Big question

How will we deliver an environmentally sustainable wastewater service that meets customer and regulator expectations by 2050?




We are currently working on the approach to answering this Big Question, and more information will be given here soon.

The areas that this Big Question covers includes:

  • Developing a resilient wastewater service that has the ability to cope with the impacts of growth and climate change
  • Develop sustainable treatment technologies
  • Maintain and protect biosolids quality
  • Play our part in controlling any emerging substances of concern to the environment

Once we understand where the gaps are, we will produce a route map – this is a plan as to how we will answer our Big Question.

The route map will have a number of key elements. At the top will be our Big Question and then we will look to see what Outcomes we need from the research programme -if we can achieve all these outcomes we can answer the Big Question. This is the stage we are currently at for this Big Question.

The next stage will be to think about the key benefits we want the research projects to deliver to meet these outcomes.

Following this, we will plan the research projects to help deliver the benefits.


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BQ05-A04-What price effluent disinfection?

Project Status - Project Commenced

Pressure is mounting for the establishment of inland bathing waters and for the 'right to swim in all waters'. The conventional approach to achieving standards for faecal indicators organisms in receiving waters is disinfection of effluents - usually with UV. Equally, one of the possible responses to the perceived risk posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARBs) in effluent might also be to provide disinfection. This project will assume some scenarios and develop possible national costs, both for totex and carbon

Projects coming soon.


BQ05-F04 Pollution Inventory estimator tool - update

Project Status - Expressions of Interest

Sewerage providers across the UK are still expected to report on substances released to the environment under the '(European) Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (e-PRTR)’ and as adopted by devolved administrations. An estimating tool to facilitate ease of making these returns (the alternative being an expensive and comprehensive monitoring programme) was developed as has been used with EA, SEPA & NRW agreement for many years. It was, however, developed to run on earlier Microsoft software and the program has failed to run successfully in the many companies that have adopted Office 365. The estimating process can be achieved 'manually' but is time and labour-intensive.

This proposal is two-fold - a first phase to modify the software as necessary to run reliably in the Office 365 environment; and if appropriate, a second phase to review the default values held in the estimator against more recent monitoring data such as derived from CIP. 

Projects coming soon.