Double success for WRc at Water Industry Awards

March 29, 2021

RSK company WRc is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted in two categories at the upcoming Water Industry Awards. The leading centre of excellence for innovation and growth has been named a finalist in the Wastewater Innovation Project of the Year and the Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Improvement categories.

The Water Industry Awards, this year celebrating their 15th anniversary, recognise the excellent work of UK water companies and their supply chains. This year, there were 21 categories to enter, ranging from Water Retailer of the Year to Woman of the Year. The finalists were announced on 9 March.

WRc’s shortlist for the Wastewater Innovation Project of the Year is a joint entry with SDS, Morrison Utilities Services and Galliford Try Joint Venture (MGJV) and Southern Water, for a project titled “The WRcCSO rethinking the CSO for the 21st Century”. The design of combined sewer overflows (CSO) has largely remained the same for over 50 years, though more recently, additional storage and methods of screening solids have been added to traditional CSO designs; however, these require clearing either mechanically or by operatives. To address this, and to reduce pollution from CSO spills and the associated costs of maintaining these assets, WRc has developed an innovative, patented, CSO design that reduces the floating solids presented to the screen by over 80%.

A trial of this innovative design is being undertaken by Southern Water, through its delivery partner MGJV, at a site in Selsey, UK. MGJV and WRc worked closely in adapting the design to address on-site construction aspects, such as fabricating in two sections to avoid services, thus demonstrating the flexibility in this solution. Evaluation of the CSO has shown that it performs exceptionally following storm events, showing that the WRcCSO design can be used to reduce the aesthetic pollution of water courses and beaches, to reduce customer contacts and the costs of spill clean-up. In conjunction with downstream treatment or nature-based solutions, the WRc CSO is a powerful tool to prevent pollution incidents.

Meanwhile, the shortlisted entry in the Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Improvement category is for WRc’s Water UK Fine to Flush standard. The Fine to Flush specification was devised to address one of the key priorities for the water industry: to protect the environment from pollution caused by improperly disposed-of wet wipes that leads to sewer blockages. Since the publication of the standard in 2019, Water UK has certified 48 different products that meet the Fine to Flush specification. These products are now widely available and are able to demonstrate that they are flushable and plastic free and that they do not cause environmental damage from sewage pollution caused by a blockage or pump failure linked to their use. The range of tested products includes those from most major UK retailers and the UK’s leading wipes brand. A list of certified products is available on the WRc website.

Matt Hart, Director of Infrastructure Solutions at WRc, said, “We are delighted to have the hard work of our teams, partners and clients recognised through this shortlisting. Working in collaboration to develop and deliver innovative solutions that benefit the environment and society is really what motivates and drives us all at WRc. Both the Fine to Flush scheme and the WRcCSO capture that perfectly.”

The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on 27 May 2021. We wish WRc the best of luck and hope to have more good news to share then.