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Innovation In Wastewater Treatment To Drive Sustainability

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Gordon Reid (Dunfermline, UK)

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 11: Key vulnerabilities and security risks,


Scottish Water collects over eight hundred million litres of waste water from homes and businesses every day, which we treat before returning to the environment. In providing this vital service to customers we're one of Scotland's largest energy users, consuming c450GWh per annum.

Wastewater collection and treatment make up two thirds of Scottish Waters carbon footprint. The largest part of this is energy. This is not sustainable and Scottish Water is looking to reduce this over time. With a very broad range of treatment assets and with tightening environmental standards Scottish Water is developing a strategy using innovation to drive sustainability.


The paper shows how Scottish Water is using a strong evidence base to be clear on the need before carrying out any capital intervention. Where something has to be done then the intervention is selected based on a whole life basis, accounting for in life energy, chemical use and carbon.

Construction innovation is being focussed on how to reduce carbon content of construction. We are working with industry and academia to look at new approaches to treatment that will deliver reliable compliant discharges. This is not just to address today's issues but is also looking forward to address the issues that come with climate change to deliver a resilient asset base.

We are developing a roadmap that will show how the asset base will change to address emerging challenges. This not only covers wastewater treatment but also the safe treatment and recycling of wastewater sludge, ensuring valuable nutrients and energy generation potential are not lost.


The strategy outlines how SW wastewater assets base is likely to change over time reflecting the drive to greater sustainability.


The strategy work has identified a number of options to improve the sustainability of the wastewater asset base, with innovation in treatment being a key driver.

2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin