Water utilities trade sludge for energy

Photo by Ivan Bandura

Water companies that make better use of bioresources activities, including transporting, treating, recycling and disposing wastewater sludge to develop low carbon energy, could provide real benefits to customers, society and the environment.

In a first for UK water companies, Yorkshire Water in north-east England and Anglian Water in eastern England, have entered into a deal to share bioresources - known as sludge - to ensure it is treated efficiently.

As part of the partnership, sludge will be transported from Anglian’s treatment works to Yorkshire Water’s wastewater treatment facilities.

Yorkshire Water is in a position to accept additional sludge after increasing its sludge treatment capacity with the introduction of a new anaerobic digestion plant. The utility confirmed it is now speaking with other water and sewage companies to explore further use of its sludge treatment expertise.

“This sludge trade deal is a first for Yorkshire Water and illustrates the benefits available to our sector through collaboration with other companies," said Yorkshire Water bioresources waste services manager, Kevin Spink.

This illustrates the benefits available to our sector through collaboration with other companies

Kevin Spink, Yorkshire Water

This comes as UK water utilities are under increasing pressure from government and regulators to work in collaboration with each to protect and enhance the environment

“The challenges posed by climate change and population growth mean bolder, more creative and innovative action is needed to ensure everyone has reliable access to resilient, affordable water and wastewater services, both now and in the future," said David Black, senior director at regulator Ofwat.