Stockholm World Water Week 2017: ‘Recovery from waste water by public party makes sense’
‘It makes perfect sense that a public party recovers materials from municipal waste water’, said chairman Gerhard van den Top of the Amsterdam regional water authority. Van den Top was one of the speakers at a session on financing wastewater treatment and resource recovery during the Stockholm World Water Week on 31 August.
The topic of public versus private was raised because in discussions it is often claimed that private owned water operators are better equipped to handle the recovered materials and bring it to the market for a good price.Discussing the constrains of resource recovery at waste water treatment plants: (fltr) Jennifer Sara (World Bank), Jack Moss (AquaFed), Gerhard van den Top (Water board AGV) and Bastiaan Mohrmann (2030 Water Resource Group).
Fine tune recovery process
Van den Top (on top photo) shared the experiences of the recovery of struvite and calcite at the waste water treatment plant (wwtp) in Amsterdam.
‘As a public operator, we have been able to start with the recovery of these two materials even before there was a market to sell it to. This made it possible to fine tune the recovery process and develop the specifications in close cooperation with potential buyers’, Van den Top said.
The issue of material recovery is relevant as the option to sell recovered water, energy and materials can substantially reduce the costs of waste water treatment.
Latest recovery technologies
In the Netherlands the recovery of biogas and struvite at municipal waste water treatment plants is gaining in popularity. Two plants, wwtp Amersfoort and wwtp Apeldoorn, have recently been modernised to include the latest recovery technology, such as thermal pressure hydrolysis (TPH) to raise the production of biogas from the sewage sludge.
An specialised organisation set up by Dutch water operators, AquaMinerals, aims to add as much value to the residuals from the water treatment and market them successfully.According to Jack Moss everybody has a strong role to play in the value chain.
Distinct and strong role
The session at the Stockholm World Water Week focused financing and business models, policy instruments and market conditions for recovery of water and material from waste water.
Executive director Jack Moss of AquaFed, the international federation of private water operators, did not dispute the role of a public water service provider.
‘As long as everybody in the value chain, plays his role distinct and strong’, Moss says.
This concerns in his view the policy makers, the administrator, the operator and the user. ‘It is important that all pull in the same direction’, he says.
Clean Ganges river
Addressing the theme of resource recovery and reuse (RRR), Principal investment officer, Neeraj Gupta, at the International Finance Corporation provided an update on India’s waste water treatment programme for a clean Ganges river basin.
The National Mission for the Clean Ganges (NMCG) programme foresees in the construction of waste water treatment plants for 118 towns. India has developed a hybrid annuity based private-public partnership model to get the private construction sector financially involved in the 3 billion US dollar programme.
Gupta explained that power stations within a range of 50 km of these new wwtp plants shall be forced to reuse the effluent. At one of the first wwtp plants under construction now, the effluent will be sold to a nearby refinery.
The production of biogas has not been made mandatory for the whole programme, Gupto says. ‘It is left to the individual contractor to include the production of biogas in his design’.
Read also on this website
● Large-scale extraction of Nereda alginate from waste water at wwtp Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, 20 April 2017
● Dutch-French deal to open European market for struvite recovered from waste water, 27 October 2016
● Next-step sludge treatment integrates three advanced technologies at wwtp Amersfoort, the Netherlands, 20 June 2016
Regional water authority Amstel Gooi and Vecht
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