Severn Trent wins a top award at IWA Project Innovation Awards in Tokyo for world first

18th September 2018

Water and waste company Severn Trent has scooped the Smart Systems and Digital Water Economy Gold award at the IWA World Water Congress in Tokyo, in recognition of the company’s real time abstraction management project for metaldehyde reduction.

The Project Innovation Awards recognise and promote excellence and innovation in water management, research and technology. Severn Trent was recognised for its work with the University of Sheffield to create a predictive model for metaldehyde concentrations in rivers that allowed it to suspend abstraction into raw water storage up to 48 hours in advance of it becoming an issue.

Keiron Maher, Innovation Manager at Severn Trent, said “Winning this award highlights the incredible potential of research to help solve the challenges we face within the water industry. It also demonstrates that solutions can be found using more environmentally friendly methods, negating the need to continually expand our water treatment flowsheets.

“As heavy rainfall washes metaldehyde directly into rivers, causing spikes in concentration, we decided we needed a different approach to removal and so we explored the possibilities of smart abstraction management. We undertook a four-year research programme with the University of Sheffield with the aim of modelling the concentration of metaldehyde in rivers to enable us to control abstraction and avoid peaks which we’ve now achieved.”

The modelling combines data from existing sources such as satellite imagery, soil characteristics and topography, and radar rainfall data to make the predictions.