Wessex Water Achieves 75% Saving With Enhanced Process
May 17, 2019
WPL’s Hybrid-SAF™ is more cost-efficient than planned trickling filters. An early collaboration delivers multiple delivery and operational benefits.
Instead, the utility was looking for an alternative solution and was scouting for high-rate processes and ways of utilising existing abandoned structures onsite. Andrew Gulliford, process design manager at Wessex Water, identified WPL’s enhanced biological treatment process via an article in an industry publication and invited the company to the Sherborne site.
A key advantage of WPL’s Hybrid-SAF™ precision-engineered treatment system is that it can be retrofitted into any vessel, regardless of shape or size, to deliver more efficient wastewater processing. During the initial collaborative planning stages of the project, the repurposing potential of an abandoned 12m-diameter onsite sludge tank was identified.
Retrofitting the circular vessel with modular WPL Hybrid-SAF cells could utilise the entirety of the vessel, whilst providing secondary biological treatment for 50% of the works’ flow-to-full-treatment. By doubling the process capacity, a permanent alternative to the planned trickling filters was identified and, looking at a 20-year horizon, one that was significantly cheaper.
WPL’s technical director Andrew Baird says, “WPL’s Hybrid-SAF is a significant step forward for submerged biological treatment. Our research and development team has conceived the hydrodynamic profile underpinning the technology in a new way, which has been made possible by the use of a high specific surface area media. The result is that significant process efficiency advantages have been achieved, including reductions in cost, physical footprint and electricity consumption, all whilst increasing the overall process capacity of the site and improving environmental compliance. Being involved in the project at the start and working collaboratively with Wessex Water meant the best solution for the site could be identified very early on.”
The first flows entered the system on 1 October 2018 and the first data was recorded on 30 October. Results showed ammonia (NH3) levels at <0.4mg/l, well within the 10mg/l consent demanded by the Environment Agency.
Wessex Water also shared the 2040 design horizon with WPL, which ensured a solution that was futureproofed. The utility now has more flexibility in how throughput can be increased at Sherborne for population growth from 12,600 to 15,700 in the catchment.
The modular WPL Hybrid-SAF cells were manufactured within six to eight weeks, installed in two days and the process optimised within three weeks. Offsite manufacture also meant onsite health and safety risk was reduced and quality control easier to maintain.
The 30% smaller site footprint at Sherborne is also reflected in the energy consumption of the plant itself, which is reduced by a similar measure. Variable speed blowers are delivering 50-100% of design requirements, allowing greater headroom for power optimisation.
Lower levels of operator maintenance are required than with traditional treatment systems and individual cells can be replaced in a few hours without impacting on service or taking treatment vessels offline.
Andrew Gulliford, process design manager at Wessex Water said, “Working closely with WPL at the earliest stages of planning for Sherborne water recycling facility meant that together we could completely reimagine the possibilities at this constrained site. Wessex Water customers will benefit from the 75% cost saving on this project and the energy efficiencies achieved will help deliver our sustainability targets.”
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