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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Proposed Research

CP483  Catchment Management Routes Towards Chemical Free Treatment Water Treatment

Project Appreciation and Objectives

The aspiration for chemical free water treatment is a recurring theme in many Strategic Direction Statements. This is driven partly by uncertainties over long term availability/affordability of treatment chemicals, but there is also a combination of concerns over embedded carbon, environmental impact of waste disposal, complex operating and control requirements, handling hazards and the view that chemicals are retrograde end-of-pipe solutions.

Reduction in the use of chemicals might be achieved in a number of ways, one of which is improvement in raw water quality through catchment management.

The project will identify the cost and carbon footprint savings that can be achieved in water treatment through defined improvements in raw water quality, to provide a process for identifying and prioritising appropriate catchment management options to achieve these improvements.

Business Benefits to Clients

  • Demonstration to regulators of strengthened links between drinking water safety plans and WFD driven river basin management plans, with quantification of the benefits.
  • Increased confidence in medium to long term planning for reducing reliance on chemicals.
  • Financial and carbon footprint justification for catchment management options for AMP6 and beyond.

Work Programme

  1. Collation of information on the costs and embedded carbon associated with each water treatment chemical/material, with likely future cost escalation or limitations on availability; assessment of the benefits and risks associated with the use and avoided use of each chemical.
  2. Quantification of the reductions in costs and embedded carbon (and any other benefits) that can be achieved through defined improvements in raw water quality.
  3. Identification of catchment management options that can provide these improvements in raw water quality.
  4. Development of a methodology for site-specific implementation based on comparisons of the costs and carbon implications of catchment management options with those for reduced chemical use.

Project Output and Implementation

A methodology for identifying site-specific catchment measures that will provide quantifiable benefits from reduced chemical use in water treatment, together with up-to-date information on the costs and carbon footprint of treatment chemicals which can be used for future cost projections in business plans. These will enable the further development of the business case for continued investment in catchment management.

Related WRc Work

  • Comprehensive knowledge of water treatment through a wide range of projects for water companies over many years.
  • UKWIR Quantifying the benefits of water quality catchment management initiatives - a benefit assessment framework.
  • UKWIR Carbon accounting workbook.
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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