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OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical in Engineering

Unit 22 Assessment

Thomas Spain

In this report I will review the effectiveness of Anglian Waters case study of Bedford Growth Project and I will review the impacts of modern technology and their impacts as a whole life cycle linking to global supply chains alongside how effective countries are at being sustainable as a whole.

Part 1: Sustainability and innovation

Task 1: Project Sustainability

In this section I will explain the sustainability of Anglian Water as a company for one of their case studies in this case the Bedford Growth Project which is the redevelopment of the Waste Water station needing to deal with an increasing population size by 30,000 people.

Anglian Water provides water to 4.3 million people across the east of England and collect sewage from over 6 million people. This equates to 1.2 billion litres of water supplied each day to almost 2 million households and 125,503 as of January 2017 (facts taken from the Anglian water website and their shared magazine with @one Alliance). How Anglian Water do meet these high results is due to their heavy use of new innovative technologies such as the ones used in the development project at Bedford.

The project held at Bedford was to enhance the existing assets to increase productivity or to build new assets to increase the potential of the works to facilitate the expected 30,000 more population depending on the waste water treatment works (WWTW) by 2021. Anglian Water were the clients to solve this problem and also worked closely with @one Alliance. @one Alliance provided collaboration and recommendations which were both confirmed with Anglian Water as well to produce the best result but also keep its cost low and efficiency high.

The old system at Bedford was an Active sludge process which was a respectable system which is easily outfitted with the latest attachments and additions which would have made it meet the demand of the increasing population. However, in 2012 it was deemed inefficient by @one Alliance and Anglian Water also agreed and that would result in a new set of additional assets to be put in place resulting in a high amount of carbon being produced and it would not be as an efficient operational cost as a newer system. Eventually it was agreed that the new system would be put in place which would have a higher capital cost but its efficiency and operational costs are in relation much more effective and so made it a more viable option. Furthermore, the uses of Anglian waters carbon modeller which allowed for the Further advancements of technology choices and their potential effects depending on each choice. For example, the choice for the new WWTW needed to be of a low carbon emission due to strict regulations but also to support their goals about carbon reduction which leads to the in depth look at each option by the operational costs and carbon outputs alongside its effectiveness and long term and short term placement. This led to a new Hydrok IFAS system which was the first in the UK, as a result has resulted in a reduction of the excess of sludge produced which means there is more room for water which can be filter to enter the system furthermore there is no blockages of the textile curtains and means that there is a reduced energy requirement. This new system also allows for a significant amount of nitrogen extraction. This resulted in 20-30% reduced capital costs of delivering projects and embodied carbon of delivery of the new assets of 50%.

The use of advanced and productive asset management allowed for the new system to be in place with very few problems which is because Anglian Water and @one Alliance are two large and prosperous companies alongside Anglian Water being an older company has led to it being very efficient at assigning tasks and dealing with problems which has resulted in a chain of command which is very efficient. Furthermore, due to them collaborating consistently in the past has led to a good close relationship and a clear understanding of one an others company strengths and weaknesses and now have formed a perfect unison for this project. This resulted in fast and efficient processing of the information given and collected which in turn made the changes to the Bedford site complete in 2 years which was including planning and had an estimate value of £20 million.

Activated Sludge Process Figure 1.1

Figure 1.1 shown above represents how an activated sludge asset works which was the old system and its main focus is to try and removed dissolved impurities such ammonia. Firstly the raw water enters a chamber which is covered so any odorous air is extracted and tanked away to a separate asset to remove its odour. The next phase is to convert any impurities to a workable substance, to do this the bacteria eat the dissolved organic matter which converts it into a suspended solid which is also known as the aerobic zone. Also other bacteria convert the ammonia into nitrates where in the next phase known as the Anoxic Zone where other types of bacteria also convert the different types of nitrates into nitrogen gas where it can easily be extracted from the top of the chamber. After the process has been complete, the sludge as it is now known, is then put through again continuously until it cannot be filtered more and so is then cleared from the tank.

Figure 1.2

CAPEX(£M) Embodied carbon (Tonnes of carbon equivalent) Operational carbon (Tonnes of carbon equivalent over a year) WL carbon (Tonnes of carbon equivalent over is Whole Life)

Traditional Solution 24.5 7,938 1,100 51,938

Target 19.6 3,969 800 39,169

Sustainable solution 14 2,683 -790 -28,917

The new asset taking over from the Activated Sludge process is the first one to be used in Britain and is a Hydrok IFAS enhance fixed bed biomass system which is a 100% polypropylene creation capable of achieving the low carbon targets of Anglian Water shown in figure 1.2. This data provided on the by the green construction board (website under references – green construction board) allows for the amount of carbon and costs to be planned out even before the development has even started which links to the advancements to the asset management that Anglian Water and @one Alliance share. Furthermore, the data tells us that there is a need for carbon modelling which has allowed for each option to be put in place virtually and see the results such as getting materials from different locations and of different scale. As stated earlier that the project had an estimated value of £20 million the carbon modelling that Anglian Water have done shows that the sustainable option also is the cheapest option at only £14 million leaving money spare in case of emergencies. Moreover, the sustainable option has such a low carbon requirement at over 55 tonnes less than the target and it actually uses carbon which means that any carbon created by them is used and actually used resulting in a highly developed system that is saving the environment and so shows that the companies involved are looking for a long term sustainable option capable of easily beating the increasingly strict carbon emission rules.

The new asset is a Hydrok IFAS system which means that the new system can operate on the old grounds at Bedford but act in a more sustainable way. IFAS means Integrated Fixed-film Activated Sludge which is regard to the way in which the aeration occurs through the water in this case it is a fixed film. Only closing one lane off at a time allowed for the works to sill produce enough water for the community that is depending on it which results in more efficient work and reduced downtime. Bedford consists of 2 sections, one with 2 lanes of 4 zones which operated with 8 surface aerators (sludge systems). This was changed by Hydrok to a system which had fine bubble diffusers fixed to the base of the tank on both lanes and then supplied with 3 rotary screw blowers to mix the water. The lanes were each split up into 2 zones with 12 Hydrok IFAS cages which are installed above the diffusers but only take up 35% of usable space and so allows for expansions in the future. The second section consisted of 1 tank but 3 lanes each including 6 aerators. The new solution was to place highly efficient fine bubble diffusers at the base of each lane which had 12 IFAS cages within it so a total of 36 which covered 50% of total area allowing for further extractors in the future which also consisted of 5 rotary screw blowers.

The new system also added a new section onto the process which is the addition of a new primary settlement tank and an upgraded filter technology. This process is where wastewater flows slowly in a large tank where any impurities either float to the top or form upon the bed of the tank forming sludge. The sludge is then periodically taken out of the tank and through a simple filter to allow for as much water to remain in the tank as possible. The choice that was made for Bedford WWTW was to allow for a new settlement tank and a basic filter. This was deemed very viable by all parties and had a sufficient rate to support the increasing population demanding the water. Although another option could have been a fine screening filter which is an only 0.2mm gaps to allow water through which still offers the same amount of filtration as the old system but can work at a higher velocity and volume of water which could be needed with the increase of the local population.  For example, the fine screening filter provided by Huber Technology could be a better option furthermore, the fine screening process has a much smaller carbon footprint and significantly lower investment costs due to the minimal amount of materials used and a simple funnel shape is easily formed due to the material being a mix of fibres and hair. This extractive filter can drain the water out of the sludge as the sludge is forced out which means there is less weight on the other mechanical parts and with the addition of a WAP wash press that can achieve a dewatering process result of 35% means that the sludge can now be put into a solid for transport and disposal resulting in a better supply chain afterwards due to everything being easier to handle and manage.

The new system was a great success as it was a high talking point as the first Hydrok IFAS system in the UK which was also targeted by Anglian water to “reduce the capital cost of delivering projects by 20-30% and the embodied carbon associated with delivering the new assets by 50%. It was only possible to meet these targets for the extensions at Bedford Wastewater Treatment Works by working in close collaboration with Anglian Water Operations teams and Hydrok to develop an IFAS technology solution.\" (Comment from @one Alliance from June 2012) Furthermore, the controlling of risks was taken care of as on site at all working times had a member of Anglian waters quality control section and a manager who is fully aware of everyone’s roles and risks involved. The managers also view as asses the site and eliminate any health and safety issues according to the Anglian Water health and safety charter and policy. The local council of Bedford has signed a document which states that Bedford will reduce its waste water by 20% “The signing of this promise is a real milestone on the road to a more water conscious, water efficient economy in our region.” (Wilson.B from Anglian Water) This could lead to more counties joining reduce their waste which will be of a benefit to many factions and the environment. This could also raise the benchmark on emissions as it is able to beat the expected and target easily could lead to other factions trying to gain a USP (Unique Selling Point) in which could lead to more companies competing to offer the most sustainable options.

This project has been very successful in its whole life process and that means that it has had an effect on the environment which has also been affected by the choices made by the developers such as the materials used in the process such as the new system made of recycled polypropylene and since it is a polymer which is made from oil which is a fossil fuel and so will lead to more recycling of old and broken other products making it a more sustainable process. This has led to the environment suffering the effects of the project however, the project used the sustainable option which meant that where it was deemed worthy there was a sustainable option such as the new IFAS system because it has a revolutionary new technology made it more efficient than the old activated sludge treatment. Moreover, the project was estimated to actually use up carbon in its production and so has led to the environment actually benefiting from the project. Although the new work done to the plant required there to be debris created but even so it turned out better than @one Alliance expected even on site there was a way up to the site so that the local area had minimal damage in the process of the creation of the new system.

The main innovative technologies are the IFAS asset and its new effective ways of dealing with the water and the many cages that are inside it to clean the water, sediment tanks and new filters to make the earlier stages be more through at cleaning the water and so reduces the strain on the other stages further down the stages and the. My opinion is that the new IFAS is a good choice because it is sustainable made of lots of recycled polypropylene and has a very low whole life carbon emissions meaning that this asset will not give off much carbon at all in relation to the other options and it has room in its tanks to fit more cages to allow for more water purification within it thus increasing its efficiency and output when the population increases further showing that the future has been taken into account. The added sedimentation tank has allowed for reduced strain on the other assets and since uses a minimum of energy to keep the water flowing within it has a very efficient cleaning method which if it is effective can reduce the strain on the other assets which requires a higher energy input to get the same results. This leads me to think that there is possibly an even more effective way in which that if the filter within the sedimentation tanks can be of a higher quality and be sustainable, as I suggested above in my paragraph about sedimentation tanks, could allow for a more effective extraction which results in even less strain on the other assets which will result in less operational costs across the site and reduced carbon emissions due to less energy being required to power the sites assets.  

Part 2:



Reference list: - Supply numerical values to the references and in the text for easy identification and make the reference list alphabetical and split up into task 1 and task 2

Task 1 References:

Anglian water website - Collection of background information of Anglian Water as a company and their results - obtained from Anglian waters website under fast facts in about us published in 2017 – Viewed 08/01/2017 -

[email protected] magazine online – Various information about the company and its results with regards to them as a company and some of their projects including projects held at Bedford – published in April 2011 –Viewed 08/01/2017 – Page 13

Eliquo Hydrok website – Has a detailed case study on the Bedford project containing information on the old and new systems – published June 2012 – Viewed 08/01/2017 –

Activated Sludge – Has a high level detailed explanation as to how an activated sludge process works - Published Dec 4, 2012 – Viewed 09/01/2017 –

Green construction board – Has detailed case studies which are relevant – published 29/11/2012 – viewed consistently through from 28/12/2016 thought the duration of this project -

Health and Safety of Anglian Water – Shows the different policies that they use on site and what they do if that eventualities arise – Published September 2015 – Viewed 10/01/2017 -

Figure 1.1 – Shows the process of active sludge – published 30/11/2016 – Viewed 08/01/2017 -

Bedford Council – Provides a look at the fundamentals of the contract between the council and Anglian Water in an attempt to reduce wastewater – Published in 2012 and added up to date information in 2017  - viewed 10/01/2017 -

Wilson.B – Quote - Bob Wilson who was the Head of Anglian Water business at that time and the quote was taken from the same site as the title – Bedford council – in task 1 references

Health and Safety – shows how the Anglian Water business supports health and safety and what it is expected to do at the certain situation and the practices to take.

Huber technology – Offers wastewater solutions specifically has some detailed new systems which could be more sustainable options and their processes – Published unknown however has been around since 1993 and contains a 2017 authenticity trademark – Viewed 11/01/2017

Task 2 References:

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