Aarhus Vand (Denmark), Melbourne Water (Australia), and Severn Trent (UK) form a partnership to advance the future of environmentally friendly wastewater treatment. Partners will collaborate on developing technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of wastewater treatment sites to net-zero, sharing existing expertise, and establishing new international standards for measuring and reporting emissions.
A pioneering global collaboration of three major water companies is to be launched at the forthcoming World Water Congress & Exhibition in Copenhagen, setting out a mission to forge the next generation of sustainable wastewater management for customers, while reducing carbon emissions to net-zero by 2030.
Danish company Aarhus Vand, Australian water corporation Melbourne Water, and the UK’s Severn Trent, will join forces to co-create the development of technologies and innovations to make wastewater treatment greener, and begin to establish new international standards for measuring and reporting emissions, as the industry looks towards a carbon neutral future.
Together, the three companies have committed to work together to reduce their carbon emissions by around a million tonnes and aim to lead the green transformation of the sector. Through this worldleading collaboration the partners will build upon their experience, expertise, and innovation capacities on key complementary projects such as:
Severn Trent has begun trials on ground-breaking technologies that monitor, capture, and break down nitrous oxide - the water industry’s most potent greenhouse gas — using the power of sunlight. Severn Trent will also progress the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimise its treatment works, reducing emissions, chemicals, and power usage.
Melbourne Water has commenced a range of site-specific emission measurement initiatives to provide increased transparency of actual emissions and identify opportunities to reduce them. Sharing this knowhow across the industry will enable more utilities to better understand and reduce their emissions. Melbourne Water is also investigating how its wastewater treatment plants can be transformed to incorporate low emissions treatment technologies.
Aarhus Vand is currently developing a new sustainable sludge handling process, ‘digital twin’ technology (which uses simulation and machine learning to find the most optimal green processes), and Aarhus ReWater - a learning plan to determine where best to replace treatment technology with better, newer solutions.
Severn Trent has invested in a Resource Recovery and Innovation Centre which explores technologies to reduce and remove emissions - including Europe’s largest anaerobic treatment process that uses less air and energy and has less embedded carbon. The UK company is also using drones to detect methane as part of sector-leading trials to measure process emissions.
Melbourne Water has a long history of onsite renewable electricity generation, including harnessing biogas from our wastewater treatment plants, the power of water and gravity via mini-hydro throughout our water supply network and the Australian sun via the commissioning of two large scale solar facilities. This combined with procurement of renewable electricity will support Melbourne Water being 100% renewable by 2025.
Aarhus Vand already focuses on turning wastewater into green energy, creating liveable cities through climate adaption, and the active reduction of nitrous oxide and methane emissions.