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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Completed Research

CP442  Sustainable Recycling of Sewer Grit Resource Management
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Sewer grit is a valuable resource which is not exploited in the UK to the same extent as it is elsewhere in Europe. Approximately 20 000 tonnes are produced annually in the UK, mostly disposed of in landfill with increasing charges year on year, or on reclamation projects. Under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (2010), sewer grit is subject to a transition date of October 2011 after which it cannot be used under exemption for land reclamation or construction projects outside the curtilage of the WwTW or sewer network. Environmental Permits will be required for these activities with increased costs. Increased recycling of grit would reduce this cost and improve the sustainability of wastewater treatment operations in the UK.

This project will:

  • Determine the operational and financial implications of changes in UK regulations on current disposal practices.
  • Identify opportunities for recycling of grit, and examine the markets to determine the economic viability and security of recycling options.
  • Collate information on available grit washing and treatment plant, including performance, operability, product quality and whole life costs, to support future investment plans.

Benefits to Clients

  • Reduced OPEX costs associated with sewer grit disposal.
  • Increased level of operational and environmental sustainability through adoption of recycling opportunities.
  • Ability to select grit management strategies that align with company objectives through better knowledge of the viability and security of sewer grit recycling options.
  • More accurate investment plans through access to updated information relating to cost and benefits of recycling sewer grit.

Work Programme

  1. Review the effect of change in UK regulations on grit recovery and disposal and identify grit recovery practice outside the UK.
  2. Update economic assessment of current UK water industry practice and costs of disposal.
  3. Assess recovery routes, data requirements and market and review alternative methods of treatment.
  4. Evaluate capital and operating costs of alternatives and their economic viability.

Project Output

  • International best practice guidance for sewer grit management.
  • Datasets for grit quality requirements for recycling and market capacity.
  • Suitability and economic assessment for recycling options for sewer grit.
    • Related WRc Work

      • Exempt baseline specification, DEFRA, 2010.
      • Environmental impacts of the activity of spreading waste to land, DEFRA, 2009.
      • Economic assessment of management options for WwTW Wastes, UKWIR, 2007.
      • England and Wales exemptions waste capacity and throughput survey, Environment Agency, 2007.
      • The future of Industry Waste Streams, UKWIR, 2006.
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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