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Hydro seeks water companies for AGM trials

Hydro International is seeking water company partners to conduct pilot trials on a radical change of approach to grit removal in wastewater treatment plants. The company wants to pilot Advanced Grit Management (AGM) technology at UK wastewater plants, as well as set up a full operating trial site.

The HeadCell can be combined with Hydro’s GritCup washer and classifier and SpiraSnail dewatering system The HeadCell can be combined with Hydro’s GritCup washer and classifier and SpiraSnail dewatering system

The trials will study the potential for AGM to establish new standards based on removing more, finer grit particles at the inlet works than has conventionally been accepted as standard. Already sampling studies underway with several water companies are showing promising results. The technology has already been installed at around 200 sites in North America.

Keith Hutchings, Hydro International’s group product manager, said: “The heavy cost of grit in wastewater treatment plant operation has long been accepted as an unavoidable burden by operators and asset managers alike. Everyone knows that grit abrasion and accumulation are a burden of ongoing plant operation leading to heavy maintenance tasks and increased energy usage. Grit builds up in tanks, clogs basins and aeration tanks and compromises biological processes.

“The UK industry has accepted and grown to live with the burden of grit because of a compromise, a 'one size fits all' industry standard for inlet works grit removal.  With a new emphasis on totex, we believe the time has come to challenge accepted norms.  Grit sampling has never been conducted in the UK before and our sampling studies so far are providing strong evidence to support that view.”

The opportunity has come about through the technology transfer of a high-performance grit removal system to the UK from the US. The HeadCell grit separation system, which has been developed and refined during more than 30 years of operation, is combined with the rigorous AGM approach to achieve optimum grit removal for each wastewater treatment plant.

The HeadCell is a high-performance solution for bulk grit removal both as an upgrade to existing plants and for new works. Capable of achieving 95% removal of all grit 75 microns and larger, the HeadCell uses a stacked tray separation technique to create a large surface area with short settling distances capable of removing more fine particles.  Its design means it does not suffer from the short-circuiting problems that reduce the efficiency of conventional grit basins.

A hydraulically-driven system with no moving parts, HeadCell is modular and therefore offers a future-proof ability for upgrades. It delivers grit removal over a wide range of flows and with less than 300mm headloss in a much smaller footprint than conventional grit removal systems.

High-performance grit removal requires appropriate washing and dewatering systems that achieve the same performance. Without them, the finer grit would be washed back into the waste stream.  

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