By Lise Karstenskov Hughes, Aarhus Vand
Wastewater treatment consumes large amounts of energy. At the same time, energy, nutrients and other valuable materials can be recovered from wastewater, recycled and reused. Around the world, wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are transitioning to being engines of the circular economy, presenting an opportunity to accelerate innovations that support greater efficiencies and sustainability in the sector.
In Aarhus, the Marselisborg wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) has demonstrated that energy positive wastewater treatment is possible – reaching a staggering energy efficiency rate of 153 %. The benefits, and opportunities, ahead are so great that a planned new plant will be named a resource plant, not a WWTP – Marselisborg ReWater. The new plant will be one of the case studies presented at NORDIWA, the Nordic Wastewater Conference in Aarhus October 10-12, together with other examples of innovative wastewater management and treatment that can inspire water utilities to become resource stewards.
Energy and water linkages matter
The International Energy Association estimates that global electricity consumption will double within the next 25 years. Energy is as indispensable to water, as water is for energy production, and puts water at the centre of both Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on water and Goal 7 on providing clean energy for all. The water industry needs to rethink the way they operate if we’re to achieve both goals.
Pumping, treating and distributing water use up to 8 % of global energy generation, and wastewater is the source of around 8 % of total greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union has recognised the potential of wastewater services to contribute to its overall greenhouse gas reduction targets, alongside solid waste management and the open burning of waste.
Global figures demonstrate the strong link between water and energy. Water accounts for 4 % of global electricity consumption – equivalent to Russia’s annual electricity consumption. At city level, drinking water provision and wastewater treatment account for between 30 – 50 % of electricity bills. Without changes, this will only continue to grow with growing global demand for both water and energy.
In Denmark, this is not the case. The Ministry for Environment and Food reports that energy consumption in the water sector has declined by more than 20% over the last five years. The sector as a whole is moving towards energy neutrality, going from producing 12% of the energy it consumes to 27% today.
From wastewater treatment plant to resource recovery plant
Aarhus Vand plans to make Marselisborg ReWater the world’s most resource efficient WWTP. The ambition is not only to meet the current and future requirements for treatment of wastewater, but to produce energy from the wastewater to make the supply of drinking water and wastewater treatment energy neutral.
Marselisborg ReWater will extract and utilize valuable resources from the wastewater that are currently considered as waste products. This ‘waste’ can be transformed into ‘green’ power, heating or fertiliser. Even today, the plant can produce surplus heat for the district heating network equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 500 households.
Innovation and research towards the circular economy is called for now
Aarhus Vand knows that constructing the world’s most efficient WWTP cannot be achieved using today’s technologies and solutions. The intention is not to build a plant that stands unchanged for the next hundred years, but a plant that can be constantly improved, function as a test site for new or optimised treatment, and where resource recovery processes can take place. This is why an important element in the construction of Marselisborg ReWater is the development of a new innovation strategy including 15 innovation challenges to be addressed – and further developed – in the coming years.
One water utility cannot solve all the challenges on its own. Aarhus Vand is inviting companies, knowledge institutions and citizens to work with them to develop Marselisborg ReWater into the future.
Californian authorities will use Danish water technology in order to generate an overview of the areas and the groundwater resources that have been affected by the drought in the state. Furthermore, this project will accelerate the opportunity to utilize fresh groundwater within the drinking water supply.
California authorities will now focus on mapping the groundwater resources in order to make the water cache more sustainable. In that connection, there has been focus on Danish solutions and knowhow. This program has been developed based on a groundwater-mapping program throughout the past 15 years.
“The Danish business sector creates exceptional solutions for the management of water by cooperation between Danish companies. They focus on collecting solutions from different Danish suppliers in order to create a turnkey project (or, package solution) – even for great and complex projects in e.g. the US” said Mads Lebech CEO of Industriens Fond, who was a part of initiating our team the Water Technology Alliance (WTA).
Salty or Fresh?
“One of the numerous challenges that the authorities of California currently face is gaining an overview of the fresh groundwater and the water movement in the coastal areas where it compounds with the salty seawater. This challenge will be approached by Danish companies, and there will be focus on the managing of the fresh groundwater and the salty groundwater in a large area by Monterey Bay”, Jacob Vind, head of the WTA, explains regarding one of the projects.
This project will be executed by the companies SkyTEM Surveys, from Aarhus, I-GIS, from Risskov and Rambøll, from Copenhagen. SkyTEM Surveys will map the Californian underground with advanced scanning equipment. I-GIS will provide 3D visualization software and Rambøll will deliver counselling and data analysis.
Sustainable Water Catchment
Another challenge in California, within the water field, is developing a better overview of the aquifers’ delimitation. Based on this, the second project focuses on advanced data management and ground-based geophysics by mapping the aquifers’ delimitation.
“Based on old and new data, we provide ‘incorporate interpretation’, which helps us gain a more detailed insight into the siting of the groundwater”, Max Halkjær from Rambøll explains.
This project will be executed by Rambøll and I-GIS in corporation with a local consultant.
A Successful Export Approach
The WTA was established in 2015 with a purpose of disseminating knowledge about the Danish water model, and supporting the Danish water industry in the process of entering the American market.
Max Halkjær emphasizes the structure of the WTA and their export approach as a crucial element in relation to the successful Danish companies:
“A model has been established, where Danish water companies are represented in form of three permanent employees located in California, as a part of the Danish Trade Council. These employees are specialized within the water field and are determined to create cooperation. The California authorities are very interested in cooperating, which has created many opportunities”.
The WTA collaboration is supported by Industriens Fond. Their experience in the California market with the WTA has been positive. Mads Lebech explains:
“Projects like these, where Danish companies jointly create system solutions, pose great potential. It is great to see specific projects which are eyed by the WTA collaboration in California, which we have supported in the past three years.”
The Water Technology Alliance, an arm of the Danish Trade Council in California consists of, Aarhus Vand, Kamstrup, Applied Biomimetic, Danfoss, Grundfoss, Smith Innovation, DHI, AVK, LiqTech and Leif Koch A/S. And as previously mentioned, Rambøll, SkyTEM, and I-GIS.
The Water Technology Alliance, a team within the Energy and Environment arm of the Trade Council of Denmark, recently hosted two workshops comprised of industry experts and playmakers from the American Midwest market and from Denmark. The aim is to introduce Danish solutions to these markets.
The wastewater markets in Illinois and Indiana are some of the most developed in the United States. The Midwestern market is thriving, but is still facing industry challenges such as increasing demand for energy efficiency, stricter green energy standards and fast approaching regulations including restrictions on nitrate and phosphorus levels.
The Water Technology Alliance has been aiming to introduce Danish solutions to these markets. The overall goal is to bring Danish solutions into the American market, developing the American market and spreading Danish technology and system solutions globally.
COO and Chief of Strategic Development for Aarhus Vand, Claus Homann, was keynote speaker at the AQUASIS conference that took place in Lisbon at the 17th May.
The event, having as central theme "Water 4.0 – Wise Cities”, had 424 participants, representing 161 Portuguese entities: 73 water and waste water utilities companies, 72 water sector related companies and 16 Institutions/ Universities.
The Forum 5th edition was dedicated to the contribution of information technologies to a more intelligent management of the urban water cycle.
It brought together management entities from all over Portugal and national and international speakers of excellence. Claus Homann, Director of Operations of the Danish managing entity Aarhus Vand, and Christopher Gasson, consultant and editor of Global Water Intelligence, were the invited international keynote speakers.
COO Claus Homann, Aarhus Vand, speaks over the theme "The Borderless Water Utility".
Opening the event, the President of the Board of Directors of AQUASIS, welcomed all participants. In her speech, she highlighted the importance given to information systems and technologies in the efficient, sustainable and modern management of water supply and sanitation systems. The will of knowledge sharing was demonstrated by the great adhesion to the Forum.
The opening round had the honorable presence of:
João Matos Fernandes, Minister of Environment
João Nuno Mendes, President of Águas de Portugal Group
José Agostinho Ribau Esteves, President of the municipality of Aveiro
André dos Santos Matos Rijo, President of the municipality of Arruda dos Vinhos
Maria Rafaela Matos, LNEC Department of Environment Coordinator Researcher
The Minister of the Environment, Mr. João Pedro Matos Fernandes, highlighted the importance of the Forum and the theme addressed, mentioning that Water 4.0 marked "... the definitive and unquestionable entry of Information Technologies into the daily activities of the Managing Entities of water supply systems and wastewater drainage."
In his speech, the Minister also highlighted the need for a paradigm shift towards efficient water management, contributing to a better quality service and the search for more sustainable solutions. Both from the economic point of view and from the environmental point of view.
Ulrik Folkmann has started his new position May 1, 2017 with WTA Chicago, where he will take over for Flemming Møller.
Ulrik Folkmann (to the left) is 45 years old and has previously been working as a operations manager at Hedensted Spildevand in Denmark. He has educational experience as a management consultant and has 25 years of experience within the wastewater industry.
Internationally, Ulrik Folkmann has, among other places, been working in Cyprus, where he was responsible for start-up of a sewage treatment plant and pumping station, as well as training the operation staff.
For the next two years, he will be a part of The Danish Trade Council, which operates under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and is located at The Consulate General of Chicago. Ulrik Folkmann will function as liaison between the Danish partners in WTA Chicago and the American actors within the wastewater industry aiming to create business opportunities for Danish Companies in the US.
“I want to be a part of promoting export of Danish wastewater solutions in the US. It will create more jobs for the Danes, and it will contribute to create a better water environment in the US,” is his answer to why he applied for the job.
The first important task for Ulrik Folkmann is to plan and execute a workshop, directed towards American utility workers and key players within the wastewater industry. The workshop will focus on energy optimization and energy production on the treatment plants. Furthermore, he will be responsible for staying in close contact with established clients and reaching out to new potential clients.
Ulrik Folkmann will take over for Flemming Møller (to the right), who will return to Aarhus Vand. However, Flemming Møller will still be working with The Danish Trade Council and will be representing Aarhus Vand in projects such as the Glenbard Wastewater Facility in Chicago. Furthermore, he will be the representative in the cooperation with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago that focuses on knowledge sharing concerning water technology across the Atlantic.
A fact finding tour to Denmark increases awareness of innovative technology and energy efficiency.
Guest article by Henriette B. Kingman
Energy Efficient Wastewater Treatment in the spotlight as the country of Denmark warms up to spring
On March 4, 2017, at the invitation of the Water Technology Alliance (WTA), a group of American wastewater officials gathered in Aarhus, Denmark, for a week of inspiration and sharing ideas about wastewater treatment in Denmark and the US. The WTA was established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark to service Danish companies that either wish to enter the North American water and wastewater market or further grow their US presence and activities. WTA is working on strengthening its network within the water and wastewater community through plant visits, the conducting of workshops, and by arranging fact-finding visits to Denmark, and is devoted to collaboration between companies and nations to create responsible, economically sustainable utility programs.
The group on tour at Odense WWTP.
WTA’s American tour group consisted of a dynamic group of industry leaders from public agencies and consultancy groups alike. The diverse group of individuals hailed from California, Illinois, and Indiana. All areas of water and sanitation management in the US were equally represented: attendees ranged from Bobbi Larson, Executive Director at the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) to representatives from engineering firms and regional waste management facilities.
The group from America included representatives from public agencies and consultants from California, Illinois, and Indiana. Representatives from the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) were also invited. CASA is an association of local agencies engaged in advancing the recycling of wastewater into usable water, generation of renewable energy, and other valuable resources to create a clean and sustainable environment for Californians. For them, this trip was an opportunity to observe a leader in utility management in hopes of incorporating their progressive practices into California’s own leading sustainability efforts.
A welcome from Aarhus Water
The group spent their first night in Aarhus City and, the next morning, departed for Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) for an educational day hosted by Aarhus Water. Ditte Lyng Rosenquist kicked off the day with a presentation about the Danish transition
to a green economy, courtesy of State of Green.
Ditte Rosenquist describes the State of Green.
What is State of Green?
StateofGreen.com is an official online resource that provides access to information about Denmark’s groundbreaking green technology and environmental knowledge base. The State of Green organization is
a public-private partnership founded by the Danish Government, the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Energy Association, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, and the Danish Wind Industry
State of Green is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, but provides services to individuals and entities worldwide.
State of Green’s presentation transitioned into an eye-opening tour of WWTP - despite the snow and cold weather - led by WWTP’s own operations manager, Flemming Husum.
Aarhus - Marselisborg Treatment Plant leads the way in energy recovery
Marselisborg Treatment Plant in Aarhus serves 355,000 people. Despite its large scale, the plant is one of the most energy efficient plants in the world, with its biogas production alone supporting the entire plant’s energy usage. The US tour group enjoyed an up-close tour of the facilities and technologies that make them a top contender in international energy efficiency.
During the walk-through, attendees learned that Marselisborg also participates in an efficient heat-recovery system that allows them to sell energy. In a few short years, it will be one of two large plants servicing the second largest city of Denmark, as the current four plants will merge with each other.
The group on tour at Marselisborg WWTP - Aarhus.
DHI takes efficiency models to a new level
After the tour - and back in the warm conference room—the group settled in for a presentation by Mikkel Holmen Andersen from DHI. Mikkel shared insight into DHI’s approach to process optimization and their use of advanced controls to achieve an impressively low energy consumption.
DHI: Transforming the way we think about resource conservation
DHI is a research-based specialty consultant with 1,100 employees and 30 local offices worldwide. DHI provides innovative and green solutions for water management and wastewater treatment, and specialize in strategies for savings and reuse in water and energy-intensive industries.
During the talk, CASA members and other attendees learned how DHI assesses and optimizes plant performance. By looking at a treatment plant, DHI can uncover weaknesses in the aeration system and assess whether the operation of the blowers should be changed. They provide comprehensive understanding of the plant performance though online measurements, insight into the plant’s carbon footprint due to greenhouse gas emissions, and practical solutions to emission reductions through adjustments in plant operations.
DHI takes its name from the Danish Hydraulic Institute, which was founded in 1964 by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Today, DHI is a separate organization, but they still partner with DTU for many endeavors. Their head office is in Hoersholm, Denmark.
Jean-Marc Petit proudly sports the CASA colors during DK tour.
Participants discuss what DK and the US can learn from each other in a breakout session.
Randy Lee, IEUA, capturing Odense WWTP.
Chris Finton (Central Marin SD), Chris Berch and Randy Lee (IEUA) on tour at Odense WWTP.
Per Henrik Nielsen proudly displays the final product at Odense WWTP.
Karri Ving, Alex Moit, Scott Goldman and Chris Berch on tour at Odense WWTP.
Scott Goldman and Jason Dow, members of the CASA Board of Directors, at Odense WWTP tour.
DAY 2: New city, inspiringly consistent approach to sustainability
The second day began bright and early with a short drive to Vandcenter Syd (VCS) in Odense, the third largest city in Denmark and the hometown of Hans Christian Andersen. Vandcenter Syd services Odense’s population of approximately 175,000 people. CASA and their fellow travelers also visited Ejby Mølle, a treatment plant serving 200,000 local residents. Much like Marselisborg, their biogas production covers the facility’s energy usage. Tour participants also learned that the facility recovers heat and sells more energy than they use, positioning them as one of the top treatment facilities worldwide.
The tour of the WWTP left the group very impressed with the magnificent architecture and low energy consumption, a feature they have in common with the Marselisborg WWTP. Of the impressive tour and the trip as a whole, Bobbi Larson, Executive Director of CASA, said, “The WTA were great hosts and everyone learned a lot about Denmark’s very progressive and impressive water leadership and technology. The trip was very well organized, very professional, extremely informative and fun.”
The Danish EPA works closely with the Danish treatment plants
Following the tour, the group was welcomed by Mikkel Hall, Deputy Director of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Environment and Food. Mikkel gave a talk about Denmark’s strict regulatory requirements for WWTPs, particularly for nutrients. Despite these regulations, the collaborative approach the EPA takes - focusing on water quality outcomes - results in environmentally sound and forward-thinking results, which left a deep impression on the American delegation.
The US delegation visiting Danfoss electronics.
DAY 3: A day of vision and first-class technology
On the third day, the group divided. Half of the attendees went to visit Danfoss in Nordborg; the other group went to visit Grundfoss in Bjerringbro and then to Landia in Lem.
Danfoss provides low-voltage drives for Marselisborg Treatment Plant
The Danfoss visitors had an enlightening tour. Over the course of the day, they learned about how Danfoss Drives provides low-voltage VLT AC drives in a power range up to 5.3 MW. AC drives can also be known by various other names such as variable speed drives, adjustable speed drives, variable frequency drives or frequency converters.
The use of frequency converters can assist control blowers, pumps and other motorized equipment in adapting to the changing demand. With a wide variety of built-in functionality, they improve energy efficiency, and Danfoss has clearly refined the art of climate-friendly solutions that don’t sacrifice on quality.
The Danfoss head office is in Nordborg, Denmark. It was founded in 1933 by Mads Clausen. Today, Danfoss has grown to employ more than 25,000 employees worldwide.
Grundfos pumps are used at the Marselisborg Treatment Plant
Meanwhile, the second tour group went on to explore Grundfos, a company that manufactures all kinds of pumps for water and wastewater applications. They also provide a wide range of controls and monitoring equipment, and the group enjoyed an insightful look at how they maximize energy efficiency for the plant.
The Grundfos head office is in Bjerringbro, Denmark. It was founded in 1940 and now has more than 18,000 employees worldwide.
Landia products make a difference in the environmental sustainability mix in Denmark
The same group also had the pleasure of getting to know Landia, a Lem-based company that primarily manufactures mixers and grinder pumps. The group experienced a tour of the factories and had a chance to engage with the products further through an informative presentation.
DANVA VP Helle Andersen presents the water association’s priorities and vision.
DAY 4: A Day dedicated to innovations in wastewater management
On the fourth day the group united again for a lineup of events hosted by DANVA, the Danish Water Association.
DANVA represents the interests of its water and wastewater members and the Danish water sector with the purpose of ensuring a stable, efficient, and ethical water supply and wastewater treatment plan on a high-quality level and in an environmentally sustainable way. DANVA is a non-profit organization funded by the members and revenue-funded work. The members are primarily utilities, but also include municipalities, consultants, contractors, and individual members.
More than 120 of Denmark’s largest water companies are members of DANVA. The water companies in DANVA supply drinking water and treat wastewater for more than five million Danes. The DANVA office is in Skanderborg, Denmark.
Nissen engines contribute to efficient biogas production at Marselisborg Treatment Plant
The final stop of the day was at Nissen for a brief presentation on their line of products and services. Nissen builds gas engine units for Marselisborg Treatment Plant; specifically, they supply the latest model in a series of high-performance gas engines. Nissen’s main office is in Skanderborg, Denmark.
Thorvald Pedersen presenting Nissen products.
Nissen engines play a role in the efficient biogas production at Marselisborg Treatment Plant
The final stop of the day was at Nissen for a brief presentation on their line of products and services. Nissen builds gas engine units for Marselisborg Treatment Plant. Nissen supplies the latest model in a series of high-performance gas engines.
Nissen’s main office is in Skanderborg, Denmark.
Aarhus Water provides specialists to support the Fact Finding Tour
Presentations that day included one from Claus Homann, the COO of Aarhus Water, on their journey towards carbon and energy neutrality. Torben Ottosen and Peter Andreasen from DHI discussed a project they are collaborating on in the US with the Glenbard Wastewater Authority.
Alex Moit presents SFPUC’s accomplishments and challenges.
Vince DeLange presents EBMUD’s accomplishments and challenges.
American and Danish participants exchange information and ideas
In the afternoon, the group of Americans were given the opportunity to make a brief presentation on their facilities and some of their innovations and challenges. This was followed by small workgroups that brainstormed on the potential opportunities and solutions that they might have discovered based on the information obtained during the previous days of information exchange.
Following presentations from Claus Homann, the COO of Aarhus Water, on their journey towards carbon and energy neutrality and Torben Ottosen and Peter Andreasen from DHI on a collaborative project with the Glenbard Wastewater Authority in Illinois, it was time for the American utilities to share their accomplishments and challenges. CASA members showcasing their plants and renewable resource programs included Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Central Marin Sanitation Agency, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, San Francisco PUC, and Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority.
The presentations were followed by small group breakout sessions to brainstorm on how the information obtained during the previous days of fact finding and dialogue could benefit US practices and operations. Opportunities like these helped the groups connect and learn together in productive ways. Jean-Marc H. Petit, Director of Engineering and Technical Services at Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, affirmed that it was “great that we made so many great new contacts and friends during this very interesting and rewarding trip.”
DAY 5 MORNING
On the final morning, the group met at the offices of DHI in Aarhus for a brief presentation on their services and a wrap up on the week’s activities. The WTA asked for comments on the tour and asked for suggestions to improve future trips.
Randi Lee, Executive Manager of Operations/Assistant General Manager at Inland Empire Utilities Agency, summed up his experience by saying, “For me, there are no other trips or conferences I’ve attended that inspired me more. I’m now constantly thinking, ‘What would Denmark do?’”.
Good food and good company.
A project in Chicago is to show how wastewater treatment can be done in a more energy efficient way. Water Technology Alliance Chicago is behind the project.
In the future, Glenbard Wastewater Facility, near Chicago in the US, could be the place other American water companies look to for inspiration for efficient and energy-wise wastewater treatment. A new project lead by Water Technology Alliance Chicago, is to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant. This will not only secure a better water quality of the treated water, but also reduce the energy consumption substantially.
The project is a development and demonstration project, and is expected to be complete in 2019. By then, it will develop, adjust and demonstrate Danish wastewater technology in the US in full scale.
The development opportunities are increased by an expectation of tougher demands for the quality of the wastewater being discharged in the US. On top of that, an ESCO financing concept will make it easier for the plant owners to upgrade. Here, the costs of the upgrade will initially be held byn the company behind it, and the buyer pays afterwards through the achieved energy savings.
Water Technology Alliance Chicago is a collaboration between a number of Danish water technology companies, Aarhus Vand and The Trade Council, and the upgrade of Glenbard Wastewater Facility is supported by the Ministry of Environment and Food's environmental development funds with 10 million Danish Kroner in total.
The Danish companies participating in the project are AVK, Danfoss, DHI, Landia, Linak, Nissen Energiteknik, Stjernholm and Grundfos.
Aarhus is about to become the first in the world to provide most of our citizens with fresh water and treating wastewater using only the energy created from household wastewater and sewage.
New Scientist has visited Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment plant to find out how we manage to generate more than 150 percent of the electricity needed to run the plant, which means the surplus can be used to pump drinking water around the city of Aarhus. Read their story "World’s first city to power its water needs with sewage energy".
"The Danish water sector is a role model for the rest of the world," says new international report on energy efficiency in the water sector.
The Danish water sector uses far less energy on producing drinking water and on cleaning wastewater than other EU Member States and the US. Wastewater treatment plants in Denmark are world leaders and produce much more energy than they use. And this has caught the attention of the international community.
In the latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Danish water sector is presented as an energy-efficient sector. The report "World Energy Outlook 2016" mentions in particular the Marselisborg wastewater treatment plant in Aarhus, Jutland, as an example of how wastewater treatment can become energy-neutral in the future.
"Right now, we are seeing a tremendous interest from around the world - especially the United States - to see how we have succeeded in Aarhus adapting our treatment plants to be energy producers rather than consumers of energy. At Marselisborg wastewater treatment plant we produce 50 percent more electricity than the plant consumes. This is quite unique. The excess electricity goes out to consumers as green energy. We also produce heat for district heating network, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of 500," said the CEO of Aarhus Vand Lars Schrøder.
"It's good for the environment and for consumers when a growing number of Danish wastewater treatment plants become energy producers, and make revenues from selling energy. I urge all Danish wastewater utility companies to examine whether they can clean wastewater at a lower cost by selling energy from wastewater treatment. The International Energy Agency's mention is valuable for Danish technology producers, and hopefully they will be able to use this to create new jobs and revenues in Denmark," said the Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen.
The water sector is one of the most energy-consuming sectors in the world. The sector is estimated to account for 4% of total annual electricity consumption worldwide. This corresponds to the entire electricity consumption of Russia. This figure is around 3% in the European Union and in the US. However, the Danish water sector only uses 1.8% of Danish electricity consumption, and this figure is set to decrease significantly in the forthcoming years.
A report written by NIRAS on the Danish water sector shows that the entire Danish water sector can become energy-neutral within a few years using existing technology. Wastewater companies will be able to produce enough energy to cover energy consumption throughout the water sector.
Jane Schipma works at Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. But for the next couple of months she’s participating in a job exchange program with Aarhus Vand. Her blog is an effective tool to document what Aarhus Vand is doing to build a greener future and how some of these projects could benefit MWRDGC, and possibly, other organizations.
The Great Water Cities Summit 2016 on November 1-2 in Aarhus, Denmark, will host leaders, decision makers and professionals from around the world to focus on how sustainabe cities continue to grow with water and accelerate economic development through partnerships.
The Danish Water and Wastewater Association (DANVA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) are primary sponsors.
Hosted by the City of Aarhus, this meeting will provide decision makers and professionals of waterrelated companies and organizations from around the world the opportunity to share their experiences and learn how others are attracting businesses, advancing innovation, improving the quality of life – all while linking economic growth with water in a transformative new vision where water is the engine of growth.
Program 1 November
Optional Facility Tours:
- Tour of the Blue Rambla - Aarhus City
- Tour of the Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant (Aarhus Vand). Observe how the plant captures resource and energy recovery
- Tour of Truelsbjerg Waterworks (Aarhus Vand - Danish Lighthouse Project). See how Aarhus Vand build with focus on HACCP principles using newest technologies suitable for research, visitors, and more
- Evening - Welcome to Aarhus Reception, Aros Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Hosted by the City of Aarhus, Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard
Program 2 November
Keynote Address: Torkil Jøncj Clausen, International Water Adviser, DHI.
Panel I – Great Water Cities Are Sustainable
Sustainability of Great Water Cities include considerations of infrastructure planning, quality of life, livability, resiliency, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The speakers on this panel will discuss key areas of sustainability important to actors in Europe who have made water central to their cultural identity.
Moderator: Dr. Paul Bowen, Director of Sustainable Operations, The Coca-Cola Company, WEF, USA.
Presenters: Michael Mühlenkamp, Project Manager & EU-Coordinator, City of Essen, Denmark, Dr. Wolf Merkel/David Schwesig, IWW Research Center, Germany, Pritha Hariram, Manager, Water Supply & Sanitation Services, International Water Association (IWA),The Hague, Netherlands, Lars Schroder, CEO, Aarhus Vand Ltd., Aarhus, Denmark.
Panel II – Great Water Cities Combine Water with Growth
Great Water Cities have linked growth with water – where each thrive as a function of the other. Water infrastructure, planning, and livability directly connect with how growth is consistently achieved and maintained. To understand these relationships, our panelists will discuss growth and investments (financial, human, and political) needed to transform water into an engine of growth.
Moderator: Gari Villa-Landa Sokolova, Head of International Affairs, Spanish Supply of Water Supply and Sanitation, Spain.
Presenters: Rene Hoejimakers, Global Executive Director, Ramboll Water, Netherlands, Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Alexandria, VA, USA, Dr. Håkan Tropp, Director, Water Governance, SIWI, Sweden, Karen Kubick, Director, Wastewater Enterprise Capital Improvement Program, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco, CA, USA
Panel III – Great Water Cities Accelerate Water Based Development
Great Water Cities develop faster because they understand the role of water research, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Water clusters, accelerator approaches, new technologies and partnerships have been instrumental to water-based development and have contributed to dynamic local water sector growth. The speakers on this panel will discuss how water-based growth can be accelerated at the local and regional levels.
Moderator: Durk Krol, Director, WSSTP – The European Platform for Water Research, Brussels, Belgium.
Presenters: Dr. Emanuel Grün, COO, Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband, Germany, Dr. Kartik Chandran, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, Meghan Jensen, Director of Marketing and Membership, The Water Council, Global Water Center, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
Panel IV – Great Water Cities Develop Partnerships
Great Water Cities invest in partnerships, both public and private, that strengthen performance of their operations as well as ties to their communities. They develop knowledge and collect intelligence essential to their understanding of how to work with those they need to collaborate with while implementing processes that make these relationships sustainable and growth-oriented. The panelists will share their experience in fostering essential relationships that helped their water enterprises grow while continuing to improve results and outcomes.
Moderator: Claus Homann, COO, Aarhus Vand A/S, WEF, Denmark
Presenters: Jakob Andersen, Trade Commissioner and Consul General, Chicago, IL, USA, Professor Jes la Cour Jansen, Lund University, Sweden, Kenth Hvid Nielsen, Group Vice President, Global Market Segment Water Utility, Grundfos, Denmark, Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Alexandria, VA, USA.
Thomas Kunetz, Assistant Director of Engineering, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, WEF, USA, Carl-Emil Larsen, CEO, DANVA, Denmark.
GWC 2016 Denmark Program.pdf
For more information see:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – WEFTEC is the best place for water professionals to learn, connect, and explore new ways to create the future of water. More than 20,000 water professionals and 1,000 water companies will attend the Water Environment Federation (WEF)’s 89th annual technical exhibition and conference at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Sept. 24-28. Below is a list of “can’t miss” events for Monday, Sept. 26.
Celebrating environmental scientists and engineers in the industry, this year’s keynote presentation will be given by James R. Mihelcic, professor and the Samuel L. and Julia M. Flom endowed chair in civil & environmental engineering at the University of South Florida. As an international leader for incorporating principles of sustainable development into engineering education, research, and practice, Mihelcic will take the audience on a trip around the world telling unique stories and demonstrating how water quality professionals work with local households and communities to develop sustainable infrastructures that provide clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene. Ticketed event: $37/person. Room 260, 7:15-8:30 a.m. CDT
The Opening General Session: Creating the Future of Water
WEFTEC officially kicks off on a forward-looking note as Joe Whitworth, president of the Freshwater Trust, will discuss conservation tools that connect technology to finance. He will also share insights from his book, “Quantified: Redefining Conservation for the Next Economy.” The Honorable Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans is expected to deliver the welcome remarks and 2015-2016 WEF president Paul Bowen will announce the launch of an exciting new social media campaign. This event will be streamed live via www.weftec.org. No badge required. Great Hall A, 8:30-9:30 a.m. CDT
100 Great Water Cities: Creating the Future of Water
A panel of global water leaders will discuss their approaches to leadership in the face of changing economic conditions, increased regulations and a changing climate. The Honorable Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide the session keynote address. Cedric S. Grant, deputy mayor and executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans will then moderate a panel discussion of distinguished water leaders, including George Hawkins, CEO of DC Water; Raveen Jaduram, chief executive of Watercare Services Limited; Heiner Markhoff, CEO of GE Power and Water’s Water and Process Technologies; and Peter Ng, chief executive of the Singapore Public Utility Board. The dialogue will include organizational culture, strategic communication, and communication for a more resilient future. This session is part of an ongoing series of dialogues designed to bring water leaders together to address common challenges and concerns. This session will be streamed live via www.weftec.org. No badge required. Great Hall A, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CDT
Session 101: 20th Annual WEF/AEESP Lecture: Maximizing Process Intensification and Minimizing Resource Use
Sudhir Murthy, innovations chief at DC Water, will share his thoughts on the new trend of process intensification and resource recovery from the research perspective, immediately followed by Glen Daigger, from the University of Michigan, who will present the academic perspective. Room 253, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CDT
AEESP/WEF Scientists’ Luncheon: From Treatment to Resource
Bruce Rittmann from Arizona State University will join fellow researchers and utilities to network and share ideas about the shift from waste disposal and treatment toward full resource recovery. Ticketed event: $40/person. Room 260, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. CDT
Stormwater Congress Luncheon: From “Broken” to Benchmark: Stormwater, CSOs, and Climate Resilience in Detroit
Palencia Mobley, deputy director and chief engineer of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s green infrastructure and MS4 program, will discuss the city’s programs and challenges in the context of the city’s emergence from emergency management, new leadership under Mayor Duggan, separation from Great Lakes Water Authority, and need to manage neighborhood flooding and revitalization needs, and climate change issues. Ticketed event: $20/person. Room 276, 12:00 p.m.-1:15 p.m. CDT
LIFT: Game On! LIFT Passport to Innovation
The LIFT Passport to Innovation is a fun way to guide attendees to new technologies of interest, including the latest advancements in nutrient removal and recovery, energy savings and generation, water reuse, and more. The session will include an overview of several LIFT innovation tools and programs, including LIFT Link and the recently announced utility travel scholarship program. Innovation Pavilion, 12:00-12:30 p.m. CDT
Workforce Development for Green Infrastructure
Part of The Stormwater Congress, this series of sessions will focus on green infrastructure as an economic engine using examples in California, Ohio and Southeast Louisiana. Speakers include Mike Adamow of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Cynthia Jacobsen of T&M Associates; and Andrea Chen of Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, a New Orleans-based business incubator and accelerator. Room 342, 1:30-3:00 p.m. CDT
Some of the most elite operators in the country go head-to-head in the first day of this fast-paced, skills-based competition for wastewater and maintenance professionals. Teams compete in five timed events that test specific abilities. Hall F, 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDT
Bioterrorism: Emerging Issues on Bio-Contaminated Wastewater
What would happen if a dangerous virus entered a water resource recovery facility? The reality is it could happen at any time, through an attack or human error. Six speakers, including experts from the National Homeland Security Research Center, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Utilities and Research Institutes, share their thoughts and experiences. Room 357, 1:30 – 5:00 p.m. CDT
The Croc Tank and The BREW Tank: Water Startups Pitch to our Experts
Modeled after TV’s Shark Tank, award-winning startups pitch their ideas to water sector experts including investors, advisors, industrial and municipal customers. The National Science Foundation sponsors the Croc Tank, Innovation Pavilion, Booth 3129, 1– 2 p.m. CDT, and The Water Council sponsors the BREW Tank, Innovation Pavilion, Booth 3129, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. CDT
Make THE Water Quality Event, YOUR Water Quality Event
Don’t miss your chance to help us create the future of water. For the latest conference information and registration details, visit www.weftec.org. For the full program and latest updates at your fingertips, download the WEFTEC MobileApp.
Note to editors: Complimentary registration is available for credentialed media representatives. Badges can be obtained in Room 269, Hall H of the New Orleans Morial Convention Center beginning Sunday, September 25 at 8:30 a.m. Please contact Lori Harrison, WEF’s Director of Communications for details.
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 33,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation. To learn more, visit www.wef.org.
WEFTEC 2016, the Water Environment Federation’s 89th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, will be held Sept. 24-28, 2016 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La. The world’s largest annual water quality event provides the latest developments, technologies, and services for water preservation, restoration, and sustainability. To learn more, visit www.weftec.org.
Recipients of the Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program show success in innovative and sustainable utility management practices.
A partnership of water sector organizations - the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) and the WateReuse Association - with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - proudly announce the recipients of the inaugural Utility of the Future (UOTF) Today Recognition Program. The program celebrates the progress and exceptional performance of wastewater utilities while supporting the widespread adoption of the innovative UOTF business model.
Sixty-one public and private utilities from across the U.S., Canada, and Denmark (Aarhus Vand and Vandcenter Syd) were selected from an impressive number of first year entries by a peer committee of utility leaders. The recipients will be recognized and honored during a September 27 ceremony that will be held in conjunction with WEFTEC 2016 WEF’s 89th annual technical exhibition and conference in New Orleans, La. The recipients will receive a display flag and a special certificate to further identify and promote their outstanding achievement as a Utility of the Future Today organization.
The UOTF concept was first introduced in 2013 to guide utilities of all sizes toward smarter, more efficient operations and a progression to full resource recovery with enhanced productivity, sustainability, and resiliency. Since then many utilities have successfully implemented new and creative programs to address local environmental and community priorities.
The selection committee selected utilities for recognition based upon the adoption of UOTF principles (water reuse, watershed stewardship, beneficial biosolids reuse, community partnering & engagement, energy efficiency, energy generation & recovery, and nutrient & materials recovery) as the “Organizational Culture of the Future.”
“Many utilities optimize their operations, consistently meet or exceed their regulatory requirements, and engage their employees and communities in meaningful and productive ways,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “We are excited about this new opportunity to recognize the achievements of small, medium and large forward-thinking utilities that are providing sustainable, efficient, and value-added service to their communities.”
“EPA has been pleased to provide input to the partnering Associations on this important new program,” said Andrew Sawyers, Director of EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management. “We believe it will play an important role in EPA’s efforts to advance effective and sustainable practices that will help utilities across the sector on their journey to becoming the Utility of the Future.”
"NACWA applauds all the recipients of the inaugural Utility of the Future Recognition Program," said NACWA CEO Adam Krantz. "Utility leaders are engaged in unparalleled innovation and this recognition will inspire the sector as a whole to achieve still untapped economic and environmental benefits for their communities and the nation."
Utility of the Future Today Recipients
- Aarhus Vand, Denmark
- Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, NM
- Alexandria Renew Enterprises, VA
- Avon Lake Regional Water, OH
- Baltimore City Department of Public Works, MD
- Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, NJ
- Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, FL
- City of Fayetteville, AK
- Charlotte Water, NC
- City of Cedar Rapids, IA
- City of Fond du Lac, WI
- City of Grand Rapids, MI
- City of Gresham, OR
- City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation, WESD, One Water, CA
- City of Roseville, CA
- City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, CA
- City of San Jose - Environmental Services Department, CA
- City of San Luis Obispo Utilities Department, CA
- City of Tacoma Environmental Services, WA
- City of Tucson/Tucson Water, AZ
- Clayton County Water Authority, GA Clean Water Services, OR
- Daphne Utilities, AL
- Department of Water Resources Gwinnett County, GA
- District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water), Washington, DC
- Downers Grove Sanitary District, IL East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), CA
- Fairfax County Wastewater Management Program, VA
- Fairfield Suisun Sewer District, CA
- Glenbard Wastewater Authority, IL
- Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, WI
- Hermitage Municipal Authority, PA
- HRSD, VA
- Kent County Public Works, DE
- King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division, WA
- Knoxville Utility Board, TN
- Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant, CO
- LOTT Clean Water Alliance, WA
- Metro Vancouver BC - Liquid Waste Services, Canada
- Metro Council Environmental Services St. Paul, MN
- Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, IL
- Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, WI Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency, CA
- Murfreesboro, TN Water and Sewer Department’s (MWSD), TN
- Narragansett Bay Commission, RI
- New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), NY
- Orange County Sanitation District, CA
- Orange Water and Sewer Authority, NC
- Pima County RWRD, AZ
- Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, CA
- San Francisco Public Utilities Program, CA
- Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, CA
- Santa Rosa Water, CA
- Scottsdale Water, AZ
- Spartanburg Water, SC
- Stevens Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, WI
- Trinity River Authority of Texas, TX
- University Area Joint Authority, PA
- Upper Occoquan Service Authority, VA
- VCS Denmark
- Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA), CA
VCS Denmark has signed a contract to deliver 400 days of training in connection to ”Kafubu Sustainable Water and Sanitation Improvement Project” in Zambia.
Training will take place from fall 2016 to fall 2017 and involves colleagues from other Danish utilities (among others Aarhus Vand) and a local partner.
Krüger conducts the overall project that will upgrade pipes, pumps and boreholes as well as four water and five wastewater facilities. The project will improve health and security of supply.
In the training part of the project, VCS Denmark and Aarhus Vand will pass on knowledge regarding operation and maintenance of equipment – both in a classroom and in the field. Later on components of the training will be repeated in a local framework to ensure durability.
On April 4, Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs will inaugurate a new cross-Atlantic partnership, the Water Technology Alliance (WTA) California in San Francisco, CA. The aim of the cross-Atlantic partnership is to share knowledge and to develop water technology solutions targeting the current water crisis caused by climate change.
Denmark and Danish companies are leading in efficient, sustainable and energy neutral water solutions, however, they are still able to learn from their American colleagues in places such as the dynamic water technology-surrounded Silicon Valley. As such, a close collaboration between Danish and American water companies and organizations can be beneficial to all involved parties.
Danish water technology companies, public bodies, and higher education and science institutions in the water sector constantly develop new, sustainable solutions for the management of water in the future. Marselisborg wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Denmark is an excellent example of how the cross-collaboration is vital in creating unique solutions. The WWTP produces 90 percent more electricity and heat than consumed – and this is without adding organic matter to the plant as is custom in the U.S. Denmark is further leading in sustainable management of water resources and avoiding water waste.
A number of Danish companies in the water sector will now be making their expertise on water available to their American colleagues. A California-based alliance established by the Danish water distribution company Aarhus Vand, and supported by The Danish Industry Foundation and the Danish Trade Council in Chicago, will serve as the foundation for a close partnership between Danish and American companies, public bodies, and education and science institutions in the water sector.
The alliance, called Water Technology Alliance (WTA) Califonia, further consists of the companies Kampstrup, Applied Biomimetec, Danfoss, Grundfos, Ramboll, Smith Innovation, Skytem, DHI, and Leif Koch A/S, all of which are ready to take part in the partnership with their American colleagues.
The Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs will inaugurate the alliance on April 4 in San Francisco, CA, as part of the conference “Water / More for Less – Sharing knowledge and best practice from the U.S. & Denmark”. A number of American and Danish experts and policy makers in the water sector will attend the conference. Read more about the conference in the attached program.
- I am happy to see that Danish water technology companies have the expertise to help with the demand caused by the drought in California. The collaboration is a good example of how Danish research can take on international tasks beyond the borders of Denmark. Denmark and California can benefit from each other’s knowledge, and in the meantime also create jobs, Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs says.
First stop, California
The alliance’s first priority is to concentrate on the water crisis in California where focus will be on the shortage of water. In this context, Danish research and expertise will prove very attractive.
- I am looking forward to sharing San Francisco's story with our colleagues from Denmark, and learning more about their one water approach at the ”Water / More For Less” program on April 4. This type of in-person cultural knowledge exchange, while rare, allows the world's most sustainable practices to be shared and implemented across the globe so we can achieve more together, says Karen Kubick, Director of the Wastewater Enterprise Capital Improvement Program for the City and County of San Francisco’s Public utilities Commission (SFPUC) & Water Environment Federation (WEF) Board of Trustee Member ahead of the April 4 Event.
Partnership with perspectives
The Danish Industry Foundation has made a DKK1.4 million commitment to support the project, and it is their hope that the gains from the project will be considerable, and that the solution to the water crisis in California will further be able to benefit others in the end.
- A close collaboration between the companies in question will be able to accelerate trade, and the same applies when establishing development partnerships with large public sector companies, just to take an example. To us, the partnership in California is a pinprick operation undertaken in a select geographic region. If the project develops as desired concerning close collaboration, increased trade and the discovery of new findings, we can transfer the methodology of the project to other sectors and regions, CEO of the Danish Industry Foundation Mads Lebech says.
Aarhus Vand is responsible for managing the project, and the water distribution company plays an important role in sharing their knowledge and expertise on efficient water management and treatment.
- In Denmark, our wish is to expand our position as the powerhouse to clever and efficient water solutions on a global scale. As such, we create growth and Danish jobs, and we help other countries to reach their targets for reducing pollution and improving water use efficiency. In turn, we discover new findings and ideas that help to further our efficiency back in Denmark. Our experiences have shown us that cross-partnerships open doors and benefit many parties, and this is exactly the objective of the WTA California, CEO of Aarhus Vand Lars Schrøder says.
On 20 January, Eva Kjer Hansen (Liberal), the Danish Minister for Environment and Food, will be visiting Aarhus for the topping-out ceremony of Egaa Renseanlaeg treatment plant; the first in the world to pro-duce 50 % more electricity than it uses.
A large number of water-treatment plants, both in Denmark and abroad, must be transformed from energy guzzlers to energy producers. This will be through entirely new technologies that exploit the green energy-production potentials in wastewater. Total energy renovation of the treatment plant at Egaa, just outside Aarhus, means that Aarhus Vand (a Danish water utility) is setting new standards for developing treatment plants into energy producers.
The topping-out is a milestone in the technological development of treatment plants towards becoming energy producers. And not only in Denmark, but throughout the world. When the treatment plant at Egaa is in full operation in autumn 2016, it will be producing 50 % more electricity than it consumes. This has never been seen before.
“Repercussions from this will not only be heard in Denmark, but they will very much resound in the rest of the world. This topping-out marks the conclusion of a long and exciting process of innovation, in which there were originally 63 ideas from Denmark and abroad to establish ‘the energy-producing treatment plant of the future’. The new plant at Egaa will be completed on the basis of this innovative approach to developing new water technology and it’s the very nice result of unique and fruitful collaboration between two companies, Envidan and Per Aarsleff, and the Aarhus Vand utility company,” said Lars Schroeder, CEO at Aarhus Vand.
The Minister for Environment and Food, Eva Kjer Hansen, will be holding a speech at the ceremony, and she had this to say about the perspectives:
“Treatment plants must move forward from being energy guzzlers to being energy producers, and we have a really good example of this here at Egaa. This is an area in which Denmark can enhance and develop its position in eco-technology. There is a vision to double exports from the sector by 2025, and to create up to 4,000 new jobs in the water sector,” said the Minister.
Energy-neutral and CO2-neutral by 2030
Aarhus Vand’s strategy is to be energy-neutral and CO2-neutral by 2030 at the latest. By no later than 2016, all of the company’s water-treatment plants must be supplying green energy to the electricity and heat grids, and the plant at Egaa will be supplying green energy at competitive prices. The plant will act as a demonstration plant to showcase the newest technological advances to Danish and foreign experts and decision makers with an interest in energy optimisation and energy production.