Carbon emissions targets can be met with efficient sludge pumping, says director

Efficient sludge pumping has an important role to play as water companies gear up for zero carbon, says Mick Dawson, consultancy director of BHR Group, who urges designers and operators to better understand their sludge systems.

More efficient pumping of sludge could help water companies in England reach their goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2030, along with meeting the regulator’s requirement to reduce capital expenditure and cut bills for customers.

However, most utilities have not yet acted to reduce the carbon and financial cost of transporting sludge.

For decades the industry standard calculation technique for sludge pumping system pressure losses has been “WRc’s TR 185 How to design sewage sludge pumping systems” document that dates back to 1983 and has served the industry well.

It suited a pre-digital era when water companies could afford to build in a wide safety margin because energy was less costly, carbon went unquantified and budgets were bigger.

Other recent factors impacting directly on sludge processing are population growth, which is increasing volumes, and...

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