Bluewater Bio

HYBACS receives independent verification from major water companies: Severn Trent Water and Aqualia

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Courtesy of Bluewater Bio

Performance of HYBACS treatment process compatible with requirements of nutrient removal regulations

Bluewater Bio International, a global specialist in the treatment of wastewater, is pleased to announce that its proprietary HYBACS process continues to show high performance in independent pilot trials carried out by two key utility partners, Severn Trent Water in the UK (LSE:SVT) and Aqualia, the water subsidiary of the FCC Group (SIBE:FCC), in Spain. Both pilot trials are ongoing but at different stages. The collaboration with Severn Trent Water, which began the trial earlier, is now progressing with consideration being given to the potential of a full-scale installation.

Results from pilot plants installed at operational sites managed by Severn Trent Water and Aqualia verify that the HYBACS (Hybrid Bacillus Activated Sludge) process can remove nutrients from municipal type wastewaters to comply with European regulations. More specifically, the plants have demonstrated HYBACS’ efficacy in removing ammonia, nitrogen and phosphorus (key indicators of nutrient levels) to levels that comply with the general requirements of the sensitive area regulations in the EU’s Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.

Severn Trent Water’s sewage treatment works in Coleshill, near Birmingham, treats municipal waste-water containing discharges from a light industry park. Over the course of 10 weeks from June to August 2009, the HYBACS plant removed over 97% of ammonia and over 70% of TN (Total Nitrogen), with TN removal levels in the final week peaking at an average of 93%. Similarly, the Aqualia plant has demonstrated over 90% removal of TP (Total Phosphorous) over recent weeks. HYBACS plants can achieve such high performance whilst reducing power consumption by at least 40%.

The results were presented in a technical article by Frank Rogalla (Director of Innovation & Technology, Aqualia), co-authored by Mark Jones (Waste Water Strategy, R&D Manager, Severn Trent), and Peter Vale (Waste Water Strategy, Severn Trent) and, published in November 2009’s issue of an influential industry publication, Water & Wastewater Treatment.

These positive results come at a time when UK water companies are facing increasing cost challenges as a result of Ofwat’s AMP5 Final Determination. The HYBACS process has the potential to assist in this area. In addition to power savings, the HYBACS process offers CAPEX reductions of up to 30%, and a land area footprint reduction of up to 40% compared with conventional treatment technologies. HYBACS’ modular format is ideal for upgrading existing plants since generally all of the existing infrastructure can be leveraged for use in the HYBACS plant. In most circumstances, HYBACS eliminates the need for water companies to construct large additional tanks of the type needed to upgrade conventional treatment plants to deliver nutrient removal performance. HYBACS can also be used to upgrade the general treatment capacity of conventional plants.

Following the trials, Bluewater Bio is now undertaking feasibility work with Severn Trent regarding the potential implementation of the HYBACS process within its region. Mark Jones, Waste Water Strategy R&D Manager for Severn Trent Water, comments: “UK water companies have to seek new ways of reducing costs while continuing to invest in infrastructure and improve treatment performance. However, as treatment improvements using conventional technologies often require greater space and energy, companies such as ours have a substantial interest in seeking out and deploying innovative solutions. Bluewater Bio’s HYBACS process is such an innovative solution with significant potential as demonstrated at the pilot scale at one of our operational sites. We are exploring the next steps with Bluewater Bio to evaluate the potential application of the technology at full-scale at a suitable site.”

Frank Rogalla, Director of Innovation & Technology at Aqualia, comments: “At Aqualia, we are challenged by the delay in implementing the EU WWTD in Spain, amplified by the water scarcity in much of the country. HYBACS looks attractive as a cost effective upgrade that leads to reuse water quality, and a key tool to meet the new requirements while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. We are excited to work with Bluewater Bio who have an impressive commitment to their technology and are looking forward to the next step beyond our pilot experience.”

Daniel Ishag, CEO of Bluewater Bio, commented: “The trial results so far generated from our work with Severn Trent and Aqualia prove the superior potential of the Bluewater Bio process and will widen the doors to immediate commercial opportunities for us. We are now presenting our performance results to key technical decision-makers within water and wastewater companies around the world.”

“We have already made great progress developing the market in other key geographical regions, for example the Middle East, and we have forged strong strategic partnerships with many significant players in the water sector in these regions. The publication of this first set of results, combined with ever increasing regulatory and pricing constraints, will enable us to further strengthen HYBACS’s competitive advantage in the next phase of upgrades and rebuilds across our territories.”

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