Time for some agile thinking

Bullen, C.and Matthews, R., Siltbuster Process Solutions, UK



Solids removal systems are an essential part of any wastewater process and the use of modular technology allows for greater flexibility in providing cost effective solutions.  The innovative approach that is desired by the UK water industry doesn’t have to be driven by new technologies or processes, but can simply be achieved by thinking differently with perceived non-standard solutions.  Opportunities therefore arise for using familiar technologies in more strategic and smarter ways to provide robustness and reliability to existing treatment process.

Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) systems have readily been viewed as providing solids removal on clean water applications in the UK water industry.  However, with the experience gained from the use of the packaged DAF treatment systems from other sectors, the process can fulfil a range of solids separation duties.

This paper discusses the merits of adopting a modular approach to wastewater treatment to ensure existing assets can be fully optimised with a particular focus on the use of Dissolved Air Flotation technology as a high rate solids removal system.

Keywords: Dissolved Air Flotation, modular packaged treatment, process resilience, High Rate Solids Removal, TSS removal, COD removal,


This paper will discuss the applications for off the shelf solutions and the benefits of thinking on a modular basis.  As such, this approach offers major benefits which will resonate in the climate of AMP6; by enabling companies to get more out of existing assets and provide more treatment for reduced costs.  In order to achieve this, there needs to be greater opportunity for off-site fabrication to become more widely accepted which also has the added value of construction efficiencies.

A ‘bolt on’ modular approach often requires less design input due to off the shelf solutions which are typically above ground installations.  This can result in reduced groundworks and associated risks within the project and potentially greater savings to the delivery programme.

By focusing on the effectiveness of solids separation systems within the treatment cycle, it is possible to consider the robustness of the entire process to accommodate load demands, seasonal fluctuations or tightening consent conditions.  Whilst there are times when adopting a conventional treatment approach is more appropriate it is worth taking a wider view on solids separation systems used in other applications and widely accepted across other industries and in the water industry outside the UK.

In particular, there are opportunities for using DAF technology in a range of applications to maximise treatment capacity and resilience based on experiences gained by operating within industrial and municipal sectors.  It presents the prospect for the UK water industry to learn from the wider applications, and to think about a more agile approach through adopting existing technologies in alternative operating environments.

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