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Innovation Creates Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions

Innovation Creates Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions

Project Name
Davyhulme Sludge Balanced Asset Programme
Urmston, Manchester, United Kingdom
United Utilities Water PLC

Black & Veatch is integrating a complex new asset into an existing major wastewater treatment plant at Davyhulme for United Utilities Water to maximize sludge for agricultural use and the production of green energy.

To safeguard recycling to agriculture and give greater flexibility to plant operations, United Utilities Water (United Utilities) is constructing an advanced sludge treatment facility at Davyhulme Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW). The plant will treat site sludge and receive additional sludge from other contributing WwTW sites.

Black & Veatch was appointed main contractor for the design and construction of the sludge stream improvements. This required an understanding of the complex set of variables associated with steam, biogas and electrical energy production.

“From the outset, we decided to collocate the project teams. That was to improve communication channels, but also to try and touch on the whole human relationships angle.”

John McNeill, United Utilities

Increasing Capacity

The purpose of the project is to increase the capacity and improve the quality of treated sludge. This will be accomplished by providing a central sludge processing facility comprising a pretreatment process upstream of the existing mesophilic anaerobic digesters. To achieve this, a Cambi plant will be constructed that includes dewatering and thickening facilities housed in a portal frame building.

As part of the scheme, biogas produced by this process will be drawn off from the existing digesters. The gas will pass through both a new and an existing, relocated gas cleanup plant to the combined heat and power plant engines, new gas holders and flare stack. This will produce electricity to use on site or export to the power grid.

The pretreatment process also improves the digestibility of the sludge so that the amount of biogas produced is increased. Using this biogas increases the amount of renewable electricity generated at the site, enabling the entire works to be self-sufficient. That significantly reduces plant operating costs and ultimately benefits customers.

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