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A round up of some of the latest developments in the water industry.

Go with the flow A powerful new range of design tools to augment the industrystandard WinDes drainage design suite has been introduced by Micro Drainage of Newbury.

The Advanced Productivity Tools (APT) incorporate design and sensitivity auditing in line with the fifth edition of Sewers For Adoption (SFA), integrated SUDS design and analysis, and graphic simulations in three dimensions.

Resources within APT for WinDes include design and sensitivity auditing tools that enable a system to be tested for compliance with the new requirements of SFA 5. In addition, new three dimensional simulation graphics clearly show flow paths, to indicate the true flood catchment, not simply the source of the problem. New Flood Estimation Handbook data has also been incorporated into the software.

The APT set also features Wizards to reduce time spent postprocessing and batch processing. These tools are claimed to guide users intuitively through the routines required to test designs against a wide variety of storm durations and return periods, enabling engineers to focus on analysis and finding solutions, rather than the laborious tasks of preparing and processing data.

Micro Drainage: (0700) 6582 555.

Speedy sludge

North of Scotland Water (NoSWA) has implemented a fast, innovative and economic treatment works to treat wastewater sludge from up to 2000 people in the village of Errol - on the Tay estuary near Dundee - using Aero-Fac technology.

Aero-Fac, developed by Montgomery Watson Harza and LAS International, is a biological treatment system needing very little mechanical equipment, operational manpower or energy for routine operation of the works.

The system encourages the resulting sludge from wastewater treatment to become selfdigesting. This removes the need for sedimentation tanks, clarifiers, sludge removal and dewatering - and there is no routine sludge disposal or associated lorry traffic.

All the sludge is contained and continuously self-digested within the initial treatment stage.

A further bonus of the scheme is the low energy requirement.

The fully biological process makes use of wind powered aeration equipment in combination with a fan blower diffused-air aeration system. The blowers operate only when required by an increase in waste strength.

The Errol works is designed to operate with an energy consumption 65%-85% below that of a typical activated sludge process, and it is predicted that the average power demand for Errol will be only 11 kW.

This special approach provides cost and environmental benefits at Errol, and is the first time the process has been installed in Europe.

LAS International: (01553) 617030

On a lighter note

Van Essen Instruments has developed a new glow-in-thedark oxygen sensor capable of taking ground or surface water measurements over long periods.

The optical oxygen sensor, OTD-Diver, has a special coating with fluorescent properties that is activated when exposed to light. How long this fluorescence lasts and how bright it is after the sensor is placed in the water, reveals the level of oxygen present.

Results are not affected by water contamination or ageing, and the sensor has economical battery usage, making it suitable for long measuring periods in groundwater.

The sensor, which fits into a 25mm borehole, uses no oxygen while taking measurements - so stirring the water is no longer necessary as it was with previous devices.

Its short response time also gives the device an outstanding capacity for tracking rapid changes in the oxygen concentration, and only requires calibration once a year.

Van Essen Instruments: 00 31 15 275 5000

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