WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
OR CARBON REDUCTION
IS THERE A BALANCE?
24-25th MARCH 2010
THE MARY WARD HOUSE CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION CENTRE, LONDON
The Copenhagen Accord has agreed the need to keep global It is the aim of this event to consider:
temperature rises to no more than 2C and, although avoiding binding i) What are the relative environmental impacts and benefits of
targets, has said that the world’s rich countries will commit to our current treatment regime and which consented
cutting greenhouse gases. Despite the lack of binding targets from parameters deliver negligible measurable benefits?
Copenhagen, it seems likely that the UK government will continue
ii) What is the scope for relaxing consents, where this can be
with its own challenging targets to reduce emissions to 80-% of their shown to demonstrate negligible adverse impacts but large
1990 level, by 2050. As such the water industry will have an reductions in GHG emissions?
important role to play in helping deliver these targets as it emits as
iii) What low-carbon treatment alternatives are available, but held
much greenhouse gas as the aviation industry. Wastewater
back by the consenting regime?
treatment is a major user of energy and this use continues to
increase in a linear way as the industry seeks to deliver tougher iv) What limits on GHG emissions should water companies strive
discharge consents. As a result a modern wastewater treatment towards for its wastewater treatment activities?
plants is able to produce an effluent that has a negligible impact on
the receiving watercourse. The efficacy of such treatment is
evidenced by the continuous improvement in the quality of our Venue and Location
rivers which the Environment Agency acknowledges as being the
Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre
best on record.
5-7 Tavis Stock Place, London, WC1 9SN
But many commentators now consider that climate change is the www.marywardhouse.com
biggest global threat to public health of the 21st Century and if this is
the case then water quality improvements must be balanced against Mary Ward House is a fascinating Grade 1 listed building built in 1898 and
financed by the wealthy philanthropis. Mary Ward, the novelist and social
climate change impacts. There are many examples of costly
reformer, was the inspiration behind the endeavour to provide a centre
enhancements to wastewater treatment that deliver questionable of training, care and entertainment for the less fortunate in society.
environmental benefits, inter alia: a spot compliance regime,
effluent disinfection, odour control, nitrogen removal and sludge Located right in the heart of Bloomsbury, London, within minutes walk
pasteurisation. If the water industry is to take seriously the threats of each of Euston, Kings Cross and Russell Square stations, with direct
of climate change, the challenge for both the regulators and the links to Heathrow Airport. Full directions and details of local hotels will
be provided when you register.
water companies is to balance the environmental costs and benefits
of wastewater treatment in a manner that considers the wider
environmental impacts and not solely the aquatic environment. www.aquaenviro.co.uk
Wednesday 24th March
09.50 – 10.00 Chair’s welcome and introduction 14.00 – 14.30 An NGO perspective
Robert Cunningham, Head of Water Policy, RSPB
POLICY OVERVIEW Making the case for the environment receiving a fair
slice of the UK's carbon budget.
Chair – Bruce Horton, Environment Advisor, Water UK
What are the risks and opportunities for the
environment from water company mitigation
10.00 – 10.30 A UK perspective: carbon, legislation strategies
and the European Commission Are there win-wins for the environment, carbon, and
consumers from taking a more integrated approach
Dr Arthur Thornton, Regulatory Compliance to pollution control from all sectors
& Research. Water and Environment, Atkins
Current and future impacts of WFD and 14.30 – 15.00 A sustainable approach to delivering
regulation on carbon emissions
good water quality outcomes?
Relative environmental impacts of our current
treatment regime: which consented parameters Dr Mark Williams, Environmental Regulation
deliver negligible measurable benefits? and Climate Change Manager, Scottish Water
What is the scope for relaxing consents or The challenge of developing dynamic management of
moving to catchment based consenting? networks and treatment plants that might enable the
industry and regulators to operate consenting
Carbon management at the EU level regimes that respond to the prevailing environmental
The process of developing regulator and industry
confidence in such approaches
10.30 – 11.00 Balancing water quality and climate The issue of managing local environmental risk and the
change in the EU ability to meet environmental outcomes using more
sustainable treatment technologies
Mireille Bogaart, Doctoral Researcher, Centre
for Environmental Law, University of Amsterdam
15.00 – 15.10 Discussion and Questions Session
The options for Member States to balance
environmental costs and benefits of wastewater
treatment under EU law in a manner that 15.10 – 15.30 Break
considers wider environmental impacts including
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Is the conflicting interest of combating water POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
pollution on the one hand and decreasing GHG
emissions on the other acknowledged in 15.30 – 16.00
European policy framework?
Improving the ecological status of water
bodies and reducing the carbon footprint
The discretion for the Member States to loosen
their rules on water pollution, if it results in a of wastewater treatment - is it possible?
considerable GHG emissions reduction based on Dr. Julian Wright, Policy Advisor for
analysis of relevant European legal obligations Climate Change, Environment Agency
laid down in the Water Framework Directive
The drive to improve the quality of our water bodies,
(2000/60/EC) and the IPPC Directive particularly in order to deliver the objectives of the
(2008/1/EC) Water Framework Directive, has the potential to
increase the overall carbon footprint of the water
11.00 – 11.30 Break Without intervention, achieving the standards
required by the WFD could increase carbon dioxide
11.30 – 12.00 Costing the Earth – what price emissions by 110,000 tonnes per year.
This is small compared to the current overall carbon
environmental quality? footprint of the water industry, but could more than
Dr Mike Keil, Head of Climate Change Policy, double emissions from individual treatment plants
OFWAT where additional processes are required.
What is the right economic approach to global A number of strategies might be applied to limit
and local environmental quality? emissions. The potential for emissions reductions
outweigh increases associated with improving
What does the public want and is willing to pay environmental standards.
How are emissions handled in River Basin
Management Plans? 16.00 – 16.30 Can environmental standards be
John Martin, Waste Water Regulation Manager,
12.00 – 12.30 Given the current economic and Bob Stear, Strategy Manager – Sewage Treatment,
climate change agenda are future WFD Althea Solomon, Asset Strategist, and
requirements affordable, beneficial Frank Grimshaw, Economic Regulation Manager,
Severn Trent Water
Analysing the costs and benefits of improving sewage
Karen Simpson, Principal Consultant, and treatment, including carbon impacts
Martin Hall, Head of Strategic Consulting, Developing alternative approaches to consents
Mouchel Assessing the potential carbon and cost implications
How do we assess the relative costs and of the future programme
benefits of emissions to water versus air?
How do we prevent pollution swapping between 16.30 – 17.00 Water Quality vs the planet – are they
different media? mutually exclusive?
Should a strategic view across all media types be Stephen Bolt, Director of Environment and
taken, and who can do this? - Government and Sustainability, WYG
Regulators work in functional silos, but this
challenge required joined up planning and End of pipe techno fix – the regulatory panacea
review. The regulatory framework – is it uniquely unhelpful?
Solutions – a systems approach to thinking outside
the (concrete) box
12.30 – 13.00 Discussion and Questions Session
17.00 – 17.20 Discussion and Questions Session
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
17.20 – 17.30 Summary
Matthew Smyth, Operations Manager,
Aqua Enviro Limited
Thursday 25 March
09.25 – 09.30 Chair’s introduction maintaining or improving environmental quality whilst also
taking external environmental and societal impacts into
POLICY IMPLEMENTATION account.
A catchment level approach to consenting, which takes
proper account of the impacts from all sources, provides
09.30 – 10.00 Calculating the balance: more treatment or the opportunity to target investment in improved
treatment at the sites where it is really needed. This will
less greenhouse gas? achieve the most cost-beneficial improvements in overall
David Sivil, Consultant Engineer, WRc plc catchment water quality and contribute most effectively to
minimising overall carbon impacts.
Deciding on schemes to update or install new treatment But adopting a catchment approach requires significant
on greenfield sites to achieve improved discharge change: more integrated approaches to defining problems;
standards now needs to take emissions as well as direct better modelling to provide detailed understanding of
costs into account. This approach needs to be consistent. impacts and causes across catchments; a willingness to trial
WRc has developed greenhouse gas emission estimates new approaches and compile evidence to demonstrate the
for different treatment processes to achieve a range of benefits; and more collaborative working between
effluent quality standards. regulators, water companies and other water users.
A key factor that needs to be included is not just direct
emissions relating to energy use and treatment but also
downstream emissions. N2O can have a significant impact. 12.45 – 13.00 Discussion and Questions Session
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
10.00 – 10.30 Reducing emissions of green house gases:
the scope to change how limits in permits 14.00 – 14.30 NPDES Permitting and sustainability:
are defined, calculated, and used to judge conflicting goals?
operators Jane E. Madden, Vice President, CDM, USA
Dr. Tony Warn, MBE, Policy Manager As regulators in the United States issue more stringent
(Water Quality), Environment Agency National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
The scope to change the form of permissions and the permit limits, particularly with respect to nutrients, is the
mode of operation of works in terms of the overall impact more detrimental to the environment?
consequential impact on water quality and the Water With increasing attention paid to the generation of
Framework Directive. greenhouse gases and their impact on climate change,
Misunderstandings of how permits are calculated to take further scrutiny of the cost-benefit of extreme nutrient
account of dilution and the mistaken idea of the role of limits is warranted.
water quality standards in managing the risk of damage. The balance between benefits to the receiving waters with
“Over –performance” of works promoted by the the reduction of nutrients from a 170,000 m3/d wastewater
regulatory regime, and the advances that are needed in treatment facility in Massachusetts with the resultant
the formulation of consents that also offer scope for environmental impacts caused by achieving these limits.
saving carbon ...
14.30 – 15.00 Low C- WFD
10.30 – 11.00 Balancing water quality and carbon Sue Horsfall, Northumbrian Water
aspirations through environmental design The Water Framework Directive is an upward driver on
optimisation energy use and embodied carbon that has had a significant
impact on some Water Companies' projected emissions.
Chris Mooij, Director, Metoc
How did Northumbrian Water deliver a low-C WFD outcome
Environmental Design Optimisation (EDO) of catchments - that meets river quality standards without a significant
an understanding of the environment’s assimilative increase in Carbon?
capacity and how this is affected by engineering solutions What broader lessons can we learn to get an appropriate
Solution and management flexibility provides the best balance between improving standards and the need to
environmental return for every pound spent manage emissions?
How EDO uses models and data to understand how
changing treatment solutions impacts water quality and
carbon within the regulatory framework. 15.00 -15.30 Break
11.00 – 11.15 Discussion and Questions Session 15.30 – 16.00 Wastewater treatment, carbon footprint and
receiving water quality –illustrating the costs
11.15 – 11.45 Break and opportunities
James Newton, Mott MacDonald
In a climate changing world we cannot afford to ignore the
CASE STUDIES significant carbon footprint caused by ever tightening
Chair – David Balmforth, Technical Director, MWH treated effluent standards imposed to achieve incremental
improvements in receiving water quality.
The presentation will illustrate the costs of achieving tighter
11.45 – 12.15 Carbon vs Effluent Quality – Threat or environmental standards – in financial and carbon terms -
Opportunity using data drawn from various studies undertaken by Mott
MacDonald for UK water utilities.
Harry Tribe, Associate Director –
The presentation will also highlight examples where inflexible
Process Technology, ENTEC approaches to compliance with environmental legislative
Typical process and engineering design solutions to requirements have been challenged through linking
meet a range of quality limits ecological value, water quality, carbon balance and
The capital and operational, carbon demands to affordability.
deliver the solutions
Optimal designs that may deliver a balanced overall
environmental quality including, but not exclusively 16.00 – 16.30 The carbon and associated economic cost
dedicated to, watercourse quality. of reducing Nitrogen and Phosphorus final
Martin Jolly, Technical Director, and
12.15 – 12.45 Sustainable regulation: catchment-level Tony Koodie, Senior Technical Director, Black & Veatch
approaches to ensure the most cost and A Carbon reduction commitment (CRC) tax is due to be
carbon effective improvements to water levied on Water Companies in April 2010. This is mainly a tax
quality: on electricity usage.
By tightening final effluent consent standards for
Chris Barker, Environmental Regulation ammonia, nitrogen and phosphorus, Water Companies in
Business Area Manager, and the UK may increase electricity usage and incur an increased
Adrian Johnson, Carbon Management cost for electricity usage and also an increased CRC tax.
Business Area Manager, MWH This paper compares the actual cost of increasing carbon
usage based on the CRC tax and electricity usage of
The significant tightening of emission standards
tightening final effluent standards.
required to comply with the Water Framework Directive
across the UK with the inevitable side effects of
significant increases in energy use and carbon emissions.
We need alternatives to current solution paradigms 16.30 – 16.50 Discussion and Questions Session
which minimise the whole impact on the environment of
a particular activity, in this case providing a cost 16.50 – 17.00 Summary & Close
effective and sustainable water supply and wastewater
treatment system. The challenge is identifying Dave Lax, Business Development Manager,
alternatives that maintain the primary ethos of Aqua Enviro Limited
Diary Of Events 2010 Training Calendar 2010
16 Feb Fate of pharmaceutical, personal care ALEA, Leeds 24 Feb Introduction to Odour Modelling for Wakefield
products (PCP's) and endocrine the Management and Control of
disrupters in wastewater treatment Odours at Wastewater Treatment
Sponsored by MWH Plants
18 Feb Safe and Sustainable? The changing Austin Court, 25 Feb Introduction to CFD Modelling for Wakefield
regulatory landscape for organics Birmingham Water and Wastewater Treatment
resources & SORP (Sustainable Organic Plants
Resources Partnership) AGM
April Microscopic Examination for the Wakefield
24 & 25 Water quality standards or carbon Mary Ward Operation & Control of Wastewater
March reduction - is there a balance? House, Treatment Plants (Day 1)
Sponsored by MWH London
April Design of Activated Sludge Systems Wakefield
April Co-digestion - Is it worth the biogas? Glasgow (Day 2)
May From producer to user – bringing Leeds April Operation and Control of Activated Wakefield
together the organic resources Sludge (Day 3)
April A Comprehensive Review of UF/MF Wakefield
June Recent advances in the operation Leeds Technology for Wastewater Treatment
and control of the activated
sludge process 13 May Tertiary Treatment Processes for Wakefield
Modern Wastewater Treatment Plants
June Asset standards – fit for purpose? Newcastle
29 June Anaerobic Digestion 1 – Introduction Wakefield
27-28 Sept Reducing the Environmental Royal to Digester Design and Operation
Footprint of the Water Industry. Armouries,
4th European Water & Wastewater Leeds 30 June Anaerobic Digestion 2 - Optimising Wakefield
Conference & Exhibition Digester Throughput, Gas Production
and Digestate Destruction
15-17 Nov 15th European Biosolids & Organic Royal
Resources Conference & Exhibition Armouries, 21 July Biosolids Masterclass Wakefield
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Wednesday 24th March
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Wednesday 24th March
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