Collection of water and wastewater news headlines from Europe

LTD thermal process claims 1 kWh/cubic meter energy use

Following operating experience from a 500 m3/day pilot plant in El Gouna in Egypt, a low temperature distillation process has been launched which claims to produce water using less than 1.0 kilowatt hour per cubic meter (kWh/m3).

Called the Watersolutions low temperature distillation (LTD) system, the process is based on the principle of low temperature distillation and claims an operating cost of between one third and half of existing processes, according to the company.

LTD condenses water at low temperature and pressure, using waste heat (50 - 110° C) from thermal processes including renewable energy sources such as solar energy or geothermal energy.

Significant amounts of low grade waste heat (6 - 30 MW) are required that have to be generated from sources including thermal power plants, district cooling systems, general industry, mining and waste incineration.

Watersolutions said the LTD system with one cascade can produce pure water at less than 1.0 kilowatt hour per cubic meter (kWh/m3) in contrast to SWRO which typically uses 3.5 - 4.5 kWh/m3 of water production.

The company said that 1.5 m3 of seawater is needed to produce 1.0 m3 of clean water (< 10 ppm of dissolved solids).

Units are available in two sizes - a large module that produces 1000-2000 m3/d (pending the amount of waste heat available and number of cascades) and a medium module with capacity of 500-1000 m3/d.

According to the firm, LTD works efficiently over a broad range of salinity. "Because the process is very tolerant to the salinity of the feedwater, it can even handle brine concentrate from RO.

"As a result, retrofitting an existing RO plant with an LTD system would be an efficient way to increase the plant's capacity," said Watersolutions.

"Our LTD system is ideally positioned to capture growth both in the desalination market and for treating industrial wastewater including produced water from oil and gas exploration," said CEO Espen Mansfeldt.

Budapest suburb boosts wastewater reuse with membrane bioreactor

The city of Veresegyház, a suburb of Hungarian capital city Budapest, has selected GE's ZeeWeed 500D ultrafiltration membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology to increase water reuse at its existing water treatment plant.

In 2010, the water authority issued a permit that allowed the municipality to reuse the water treated by GE's MBR technology. This helps ensure the region has increased access to fresh water.

Under the contract, GE will supply the city of Veresegyház with MBR technology and equipment featuring ZeeWeed 500D reinforced, hollow-fiber membranes.

The upgrade of the plant's wastewater treatment processes with the GE MBR technology features four ZeeWeed 500D trains, eight cassettes and 288 modules.

This will expand the plant's treatment capacity to 5,000 m3/day. The project is financed by the EU Cohesion Fund and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

"Water reuse and providing our community with high-quality water is essential as our fresh water supply persistently dwindles. The upgraded wastewater treatment plant will give us access to more water for both industrial and residential use," said Pasztor Bela, mayor of the city of Veresegyház.

Business switches suppliers under new ruling in England

First Milk, is to become the first business customer to switch water supplier since the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) altered the regulations in England and Wales to allow more businesses to be able to choose their water supplier.

Until recently only businesses that used more than 50,000 m3 of water a year, could switch from their existing water supplier to a new one. The threshold has now been reduced to just 5,000 m3, which has substantially increased the number of businesses that are able to choose their water supplier from just 2,200 to 26,000 businesses.

Severn Trent Costain, a joint venture between Severn Trent Services and Costain has signed up First Milk, in a deal that will see STC supply, manage and monitor their water across six major sites in England, Wales and Scotland involving over 600,000 m3 of water per year.

As part of the contract, STC will be installing monitoring equipment at all of the six First Milk sites.

The aim is to help First Milk to develop a detailed understanding of their water usage, as well as options for how it can become more efficient.

Municipal water and wastewater treatment chemicals market growing in Western Europe

The municipal water and wastewater treatment chemicals market in Western Europe is growing, driven by the increasing demand for cost-effective chemicals and rising environmental concerns. Stricter regulations at both national and regional levels are further propelling market expansion.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan - Analysis of the Municipal Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals Market in Western Europe - finds that the market earned €2.6 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach €3.1 billion in 2018.

"Water and wastewater treatment chemicals used throughout Western Europe need to comply with strict standards related to safety, hygiene and quality," explained Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Anna Jarosik. "Such regulations are anticipated to fuel water and wastewater treatment chemical development, leading to overall improvements in water and wastewater quality."

'Green' legislation will compel municipal water and wastewater treatment chemicals manufacturers to continuously improve their chemical solutions and treatment processes through the development of cost-effective and energy-saving solutions.

"There is a real need for innovative, sustainable, and economically viable water and wastewater treatment solutions," added Jarosik. "Chemicals that offer a competitive price-performance ratio, have value-added features and that can be made readily available in customized volumes will also experience strong demand."

EU regulations and environmentally-friendly policies strongly determine the direction of the municipal water and wastewater treatment chemicals market. Directives and regulations, typically national, specify water quality and even define the chemicals that can be used for treatment.

Field Notes

Romania targeted with Hydro International

Hydro has partnered with distributor C & V Water to supply its water and wastewater treatment solutions in Romania. It is expected that opportunities will focus initially on Hydro's Grit King hydrodynamic vortex separator. Hydro said that effective grit removal is expected to be of value for water and wastewater treatment in Romania because it helps to avoid machinery breakdown and high maintenance costs by protecting plant and equipment from the damaging wear and tear of grit particles.

Sardinia drinking water plant awarded to Acciona

Italy public sector company Abbanoa S.p.a has contracted Spanish firm Acciona Agua a 9 million Euro design and build partnership for the Siniscola drinking water treatment plant. The drinking water facility will treat surface water from the Maccheronis Dam in Torpe and will have a treatment capacity of 0.4 m3 per second. Work will be carried out in a temporary joint venture involving Italian SCADA company CEIF.

Thames warns to keep wipes out of their pipes

UK water utility giant Thames Water said that the increasing use of wet wipes from families is adding to its already annual £12 million is spends on clearing 80,000 blockages a year across its 108,000 km network across London.

The utility said that the wet wipe market is growing at faster than 15% per year and as they don't break down like toilet paper, they are resulting in blocked sewers.

Thames Water said: "Wet wipes' main partner in "sewer abuse" crime is food fat. It slips down the sink easily when warm but sets into hard "fatbergs" when it cools in the sewers.

More in Wastewater