Thousands of visitors and some smart new ideas

The place to be seen and to meet; the place to keep up to date and to boast about your latest development; the place to strut your stuff and negotiate your next deal - that was IWEX 2009

Yet again, IWEX 2009 triumphed as thousands of visitors, undeterred by the economic downturn, packed into the Birmingham NEC exhibition to see the latest innovative products and services. Exhibitors and visitors agreed there was a "real buzz" at the show.

Visitors queued to get into the three-day event which is part of Sustainabilitylive!, organised by WWT publisher Faversham House Group.

Bord na Mona used the show to launch its new biofilter technology for treating difficult Volatile organic Compounds. The technology uses two types of sea shells to tackle what could not be treated previously by biofiltration.

Aquaco presented its new WPL range of sewage treatment systems for both domestic and commercial applications. The company also demonstrated the Aqua Wiser System for grey-water recycling.

Visitors to Zoeller Pump Company's stand were given an insight into sump pumps, packaged lift stations and decentralised wastewater treatment systems. Staff were on hand to discuss preassembled sewage packages, an area where the company is seeing increased demand because of the labour savings.

Framework deal
Making its show debut was SeSys' Torch Camera, a portable camera system that contains a digital IP camera and 3G/GPRS communications. The camera can capture and deliver images from remote locations.

The highlight of MSE Hiller's stand was its Decapress centrifuge model DP31-422 VAHY along with a Mitsubishi Hollow Fibre membrane module and a high efficiency 1,000l PDF1000 polymer make-up system. The company also took the opportunity to announce it has won a framework deal with Northumbrian Water for the supply of sewage sludge dewatering centrifuges.

Equipment designed to meet the needs of the UV industry formed the centrepiece of KKWater Purification's display. The company is a service provider to Trojan, Aquafine and R-Can, which all offer a wide range of water treatment systems and equipment.

Another product making its IWEX debut was Transvac Systems' new TRANSPAC system for dosing powdered activated carbon into drinking water to remove colour, taste and odour.

Festo exhibited a raft of innovative solutions for the water industry including the new CPXCMXX intelligent control module, which provides a PLC-compatible interface for multi-dimensional axis control. Also new from Festo, was a quarter-turn pneumatic actuator that uses rack and pinion drive technology.

Visitors to Bluewater Bio's stand had the chance to learn first-hand about its Hybrid Bacillus activated Sludge (HYBACS) wastewater treatment process. HYBACS uses the naturally occurring Bacillus bacteria to produce a high-quality odourless and reusable water resource by removing harmful nitrates, phosphates and organic matter from a variety of domestic,
agricultural and industrial effluents.

ABB has expanded its range of Aztec 600 online analytical instruments for potable water treatment. The analysers use an LED and detector to measure the passage of light through a sample. Up to six samples can be measured an hour.

Underground mapping
Infotec Consulting had on show some "innovative alternatives" for underground mapping and sewer maintenance including the Flusher cleansing system; PipeTrack 3D gyroscopic mapping system; and Virtual Trial Holes, which replaces all but essential excavation works.

Burkert's new Type 8081 ultrasonic flow transmitter made its IWEX debut. The brass-bodied transmitter is for measuring water flows that may be slightly charged with contaminants.

Intelligent water meters took pride of place on Contazara's stand. The meters record both the amount of water consumed, and how that water was consumed.

Nevron Insulation, making its IWEX debut, took the opportunity to show several solutions for the water industry including removable jackets for pumps, valves and associated fittings.

An extensive range of static mixing technology was displayed by Statiflo International. Products on show included the newly launched Sludge Blender and NRC channel mixer for dosing ferric or other chemicals into raw wastewater.

Transairvac International has extended its product range to include a fine bubble diffuser. A major feature is that it has negative buoyancy so it can, according to the company, "just be thrown" into a tank or lagoon for aeration.

Technolog was on hand to discuss its range of GSM/GPRS solutions for Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) in the water and energy utility sectors. The company demonstrated its Cello products that use GSM/GPRS technology for remote monitoring of commercial and industrial meters.

Electrical submersible pumps and accessories were the main theme of Pump Supplies' stand. The company also featured its range of ATEX-approved explosion proof wastewater pumps sets, certified for use in the zone 1 and zone 2 hazardous areas.

Sustainable resource
Legislation, new innovation and technology, as well as water as a sustainable resource were among the key themes that kept the IWEX Seminar Theatre packed out over the three days.

Delegates heard Ofwat's head of climate change, Dr Mike Keil, explain why a long-term view of sustainability in the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales is crucial. Keil examined some of the recent progress that the industry has made and highlighted where further challenge and innovation can deliver tangible results for consumers.

Continuing the sustainable water theme, Dr Son Le, technology development manager at United Utilities, told delegates that the UK must set ambitiously high targets if it wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

United Utilities' Strategic Direction Statement includes an outline of technological measures it intends to deal with climate change over the coming decades. The company expects the measures to cut its greenhouse emissions by 25% in the short-term and help achieve its aim of halving them by 2035.

Project delivery
Integrating carbon management in investment planning was the theme of Marilena Demetriadi's talk.

Demetriadi, cost base manager at Anglian Water, and Mott MacDonald associate director James Newton, produced a suite of detailed carbon models for predicting greenhouse gas emissions associated with the utility's AMP5 investment programme.

Delegates heard how Anglian Water has built these models into its investment appraisal optimisation systems so that carbon management is fully integrated in project decision-making - from outline planning through to project delivery.

Esco International managing director Dr Omar Legrini explained why Advanced Oxidation Technologies (AOTs) are among the most promising emerging oxidation processes and how they are expected to play a crucial role in water and gas treatment.

He said that, among AOTs, the CATADOX process was of particular interest because of efficiency and environmentally friendly features.

The process uses, according to Legrini, "unique" combinations of ozone, UV, hydrogen peroxide and proprietary catalysts to meet stringent standards.

Next year, Sustainabilitylive! and IWEX will take place at Birmingham's NEC, 20-22 April.

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