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Mobile reed bed benefits Heathrow

A new mobile reed bed system - the first of its kind in the UK - is playing a key role in treating effluent water. Mark Clayton, managing director of environmental practice Aardvark, which designed the system, reports on its development and various installations, including one at Heathrow Airport

Anaerobic energy

Anaerobic digestion is nothing new. But the time has come for a re-evaluation of its application to industrial waste streams

Aerobic granular system wins award for Croatia

Croatian company EcoEngineering was winner of the 2006 Eureka Lynx Award for outstanding technological achievement in May. Vice Soljan, director, and Veljko Matic, senior project manager, of EcoEngineering, and Professor Margareta Glancer from the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology at the University of Zagreb describe a new system which uses specially designed mixtures of different bacteria, in granular form, to break down even the most toxic wastes.

Wastewater disinfection

Frank Rogalla of Black & Veatch and Gary Hunter discuss methods of ultraviolet disinfection at WwTWs

Taming contaminants

John Fawell looks at some of the safety issues facing the world of water supply - and some of the possible solutions

Dr Donald MacPhee carries out tests on the degredation of naphthalene in the fuel cell with a lab-scale photoelectrocatalytic reactor

Electric charge for solar disinfection

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland are developing new solar disinfection technology that simultaneously creates electricity. Three industrial partners, OpTIC Technium, Yorkshire Water and Scotoil Services, along with the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), have committed over €1.7million to commercially develop novel technology for breaking up pollutants found in all types of water supplies.

Making a clean break

Frank Rogalla assesses the results of a study into the potential effects that changing disinfectant could have on water quality in the distribution system

Sane in the membrane

Dr Paul Zuber of Brightwater Engineering looks at the sometimes difficult but ultimately successful development of MBR technology

2010 Sustainability Leaders Forum

Environmental pioneers from organisations across the environmental spectrum will be explaining their secrets at the 2010 Sustainability Leaders Forum.

Bristol Water challenges Ofwat final price determination

Bristol Water has rejected Ofwat's determination of price limits for 2010-2015, and will ask for the issue to be referred to the Competition Commission for review. The company's challenge comes as most of the other water utilities accepted their final price determinations.

DNA detectives tackle beach water pollution

THE ENVIRONMENT Agency (EA) has turned to a cutting-edge DNA technique to prevent the pollution of bathing water. The CSI Seaside project, which is understood to be the first of its kind worldwide, will help pinpoint the source of faecal and sewage pollution, the most common causes of bathing water pollution whether it is runoff from agricultural land or from a sewage outlet pipe.

Buckyballs could keep water systems flowing

US scientists have discovered a new use for the nanoparticles of carbon. Richard Merritt describes how this could save fortunes in time and money providing the process is safe for the environment and humans

Using bacteria to clean up the sewerage system

Biosol is promising to revolutionise the wastewater industry with a technology based on cell signalling - using microbial control to slow down or speed up the metabolism and production of bacteria.

Wizards of Oz control manganese in Scotland

An Australian technology for reservoir treatment has been installed in Europe for the first time. David Orme of Gurney Environmental explains how

Technology revolution that can take on climate change impact

David Garman, president of the International Water Association and executive director of the Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre in Australia, looks at trends and future directions in water technology

How West London rose to the odour challenge

Bad odours can be a public menace - West London Composting overcame fierce local hostility when it addressed such problems at its Harefield site

Analysing the chemical burden

As a new legislative era dawns for chemical usage and the environment, Kirit Wadhia, ecotoxicology services manager at microbiology company NCIMB, highlights some new technological approaches.

Treating timber waste in a constructive way

Chemically-treated timber waste is typically buried or landfilled, but studies into safer disposal methods have been carried out with positive results. Anurag Garg and Ibtisam Tothill explain

London boroughs hail MBT facility

A major new facility set up to treat household waste has been heralded by London's local authorities as a demonstration of their commitment to new technologies in the fight to cope with the capital's waste.

Around 4% of the greenhouse effect is caused by cow flatulence and burping

Cow pill could cut methane emissions

A pill that stops cows burping could be the answer to reducing methane emitted as the animals turn grass into milk, and which significantly contributes to climate change.

Microbes could be key in PCB clean-up

Tiny bacterium could replace huge dredging machines and an empty landfill as the primary tool in cleaning up sites contaminated with toxic PCBs thanks to American research.

Congratulations to the 2011 Awards for Environmental Excellence winners!

A lavish black-tie gala ceremony saw edie's Awards for Environmental Excellence 2011 winners announced. Pictures and video below.

Aerobic activation the way nature intended

A novel composting product eliminates the need for windrow turning by stimulating oxygenating processes within the soil. Charlotte Wilson explains

WHO releases new drinking-water guidelines

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released new revised drinking-water guidelines to prevent waterborne disease.

Micro-nutrients make way for faster, greener remediation

A cutting edge land clean-up method that uses soil nutrients is greener and faster than traditional alternatives, argues Karim Esmail of Building Research Establishment (BRE).Two case studies - the regeneration of Cardiff harbour and a major oil spill clean-up in Teesside - illustrate his point.

Judging day at the Environment Agency

Edie Awards shortlist announced

The shortlist for the Edie Awards for Environmental Excellence 2011 has been drawn up.

Taming contaminants

John Fawell looks at some of the safety issues facing the world of water supply - and some of the possible solutions

Making a clean break

Frank Rogalla assesses the results of a study into the potential effects that changing disinfectant could have on water quality in the distribution system

Innovative wetland system gains ground

A technology designed for wetland treatment of landfill leachate can help optimise other wetland sites, say Craig Fannin, associate director, and Paul Danes, senior consultant, with AMEC's UK Earth & Environmental business

Reeding towards a sustainable future

Reed bed technology is set to play an integral part in helping water companies comply with the WFD regulations and help them meet AMP5 targets. And in Wales, Forced Bed Aeration is already making a difference.

Increasing knowledge about taps and samples

Work carried out by a research engineer at the Stream Industrial Doctorate Centre will improve understanding of sporadic bacteriological non-compliance – and help Severn Trent Water to improve its compliance further.

A forensic approach

Scientists are completing the country's first ever comprehensive study of DNA extracted from water samples in a bid to further improve bathing water quality in the South-west.

Odour and out

BRE's Karim Ismail reports on Eco-Bio, a new process which is intended to tackle odour problems at source

Keeping cool

Aquamatic investigates the need to keep biological samples at the correct temperature to enable suitable analysis of wastewater quality

Analysing water use in the paper industry

Assessing the facts and collating the figures surrounding water and wastewater use in the paper, packaging and pulp sector

NASA scientist Michael Flynn carries out tests on the VPCAR system.

Giant leaps for water reuse in space

Water is crucial for astronauts to live and work in space, whether orbiting the Earth, working at a lunar base or travelling to Mars. At four NASA centres scientific engineers are developing dependable ways of recycling water for space travel and possible Earth use. Natasha Wiseman reports.

WHO launches new standards for drinking water

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (Third Edition) (GDWQ) were launched at the IWA Congress in Marrakech in September. They are intended to help regulators and service providers the world over maintain and improve the quality of their potable water.

Reed all about new systems

Angus Marland of Rockbourne Environmental reports on the recent use of constructed wetlands for sewage treatment

UV technology lights the way

Mike Shaw from Hanovia details the impact of minimum UV dose in wastewater disinfection

Testing the grey matter

Cranfield's selection of technologies for grey water recycling and reuse

Simple salts could prevent arsenic contamination

Encouraging the growth of special microbes could help to clean up sites where groundwater has been contaminated with arsenic, US scientists have claimed.

Wastewater fuel cells help turn raw sewage into raw power

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University are developing a microbial fuel cell that can provide energy while treating wastewater, the American Chemical Society has reported.

Technically speaking

Black & Veatch's Frank Rogalla looks at chloramination in the water industry

New kit to ensure compliance

Paul Fisher explains how a new immunodiagnostic testing kit will help the industry comply with future sewage sludge regulations

Regenesis Oxygen Release Compound (ORC®)

Silent genius - the world beneath our feet

An exploration of in situ remediation, by Dr. Jeremy Birnstingl, of Regenesis.

Making PFI/PPP waste projects work

Ann Barrett, vice president of the environmental practice of Marsh, discusses risk management of waste projects

Taking control of the situation

Professor Bob Andoh, group technical director for Hydro International, details challenges surrounding current and future combined sewer overflow programmes in the UK

Past and future of microfiltration

Memcor Australia's technology centre general manager Andrew Layson investigates the inception of MF, its development through the years and expectations for its future use

Technically speaking

Black & Veatch's Frank Rogalla takes a look at the ultraviolet blues

Umist research associate Nigel W Brown investigates the removal and destruction of organic pollutants using carbon powder, the process of adsorption and electrochemical regeneration

Umist research associate Nigel W Brown investigates the removal and destruction of organic pollutants using carbon powder, the process of adsorption and electrochemical regeneration

Fibre failures in the spotlight

European microporous membrane plant growth is rocketing. Memcor's Brian Birkenhead discusses operational issues in the production of drinking water by hollow fibre membranes

Closing the loop

By Simon Judd, Chair in Membrane Technology, School of Water Sciences, Cranfield University
The often-stated motivation for recycling of wastewater is the increasing pressure on natural water resources. Reuse of wastewater conserves the supply of freshwater, and this presents clear advantages with respect to environmental protection.

Staying in control of corrosion

Dr A Crossland, senior corrosion engineer and Dr JFD Stott, senior project officer of Capcis offer their explanation to the question 'what is microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC)?'

On site, and very much in mind

Hannah Scott of Eco Technology looks at the advantages and options for small to medium sized organisations (SMEs) considering on-site effluent treatment.

Membranes for wastewater recyling

Simon Judd and Bruce Jefferson of Cranfield University look at the advantages of wastewater reuse over discharge, improved by advances in membrane technology.

Let the bugs do your dirty work

Richard Ambrose of ABC Environmental offers SMEs a step-by-step guide to managing the implementation of environmental biotechnology.

Technically speaking

Black & Veatch's Frank Rogalla looks at a water taste and odour plan

Technically speaking

Black & Veatch's Frank Rogalla looks at a water taste and odour plan

CRAFT presents a novel idea

Chris Webb reports on the CRAFT researchers' zeoReactor WwTW technology programme

Oil degradation: the natural way

Karim Esmail of the Building Research Establishment assesses biological treatment options for oily wastewater and sludge including the Eco-Bio remediation process. The EU landfill directive imposes strict controls with respect to disposal of hydrocarbon wastes in landfill sites. This presents technical and economic challenges for UK industry.

Biological remediation - no longer a black art

The first ex-situ bioremediation project of the 21st Century under the CL:AIRE initiative has been successfully completed at Askern Colliery, near Doncaster, for the regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward.

Eco-friendly robot powered by organic waste

Researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol have developed a microbial fuel cell about the size of a mobile phone that could be powered by organic household waste. The cell is being used to run a small light-sensitive robot.

Technically speaking

Black & Veatch's Frank Rogalla looks at multiple treatment goals with membranes

A case of trial and amendment

Little information was available on composting digested sewage sludge when AFT began a two-year study to establish the optimum mix for such material. Jeff Constantine reports

Fluorescent dyes detect individual microbial cells

Results are a matter of time

Timothy Whitmore of WRc looks at rapid microbiological monitoring

Technically speaking

Black and Veatch's Frank Rogalla looks at biosolids vermistabilisation

...CL:AIRE update...

CL:AIRE (Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments), established to facilitate the demonstration of remediation technologies and research on contaminated sites around the UK, has been in operation now for 22 months. The CL:AIRE Board has ratified a total of five demonstration projects: two technology demonstrations and three research projects (see IEM April and October of last year for the first three). Here, the latest two.

The plant, with a payback period of six months, can recycle 400 litres of vinegar every hour.

Reclarified vinegar for vegetables

Geest Prepared Foods processes a wide range of fruits and vegetables, including carrots, celery, apples, onions and peppers, which are sold through a number of retail chains. Before the fruits and vegetables are sliced and cooked, it is important that they are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to remove any remaining dirt or unwanted biological and microbial matter.

The VCU is compact - to process 10k tonnes per annum would only require 200m<sup>2</sup> of space for the chambers on a whole site layout of 500m<sup>2</sup>

Biowaste facility for World Heritage Site

Off the eastern seaboard of Australia a valuable island group is benefitting from leading-edge waste treatment which not only accommodates a burgeoning tourist industry but also ensures the islands' fragile ecosystems.

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Leading provider of water, waste and environmental solutions WRc looks at in-situ denitrification

Attenuation, naturally

Natural attenuation is the combination of naturally-occurring processes that act without human intervention to reduce the risks posed by contamination in soil or groundwater. The way forward? Phil Morgan, senior environmental consultant with Eutech, on not getting involved.

Petroleum remediation gel

In a recent in situ bioremediation project undertaken by Response Environmental Services, one company saved around 56% of its costs through opting for bioremediation as opposed to landfill.

Techniques to control industrial wastewater

The number of industries which choose to treat their waste on-site prior to discharge to either sewer or surface water continues to grow. Dr Nigel Horan of Aqua Enviro at the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds explains some simple techniques for the control of industrial wastewater treatment plants.

Approval testing of membrane filtration systems

The increased interest in the use of membrane filtration systems for the treatment of public drinking water supplies requires that these products are approved by the regulators who are concerned by the potential adverse impact of materials on water quality. Bernard Hegarty, from WRc, examines the issues and reports on a recent initiative aimed at developing harmonised test protocols for testing membrane filtration systems.

Algal treatment beds: Lousiville, Kentucky, US.

Mine drainage and landfill leachate treatment

James Robinson of Kennedy & Donkin reports on how wetland and algal processes can be used to treat mine drainage and landfill leachate.

A biofilter treating odourous gases from a sewage treatment works.

A biological solution to odour control

There are many options available for removing odours from gas streams before discharge and in this article Chris Smith from Bord na Mona discusses the biological techniques available.

A small 200mm diameter by 2m length catalytic-iron filter, connected to the sludge discharge sump of a primary tank and terminating in a chemically impregnated carbon filter. The system was used to remove malodours, including  H2S, from ventilated air displaced from the sump.

Septicity in sewage and sludge

The causes of septicity and odour generation in sewers and sludge handling are discussed in this article by Arthur G Boon, technical director of Hyder Environmental.

Can earthworms provide the answer to the sludge treatment problem?

Vermistabilisation is the use of earthworms to treat sewage sludges. Dr Piers Clark of WS Atkins Water explains how vermistabilisation, with its low capital cost and relatively simple operation, may represent the ideal solution to some rural UK sites, where raw sewage has traditionally been disposed direct to agriculture.

Practical contaminated land management: methods of remediation

Contributing author

New genome paves the way for better pipeline protection

Protection of pipelines from microbial corrosion may have taken a step further this week as scientists at the Institute for Genomic Research announced this week they have deciphered the genome of the microbe which causes this process.

Dirty pretty thing: clean energy from wastewater

'Waste' water could be no more. Researchers in the US say they have found a use for this by-product which can generate energy through a microbial fuel cell and in the meantime reduce costs of waste water treatment.

Problems Achieving Organic or Ammonia Discharge Consents? A Minimum Cost Solution from Cleveland Biotech

News release: In the UK tighter effluent discharge consent limits applied to organic and nitrogen levels will inevitably call for the upgrading of existing treatment facilities. Although these changes in consent levels may only appear relatively small, in real terms they will constitute a major impact on existing biological treatment plants that are already stretched to capacity. In most cases they will result in the need to upgrade existing treatment plants by way of the installation of additional treatment capacity or new tertiary treatment systems at high capital cost.

Bacteria could be used to clean uranium from contaminated sites

Uranium contamination in groundwater could be cleaned using resident bacteria, microbiologists have found. Bacterial remediation could also be more and more common as a means of de-contamination in the future, the scientists say.

How to reduce almost any oil spill to a dustpan and brush job in seconds

News release: Ross Eliminator Absorbent and Degreaser contain millions of oil eating microbes that spring into life immediately when they are introduced to oil spills. This can be in the kitchen, on the road, on a forecourt or indeed anywhere where cooking oil or fuel oil is being moved.

Microbes discovered that eat toxic waste

Bacteria have been found that eat toxic waste and could be used to clean up contaminated water under many industrial sites. Although other microbes have been found that can eat toxic waste, this is the first one that feeds on vinyl chloride (VC) – one of the most common and hazardous industrial chemicals, used in the rubber, plastics and paper industries, as well as in building and construction.

Sticky cells make the best alcohol

Microbes capable of sticking to surfaces are revolutionising wastewater treatment and alcohol production, with organic waste proving to be the perfect snack for the tiny ethanol converters.

Automated colony counter is UKAS accredited for accurate enumeration of potentially hazardous microbes in water

NEWS RELEASE: Synbiosis, a world-leading manufacturer of automated microbiological systems is pleased to announce its ProtoCOL automated colony counter has been awarded prestigious UKAS accreditation in a major UK-based water authority. The independent validation shows this method can rapidly produce highly accurate counts of microbes sampled from water and could be used to help control disease outbreaks.

Chinese soda lake (courtesy Bill Grant)

Scientists explore uncharted Chinese lakes for new biotechnology

UK scientists will be among the first European researchers to explore remote areas of China in the quest to find new forms of microbial life. The team hopes to develop new biocatalysts from the enzymes of microbes living in harsh environments unencountered in the Western world.

Microbialite on coral (courtesy IRD/J-C Menou)

Microbes linked to coral reef decay

Microbial communities may be involved in the destruction of coral reefs, new research suggests. Further studies are needed to establish whether, and how, the microbes affect coral, but preliminary results show a relationship between the spread of microbial populations and the decline in coral reefs, suggesting microbial communities could be used as indicators of environmental change.

Pick up some PAM to preserve the soil surface

Polyacrylamide, a chemical commonly used in manufacturing, is helping US farmers reduce soil erosion by 90%, triggering more research into just how beneficial this chemical is to soil. US scientists recently reported microbial containment of 90% in manure treated with polyacrylamide - or PAM - before being spread on the land.

EPA launches consultation on a strategy for controlling waterborne microbial disease

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a draft strategy on the mitigation of the effects of waterborne microbial infection.

Wealthy pharmaceuticals industry is a booming market for wastewater treatment

The high standards required and wealth of the pharmaceuticals industry means that the water and wastewater treatment equipment industry, currently worth around US$186 million (£130 million) in Europe, is expected to grow to over US$248 million (£174 million) by 2007 – but suppliers need to be aware of the competition.

Government and industry launch £15 million research programme for bioremediation

Government departments and representatives from industry have launched a £15 million research programme into the clean-up of contaminated industrial sites using biological organisms.

One million people in Europe die of waterborne diseases every year

Approximately one million people in Europe are dying from waterborne diseases every year, with over 120 million in the region lacking safe drinking water, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).

AUSTRALIA: more efficient Atrazine-eating bug found

Australian scientists have discovered a native microbe that breaks down the herbicide Atrazine more efficiently that previously known strains.

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