Our Library of Research outcome reports

Our published Reports can be accessed below.
All Reports can be accessed free of charge by our members. Reports can be purchased by non-members however a selection are also free to access for non-members.

If you are a Water Company member, please login to the site using the "My UKWIR" button at the top of the screen to access downloadable reports. Water Company members may also access other online tools, such as the Toxicity Datasheets, National Mains Failure database, SAGIS, Wagrico, etc. all provided through our website.  You may need to request access from your company's representative, who can also be found under the relevant website tool.

Reports that match your search terms are listed out in order that reflects the number of times the words are used in the report and their whereabouts (Title / Abstract / Body). Your search term will be highlighted in the results. If you cannot see your search term highlighted in a result then the term has been found in the body of the report.  If you enclose your search term in double-quote marks, this will focus the search on the exact phrase.




Understanding the chemistry and control of lead

Lead in tap water continues to be an important issue for UK water utilities. However, the mechanisms of lead release from lead water pipes are not well understood. This study investigated the structure of the mineral scale on lead water pipes from customer properties and lead pipe rigs that had been exposed to phosphate dosed tap waters. A total of 51 pipes from 10 water utilities were investigated. The techniques included infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The study revealed new insights into the way in which lead is released from lead water pipes and provided more information about how phosphate works and its efficacy. However, there are still many areas that remain unexplained. The subject is more complex than originally thought and therefore, more research is needed before recommendations can be made that will reduce the concentration of lead.




Understanding Asset Risk

This project forms part of UKWIR’s Asset Management Big Question of ‘How to continue creating positive value through Asset Management decision making?’. The project focuses on the objective of developing an overall idealised design of a risk framework which considers the elements of asset risk, the system the assets operate within and the system of system risk.

Using principles of co-creation and iterative solution generation, the project used workshops, desk research, and interviews to develop the idealised asset risk framework or ‘vision for the future’. This involved investigating risk management approaches within the UK water sector, internationally as well as comparing against various other sectors.

Through this, the Idealised Asset Risk Framework was developed to provide a diagrammatic tool which organisations can use to describe a system of interest, explore the risks and risk dependencies across/between asset groups, and therefore structure risk analysis using both existing and in-development approaches/techniques.




Maximising the safe return of recovered process water

Cryptosporidium oocysts and viruses present in drinking water supplies pose a significant threat to public health worldwide. Presence of emerging contaminants such as microplastics is also an area of growing concern for the water industry, regulators, governments, and consumers. The aim of this study was to facilitate maximising the safe recycling of recovered process water streams at WTWs. This goal was achieved through delivering:

  • A detailed review of the best available techniques (BAT) to detect, monitor and remove Cryptosporidium, viruses and microplastics from recovered process water streams.
  • A gap analysis of the expert reports by Badenoch and Bouchier to highlight monitoring, treatment and control advancements made since 1998.
  • Expert recommendations for systematic minimisation of operational and control risks associated with the safe recycling of recovered process water at WTWs, and
  • A cost-quality model, to assist water companies with treatment technology comparison and selection for recovered process water treatment and recycling.





The UKWIR project ‘Taste and Odour (T&O): Methods of Detection’ reviewed literature, carried out comprehensive non-targeted chemical and microbiological analysis and developed targeted analytical methods for various key chemical compounds; to help water companies better understand and measure the compounds that cause T&O. The project used innovative techniques such as the analysis of carbon cartridge filter samples and the first use of DNA sequence based microbiology in T&O investigations. This project report includes:

  • A summary of the literature review; including a T&O threshold summary table.
  • Details of the non-targeted analysis; including the methodologies used, the results obtained and the conclusions drawn.
  • A summary of the targeted methods that were developed.
  • Recommendations for techniques for water companies to employ to help them in the investigation of customer contacts about T&O.
  • Recommendations for future projects to help further increase knowledge in this area.

Three Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were also produced as part of this project.  These were for  1) brominated and chlorinated anisoles; 2) alkyl benzenes and naphthalenes; 3) sulphur compounds and are provided in separate reports (UKWIR members only).




Where is the greatest sustainable economic benefit for resource recovery in the water cycle?

This project, part of Big Question 11, addressed key challenges and identified research needs towards maximising recovery of useful resources and achieve zero waste by 2050?

Topics covered: circular economy; minimised carbon wastewater service; customers’ expectations; resource recovery; bioresources; market opportunities; net zero carbon and waste.

The aim of this work is to identify where the greatest benefit and potential from resource recovery and utilisation based on market needs and to inform the prioritisation of efforts around resource recovery and provide a scoring tool for resource recovery and efficiency opportunities.

Outputs include a literature and practical review identifying further opportunities and wider benefits and an evaluation of the recovery opportunities of over 40 technologies. Business as usual, and three other scenarios incorporating market sizes were considered.

Production of increased renewable energy, as was the regulation of requirements for co-digestion or material certification and any potential to disrupt biosolids to land is considered.

Heat, biogas, biomethane, biosolids, ferric drinking water sludge and nitrogen gave the greatest opportunities.

Recommendations include: companies should collaborate to develop resource recovery in priority areas; a focus on near term enablers taking a six capitals approach is most useful; the Water Sector Innovation Centre of Excellence should be used to drive resource recovery and benefits for customers; developing industry-specific approaches using tools such as LCA (Life cycle assessment) should support the best carbon and wider benefits.




What does a circular economy water industry look like?

This project, part of Big Question 11, addressed key challenges and identified research needs towards maximising recovery of useful resources and achieve zero waste by 2050?

Topics covered: circular economy; minimised carbon wastewater service; customers' expectations; resource recovery; net zero carbon and waste.

The project objectives were to: determine what a circular economy (CE) water industry looks like and identify the baseline position for the industry; to identify and assess the benefits of circular economy; to reflect resource recovery practice in other sectors, all to benefit customers.

The project uses published literature and presents definitions and principles of a circular economy to develop a revised route map.

It was concluded that a CE water sector minimises resource use by maintaining circular resource flows and contributing to sustainable development through being lower carbon, hence giving greatest value for customers.

Recommendations include collaboration via the Innovation Centre of Excellence and to value assess benefits across companies to address opportunities for CE. Benefits should be delivered through integrating research outcomes with asset strategy and engineering delivery which is considered essential to benefit current and future customers.




How should customers’ and stakeholders’ views be used in regulatory decisions?

Frontier Economics was commissioned by UKWIR to develop a range of pragmatic options for customer and stakeholder involvement in price controls, and an assessment framework to assess each of these options and how these can be implemented in the context of water regulation.

The overall aim of the project was not to settle on a single recommended option for customer and stakeholder engagement, but to identify a range of engagement options at a high level that can potentially be applied in UKWIR jurisdictions.

This report details the options for customer and stakeholder engagement that were developed, and presents the high-level risks, opportunities and trade-offs in the implementation of each.




Workbook for estimating operational GHG emissions - version 15

UKWIR has developed a standardised workbook for estimating operational greenhouse gas emissions, the Carbon Accounting Workbook (CAW), to bring consistency and accuracy to the reporting process across the water industry. The workbook has been in place for over ten years and is updated annually to reflect the needs of the industry, including changes in carbon accounting practices.

This report sets out the changes that have been made in CAW 15. Some of these changes were implemented as a result of a review that was undertaken to assess the alignment of the CAW with the ISO14064 standards.




Antimicrobial Resistance - Literature Review

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a key global health challenge, with a predicted death toll of 10 million annually by 2050. The objective of this report was to clarify existing knowledge related to antimicrobial resistance in wastewater, sewage sludge, drinking water and the environment, and to prioritise actions and further research. A systematic literature search was carried out. AMR in water, wastewater and biosolids presents a potential public health risk, although direct evidence for the quantification of this risk is limited, and studies attempting to quantify this risk should be prioritised. Overall, wastewater treatment results in a substantial reduction of the absolute abundance of resistant bacteria and resistance genes and  studies suggest an increase in relative abundance during treatment for certain resistant bacteria and genes, although there are no clear patterns about which treatment method is most effective at reduction.




SAGIS model update tool to support modelling for PR24

SAGIS is a GIS-based decision support system for management of water quality at the river basin scale. To support modelling for PR24, a complementary tool has been developed to enable efficient updates to the SAGIS regional models from large national datasets of flow and water quality.

The tool is for users of SAGIS v4 (ArcGIS Pro version) and is an AddIn for ArcGIS Pro. It introduces standardisation of modelling inputs and automation of the workflow, which in turn significantly reduces the time and cost of updates and increases confidence in the quality of outputs.

This report covers the methods used in generation of the summary statistics for SAGIS and a novel approach to assessing the quality of the data inputs. The user manual for the tool is included and accompanied by a step-by-step tutorial and in depth documentation on the handling of the data.

This report is sold together with previous SAGIS reports;

  • 21/WW/02/13 UKWIR’s Source Apportionment GIS Model (SAGIS): Version 4.0
  • 20/WW/02/12 Modelling a Dynamic and Uncertain Future – Preparing SAGIS for Changes in Climate, PR24, RBMP Cycle 3 and Brexit.
  • 20/WW/02/11, UKWIR’s Source Apportionment GIS Model (SAGIS): Research, Planning and Management. ISBN 978 1 84057 887 4
  • 19/WW/02/10, UKWIR’s Source Apportionment GIS Model (SAGIS): Version 3.0. ISBN 978 1 84057 866 9
  • 10/WW/02/2, Chemical Source Apportionment under the Water Framework Directive – Model Scoping Document. ISBN 1 84057 575 1
  • 12/WW/02/3, Chemical Source Apportionment under the Water Framework Directive. ISBN 1 84057 637 5
  • 14/WW/02/8, Extending and Updating UKWIR's Pollution Source Apportionment Tool. ISBN 1 84057 732 0
  • 18/WW/02/9, Extending and Updating UKWIR's Pollution Source Apportionment Tool (2). ISBN 1 84057 855 6
  • 13-WW-02-4, WFD Requirements for Lakes, Transitional and Coastal Waters: Source Apportionment for Nutrients and Priority Chemicals. ISBN 1 84057 743 6

If you have already purchased the previous SAGIS reports, please contact cham@ukwir.org.uk to buy this upgrade at a reduced price of £100.

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