The routemap highlights wastewater treatment as the area most in need of attention, but with opportunities included.
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The water sector must find ways to cut the emissions from its most energy intensive activity - wastewater treatment. Industry experts discussed how this could be done and what challenges stand in the way of creating a circular economy to benefit from what has previously been considered waste.
Analysis
Water companies need to double the level of annual investment in wastewater treatment for the next AMP cycle to tackle the contentious issue of managing combined sewer overflows (CSOs), according to the chair of the Environmental Audit Committee.
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Latest in Wastewater treatment

The judging panel for the main competition within Ofwat's innovation fund has been named with eight people chosen from industry, academia, R&D and beyond the water sector. The competition is designed to encourage innovative ideas, collaboration and sharing of risk to develop projects.
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Anglian Water has set out a twin-track approach to reaching net-zero emissions by 2030, including a “stretch” pathway that shows what could be achieved with additional funding and policy levers.
News
The Environment Agency has proposed allowing water companies up to 25 years to deliver on environmental programmes and extending the timeframe for the Water Industry National Environmental Programme (WINEP) from five to ten years.
News
Ofwat’s final decision on extra investment in green recovery schemes on top of the PR19 packages has seen the total fall from £850 million in May’s draft announcement to £793 million today. This is as a result of Thames Water – one of the five companies to submit green recovery plans – reducing the size of its smart metering programme after the regulator cast doubt on its deliverability.
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Yorkshire has set its targets for reaching net zero by 2030 including electrifying all cars and vans as well as rolling out zero-emission tankers and trucks. Partnerships will be key to the plans and cutting carbon will be made central to every business decision.
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More water companies than ever before have achieved the Environment Agency's highest standard for environmental performance and serious pollution incidents have fallen year-on-year. However, the EA says it still has "serious cause for concern" for two companies and wants accelerated efforts to reach zero pollution events.
News
Water UK's director of policy Stuart Colville tells Utility Week the government needs to match the water sector's ambition to meet demand management goals and to improve sewerage systems
Analysis
Southern Water has been handed the largest fine from an Environment Agency prosecution for pollution offences between 2010 and 2015. The company will pay £90 million after pleading guilty to the record charges.
News
Thames Water has set up a fast-track pollution reporting system for members of the public to report incidents. The company said it would send a dedicated team to assess the situation within two hours.
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The UK water utilities industry is under greater stress than at any other time in its history. It’s not just about external forces such as changes in usage trends and climate change as well as scarcity and unpredictability of supply. It’s also partly because most of our water infrastructure was designed and built in the Victorian era, if not earlier (the world’s first city-level water transfer project, completed in 1613, remains one of London’s main water resources). And of course we cannot forget the huge drive towards digital transformation.
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