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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Completed Research

CP109  Managing Failure at Unmanned Sewage Works Wastewater Treatment
A previous collaborative research project "Reducing Costs and Improving Operational Efficiency at Unmanned Sewage Works" (CP004) demonstrated benefits from installing low cost and power monitoring systems on unmanned sewage works. The key benefit was managing risks of failure where potential costs of process failure far outweighed monitoring costs using the low cost and power approach. There were also operational cost benefits available.

However the project also identified obstacles to the technology implementation including poor monitoring packages; important gaps in the available sensors and lack of suitable data handling software. This follow-on research will addressed these obstacles. The project also tested the cost benefit answers of CP004 by running a test site "for real".


  • Manage the risks of plant failure using equipment of low and known cost of ownership
  • Improved procurement of integrated low cost monitoring packages through a user requirement specification and assessment process
  • Validated low cost monitoring packages and strategies for minimising data handling costs and providing reliable alarm setting
  • Demonstrated cost effective practice to Regulators.

Issy Caffoor from Yorkshire Water comments "This project has resulted in alternative cost effective solutions for unmanned assets. It will enable changes to ways of working at such sites whilst reducing the risk of compliance failure. Further developments from the project incorporating a new filter rotation monitors and the integration with GSM enabled webcam provides further opportunities for us. Yorkshire Water were very fortunate to have the test site in Yorkshire, which has enabled us to easily market the approach within our business. As a result we have very quickly moved to roll out the learning from the project into a large-scale pilot. We are very excited by the opportunities this will provide".

Speaking about the success of this work, Stephen Russell of WRc adds "This is a great example of how WRc is working with a group of Utilities (7) and suppliers to produce equipment reflecting the needs of the water industry, the technology is designed to be cheap, largely off the shelf and robust".

WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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