On 24 and 25 October, the 12th biennial Conference on Drinking Water and Wastewater Technology was organised by the RWTH Aachen, Germany. WIRC was represented at the conference by Jannis Wenk who gave a presentation on his microbubble research. Jan Hofman is on the programme committee of this conference for many years. He chaired a session on redox processes and removal or organic micropollutants.
The conference focused mainly on the German water sector, but also attracts international delegates and presenters, mostly from the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. In the opening session Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht gave his view on resource recovery from waste water. His statement was that to create a cost-effective way of resource recovery from waste water, it is important to do a good market study. His view is that resource recovery is probably only viable if a product is made for a market where no alternative production pathways are available. One such product is alginate. His research is focussing on harvesting alginate from Nereda TM waste water treatment systems.
Another important keynote was delivered by Aline Meier of EAWAG. She gave an overview on the progress of implementing a fourth stage in Swiss sewage treatment works for removal of pharmaceutical compounds. Switzerland has chosen to install a fourth stage to prevent pharmaceuticals emissions from waste water. The main technologies used are powdered activated carbon and ozonation.
Finally, a very interesting talk was given by Olaf Durlinger of Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg, a Dutch sewage treatment operator. The company has developed a completely new concept of modularised treatment systems. All elements are mounted in containers and can be easily replaced and connected. Larger tanks are constructed in elements that fit on a standard truck for transport. The system is suitable for units between 10,000 and 100,000 people equivalents. The system is very flexible and reduces treatment costs by 20-30%.