In November, Industry and academia combined to present the latest advances in sensors for water during the SWIG (Sensors for Water Interest Group) Innovation Brokerage Workshop. The sensors ranged from cutting-edge technology to KISS designs, and lab-on-a-chip approaches, all designed to detect toxins or living organisms in water.
The event was hosted by WIRC @ Bath and took place on 22nd of November at the University of Bath. Guest speakers and audience members came from a variety of scientific backgrounds, with representatives from the University of Bath, University of the West of England, University of Warwick, WRc, Environment Agency, Ashridge Engineering, Isle Utilities, Thames Water, Chelsea Technology Group, Piezotag, NOC, Meniscus, and the KTN, amongst others.
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.
A research team at the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, and the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC), led by Simon Lewis, has developed a simple colour-changing test that detects high levels of fluoride quickly and selectively. The test changes from purple to blue when the levels of fluoride in the water are too high. Whilst the test is at the proof of concept stage, the team aims to develop it into a disposable test strip that is low cost and easy to use by anyone.
The Bath researchers are partnering with the Nasio Trust, a charity that works to protect and support vulnerable children in East Africa, to develop their system for ease of use in the field.
The team is now looking for additional partners to take the technology forward and help develop the test. They are also working towards adapting the technology to other types of notorious water contaminants of global concern, including mercury, lead and cadmium.
The core project team consists of Carlos López-Alled, Simon Lewis, Jannis Wenk and Tony James.
Read the full news article about the test.
This October sees the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath and beyond.
Title: Water and the Circular Economy
Speaker: David Baxter
When: Thursday 19th October 2017 at 1.15pm
Where: Room 3.6, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)
Abstract: Despite the inherent circularity of the water cycle, water management occurs across a highly fragmented landscape, leading to conflicts, inefficiencies and waste amongst the complex array of water users. A drive for circular economy thinking in the water industry could help repair broken links and make better use of our most precious resources. The technical solutions and financial models that would make this a reality are growing fast. But are we doing enough to address the public health fears?
This September sees the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath and beyond.
Title: Innovation, Partnership and Environmental Technology
Speaker: Professor Carolyn Roberts
When: Thursday 21st September 2017 at 1.15pm
Where: Room 3.11, Building 1 West North, University of Bath (Location and maps)
The following post was contributed by Joel Ambasna and Harriet Vann.
Through the Nuffield Foundation, we took part in a four-week summer research placement in the Chemical Engineering Department and the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC) at the University of Bath. We joined the group of Dr Ana Lanham and were tasked with investigating the microbial populations of different wastewater treatment systems. Harriet looked into activated sludge systems and Joel into biological phosphorus removal systems. Both of these systems use microbial populations to do the work of “cleaning” the wastewater and we wanted to see what these microbial populations looked like and how different they were from one another. Minh (Nguyen, ChemEng/WIRC) and Megan (Stalker, CSCT), two of Ana’s students, threw us in at the deep end with some bulky books to read of which we initially understood nothing, but with their help we began to grasp the main ideas. (more…)
This July sees the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath and beyond.
Title: Water in South Africa: Devastating droughts, population expansion, climate change, poor governance, energy and food shortages and macro-pollutants
Speaker: Associate Professor Craig Sheridan
When: Thursday 20th July 2017 at 1.15pm
Where: Room 3.30, Building 1 West, University of Bath (Location and maps)
Abstract: In this presentation Craig will paint the picture of how society impacts water and how water impacts society in the context of South Africa. A society with elements of the best and worst of the developed and developing worlds. He will also present some of the research that his group is doing, showing the links from treating poor water quality to opportunities for producing energy.
The following blog post was contributed by Jannis Wenk, Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
The 83rd meeting of the German Water Chemistry Society, with a record attendance of more than 300 participants, was held from 22 – 24 May 2017. This year the meeting took place in Donaueschingen, a town in the Black Forest, where the Danube River begins its 2860 km long south eastern journey towards the Black Sea passing through ten countries.
The annual conference provides a platform for the Central European water chemistry research community and is traditionally well attended by delegates from authorities and water utilities from Germany and neighbouring countries. The conference programme consisted of 26 presentations and 90 posters from the areas of water and waste water treatment, groundwater, drinking water, microbiology and water analysis. Dr Jannis Wenk, Lecturer in Water Science and Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering, represented WIRC with a poster that was based on his engagement in the German Water Chemistry Society task group on oxidative water treatment processes.
The following blog post was contributed by Olivia Bailey, a WISE CDT PhD Resarcher in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
British Water: Off-mains Sewerage
In March I attended a workshop offered by British Water to address the options and challenges for off-mains sewerage in the UK. There were informative talks and some lively discussions from many stakeholders in the off-main sewerage world. The Environment Agency gave an overview of legislation regarding wastewater discharge in rural communities and approaches to tackling catchment pollution. Treatment consultants made the case for the good design and installation of septic as well as the need for package treatment plants. Finally, a representative for the National Trust spoke to us of the challenges and great responsibilities that come with managing the sewage of our beautiful, historic properties. The quote of the day came from one speaker who made the enlightened assessment that
‘mankind has come so far with technology over the years but still we are content to flush our toilets into a leaky trench’.
All in all, it was a very educational day in which a wide variation of off-mains stakeholders gathered in one room to work towards a common goal – the safe disposal of our sewage.
European Water Innovation Lab (WIL) (more…)
The following blog post was contributed by Ana Lanham from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Marta Coma from the Department of Chemistry.
The Water Sector recognised some years ago that it was ageing and that it needed fresh talent if it was going to solve the important challenges looming ahead. With this in mind, the International Water Association (IWA), the largest international network of water professionals with members in 130 countries, began to actively push for higher visibility and empowerment of Young Water Professionals (YWP). The UK YWP Chapter is one of the strongest in the world. Its annual conference is one of the largest gatherings of YWPs and is unique in the UK for offering a tailored conference for professionals emerging in the water industry. The conference, now in its 18th year, has been growing sustainably ever since its inception in 1999 and this year attracted a record of almost 200 participants to think about how to achieve the vision of “A Water World without Boundaries”. Organised by the University of Bath as part of its 50th anniversary festivities, together with partners such as Black & Veatch, Wessex Water, The Foundation for Water Research, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institution for Chemical Engineers (IChemE), it brought together speakers and participants from academia and industry, from the UK and abroad. The scientific and organising committee involved more than twenty early career and senior professionals to deliver a program packed with presentations, workshops, discussions, new ideas and opportunities for career development.