UK should follow Germany on phosphorus - Yorkshire's Brigg
Recovering resources such as phosphorus from sludge should be incentivised in order for it to truly take hold in the UK water sector, Yorkshire Water manager of innovation Jon Brigg told the Utility Week Live conference today (22 May).
Brigg said Yorkshire Water, which has enjoyed success with an advanced thermal conversion (ATC) gasification plant, is trying to take a 'waste nothing, value everything' approach.
However, he would like to see the UK following in Germany's footsteps by "legislating out the cheap option to make better use of resources" so as to "stimulate circular economy principles".
Germany has made phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge obligatory for wastewater treatment plants larger than 50,000 PE, with the only exemptions applying to sewage sludge with low phosphorus content. The regulation does not specify a particular technology and allows scope for innovative recovery processes.
Brigg told delegates he thought Germany's approach was "very credible" and said recovering nutrients like phosphorus is difficult economically if companies are not faced with incentives or punishment.
"I applaud what's happening in Germany," he said. "If you value something, you have to stimulate that value. The phrase we don't like is 'the burning platform'. While we only aspire to be compliant, it's never going to change.
"We don't necessarily need regulation change but we do need stimulation of a commercial market and an acceptance that we can recover things safely from a waste stream."
He said Yorkshire Water would urge its supply-chain partners to explore means of gaining a "much higher level of resource recovery".
Utility Week Live is taking place on May 22-23 at Birmingham's NEC, and is the biggest annual exhibition for the UK utilities sector.
- Innovation chief calls for collaboration at NWG festival Innovation needs to be more visible and include ideas from a wide range of people across all disciplines, according to one... Read More >
- Water companies launch World Water Innovation Fund Water companies including Severn Trent and United Utilities are joining forces to form the World Water Innovation Fund,... Read More >
- Northumbrian explores 'twinning' approach to incident response Northumbrian Water and Newcastle University are coming together to progress an idea concerning incident response that... Read More >
- Time to get smart Mike Strahand, a director of the Sensors for Water Interest Group and MD at Analytical Technologies Inc., says the... Read More >
- Embracing the digital measurement revolution for wastewater Developments in digital sensing technology have opened up new possibilities for wastewater, Julian Edwards, analytical... Read More >
- Wessex Water's bustling Marketplace, three months on Neil Wilson, Wessex Water's director of risk and investment, says the company's new innovation platform is attracting... Read More >
- Developing ideas: Thames Water's innovative sewer plan Thames Water is radically re-engineering an Oxfordshire market town's sewer network to help developers prepare for... Read More >
- A glass half-full? Bringing water costs down for utility customers Mark Bullock, Balfour Beatty chief executive officer for rail and utilities, says the water sector must change its... Read More >