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CP518   The Future of Biotreatment for Drinking Water Water Treatment

Current water treatment processes depend heavily on the use of chemicals but there are biological processes that may offer more sustainable options leading to reduced chemical and energy costs. Can we even eliminate chemicals altogether?

Many of the components that create a load at water treatment works are either of biological origin or can be modified through biological processes. These include natural materials such as colour, metals and turbidity, and anthropogenic materials such as pesticides. Biological treatment processes offer sustainable options for pre-treatment to reduce the load on downstream processes, provide a low cost, sustainable option for small community based treatment works and could assist the wider exploitation of wastewater and greywater reuse.

Examples include; bankside filtration, slow sand filtration, biological activated carbon and biological membrane reactors. Aquifers, reservoirs and bank-side storage can also be managed to encourage appropriate biological activity to remove nitrate, iron and manganese and to promote pathogen kill and reduction in turbidity.

This project will enable companies to develop treatment strategies that move them away from dependency on chemicals such as coagulants, initially by reducing the load and ultimately by replacing the full treatment process.

BUSINESS BENEFITS TO CLIENTS

  • Biological processes will reduce costs, improve the environmental impact of water treatment operations and create a more sustainable approach for future operations.
  • The use of biological processes aligns with all companies' strategic aims to reduce dependency and use of chemicals in treatment.

WORK PROGRAMME

  1. Full review of currently available and emerging biological treatment technologies drawing from knowledge and experience in the UK and overseas. Define performance capability of biological processes from aquifer/river/reservoir through treatment and to the tap.
  2. Desk-based feasibility study to compare options, using a system developed by the STREAM project, and to identify how they can be best integrated into current treatment practice or for new-build/replacement treatment.
  3. Full gap analysis and development of an evaluation programme for promising options.

PROJECT OUTPUT AND IMPLEMENTATION

  • A fully supported selection matrix that identifies the most appropriate bio-treatment processes for integration into existing treatment or for new build with guidelines for implementation and performance/cost expectations.

RELATED WRc WORK

  • STREAM Eng D- Rapid Biological Treatment for drinking water (Cranfield University)
  • Pesticide treatment investigation under the UKWIR project Emerging Pesticides, which included a review of current and emerging technologies.
  • In-Situ Bioremediation of High Nitrate Groundwater (CP121), Options for removal of Metaldehyde (CP354)
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