Thames Water personnel using Envirosuite for odour management at several of their treatment plants in London.
In Greater London, urban expansion has widespread consequences for environmental management. Buffer distances around Wastewater Treatment facilities that are designed to minimise the impact of odour emissions are encroached upon by suburban growth. Growing populations also require expanded facilities to accommodate the larger sewerage intake.
For wastewater treatment operations operating with tight odour buffers, various weather conditions can increase odour impacts and trigger community complaints. The tighter the buffer, the more vulnerable to complaints the facility is under certain weather conditions.
Thames Water (TW) is the UK’s largest water and wastewater services company. Due to the proximity of nearby communities, some of TW’s sites face challenges with odour management. Several sites are undergoing expansion due to the need to treat more sewage and to meet higher environmental standards set by the UK Environment Agency.
Thames Water is one of greater London’s most important organisations. It supplies 2.6 billion litres of drinking water per day and treats 4.4 billion litres of wastewater per day. Thames Water’s 15 million customers comprise 27% of the UK population. TW currently operates 348 wastewater treatment facility sites across an area of 13,000 km2. Approximately 10% of these sites are considered to be relevant to Envirosuite in terms of size and location. Operations teams across Thames Water wastewater treatment sites have invested a large amount of their time conducting and commissioning investigations into the causes of odour incidents. To continue advancing in performance, Thames Water has funded an internal Innovation program to address a variety of environmental challenges. One of these challenges is effective odour management to satisfy community expectations and avoid incidents.
Thames Water has now taken on Envirosuite at four of its sewage treatment plants as part of its ongoing commitment to improving odour management and community relations.
Envirosuite’s software is being used as a decision support tool to improve operational management and enable more efficient management of environmental issues. It does this by providing an hour-by-hour prediction of risk levels for odour impact out to 72 hours ahead. Early warning of high-risk conditions allows adjustments to routine operations and maintenance schedules to be made if necessary.
Operations teams are now using real-time analysis of odour impacts as well as alerting and diagnosis of upset conditions indicated by monitoring to gain a clearer, faster picture of the odour situation.
Envirosuit has also been implemented at multiple sites to provide instant diagnoses about the sources of community complaints. This then allows faster management and resolution of complaints.
Thames Water personnel using Envirosuite are able to see connections between facility status and odorous emissions more effectively - in real time via monitoring, retrospectively using stored data, and ahead of time via risk forecasting. Accordingly, operational efficiency is enhanced and odour incidents can be mitigated, analysed or avoided more effectively.
Envirosuite software is providing teams with tools to better manage community odour complaints by using advanced scientific methods that more rapidly point to the sources of odour responsible. This gives Thames Water the means to improve community relationships and enhance its social licence to operate.
New business cases are appearing across Thames Water based on Envirosuite’s groundbreaking capabilities. Our economic analysis showed the potential for large cost savings on odour control by varying operational status according to predicted odour risk. A growing number of new Thames Water sites are now interested in Envirosuite solutions given the proven results and operational benefits at current sites.