Published: 09. Oct 2023

Aarhus Vand strengthens the collaboration with the world's largest wastewater plant in Chicago

1Mou Til Nettet
From the left: Claus Homann (Aarhus Vand), Jesper Køks Andersen (Consulate General, Chicago), Kari Steele, Daniel Pogozelski, Brian Perkovics (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

Both in Chicago and Aarhus there is a desire to minimize the climate impact from wastewater plants. Therefore, on 3 October a collaboration was established enabling knowledge of new technology and solutions to flow smoothly between Denmark and one of the world's largest wastewater treatment plants in the US.

At a reception at the Danish Consulate General in Chicago on 3 October, a so-called Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Danish venture to promote Danish water technology in the US – Water Technology Alliance (WTA), Aarhus Vand and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). 

The agreement was signed by Consul General and team leader in WTA, Jesper Køks Andersen, board chairman Kari Steele from the utility in Chicago and divisional director in Aarhus Vand, Claus Homann. Thus, an optimal framework for the exchange of experiences and cooperation across the Atlantic is established.

Knowledge sharing within energy optimization and climate neutrality

The cooperation agreement marks a significant step towards facilitating knowledge sharing between Denmark and the US within the wastewater sector, with a focus on these essential areas: energy optimization and climate neutrality, resource recovery, process control, monitoring and automation.

With a signed agreement, all three parties have taken an important step towards reducing the distance between Denmark and the US. I am looking forward to sharing the Danish know-how that has made us a leading water nation, as well as learning from MWRD's approach.
- Jesper Køks Andersen, Consul General in Chicago and team leader of the WTA

The agreement brings together two leading players from the American and Danish utility sectors, and WTA, which plays a key role in promoting this collaboration. In Chicago, they treat wastewater for 12.72 million people, directing an average of 4.92 billion gallons of water through their systems each day. They also own and operate Stickney WRP, one of the world's largest wastewater plants.

Together we create a brighter and sustainable future

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s president, Kari Steele, says:

I wish to express our deep gratitude to the Danish Water Technology Alliance, the Consulate General of Denmark in Chicago and Aarhus Vand for continued support and partnership. Together, we are ready to create a brighter and more sustainable future for our society, guided by the principles of innovation, collaboration and shared responsibility.
- Kari Steele, president of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Aarhus Vand is a frontrunner within drinking water and wastewater management. The water company plans to launch the world's most sustainable and efficient resource plant in 2030.

Claus Homann
The world needs us as a utility to do our utmost to minimize the climate impact. With this agreement, our professionals will visit each other and be inspired by technologies for energy production and resource extraction.
- Claus Homann, CSO at Aarhus Vand

He continues: In Chicago they work i.a. with the recovery of phosphorus for use in agriculture and with the production of algae as a resource for industry. For us, these are two exciting cases that we have in mind when we build our new facility. On the other hand, I also hope that we with our production of electricity and heat can be an inspiration for them.”

The distance between Denmark and Chicago decreases

This is not the first collaboration between Aarhus Vand and MWRD. A previous MoU was signed in 2015 and was valid until 2018.

One of the cornerstones of WTA is knowledge sharing of Danish know-how, and this agreement creates fertile ground for this. At the same time, we get the opportunity to bring a lot of new knowledge and innovation back from Chicago and thus reduce the distance between Denmark and Chicago," says Jesper Køks Andersen, consul general and WTA team leader in Chicago.