WRc discolouration project wins Innovation Award!
Published on: 15 Sep 2023
For the first 6-8 years that I worked in the water sector, most people were inexplicably uninterested in sewage. Although much of their newfound interest stems from negative press around storm overflows, I’m happy that wastewater is – not literally – finding its way into the open.
With the Environment Act pushing for information to be shared ‘in a way which makes it readily accessible to the public’ and Ofwat advocating for open data, the pressure to share isn’t likely to ease. A recent UK Government consultation indicated that continuous river water quality data collected by water companies will need to be shared in ‘near-real-time … on an England-wide data visualisation platform’. There are obvious and concerning risks and challenges, but embracing data sharing could deliver big benefits to the sector and the wider environment. Some ideas and examples:
WRc has its own examples of open and collaborative working. STOAT and SimEau are freeware available for modelling wastewater and water treatment plants, and we have developed open modules for PyWR that enable water quality modelling. WRc Portfolio has long supported collaboration between water companies.
Open models aren’t always the best option for companies or their customers, but in the right place and with the right structure they offer huge potential.
Amy is a chartered senior consultant at WRc with over 10 years’ experience in the water industry. She enjoys collaborating internationally with academics, industry partners and citizens on research that aims to reduce the impact of urban drainage on the environment. She has worked on asset management, environmental permit compliance and drainage planning projects. She holds a PhD from the University of Warwick on pollutant mixing and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering with French from the University of Sheffield.