By: Dr. Julian Sandino, CH2M vice president, technology senior fellow and global wastewater service team leader

CH2Mer Julian Sandino will be attending and presenting the paper, “The Ejby Mølle WWTP Future-Proofing Program: Embracing Disruptive Technologies to Manage Risk in Wastewater Planning,” co-authored by CH2M’s Tim Constantine and VCS Denmark’s Per Henrik Nielsen and Mads Leth, at SludgeTech 2016, being held June 27-29, at the University of Surrey, Guildford.

Julian will also chair the panel session, “Why innovation is essential to moving the industry forward,” on Tuesday, June 28, at 15:30.

This week, I’ve been invited to present a paper and lead a panel at CIWEM’s SludgeTech 2016 conference, being held just outside of London. I am honored to participate in this annual event and look forward to sharing my insight on how the industry can embrace disruptive technologies to manage risk in wastewater planning, as well as innovative ways we can work together to move the industry forward.

The conditions that have determined today’s wastewater industry service needs and corresponding solutions will likely change due to drastically different environmental, social and financial requirements in the future. Thus, we should anticipate that the technologies which have served us well up until now will not necessarily be adequate for our needs tomorrow. Accepting this reality provides us with a unique opportunity to consider “disruptive” technologies (rather than the continued tweaking of existing solutions) as the answer to our industry needs to prepare for the future. Tomorrow’s challenges require technologies designed to meet today’s challenges, while also providing the necessary flexibility and adaptability to deal with the uncertainty inherent in planning for the future. In the face of a difficult to discern future and the need to incorporate innovative technologies, risk management becomes an integral part of a utility’s strategy to successfully navigate the uncertainties that arise when planning.

Recent efforts undertaken by VandCenter Syd (VCS), a water/wastewater utility serving an approximate population of 400,000 in Denmark, illustrate how this utility has adopted a new approach to planning and risk management as they define the future of their largest facility, the Ejby Mølle Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), a nutrient removal facility that like many other facilities around the world is facing a future characterized by more stringent regulatory requirements, aging infrastructure, growing service needs and increased competition for its limited financial and human resource capabilities. VCS is identifying technology gaps and implementing what can be considered disruptive solutions sets to optimize facilities and recover resources from its used water. A key element of VCS’ future positioning is the incorporation of mainstream deammonification (for both side and mainstream treatment), a disruptive technology that changes how we approach carbon management, nutrient removal and energy optimization in wastewater treatment.

Learn more about VCS’ approach to positioning for the future at SludgeTech. Not attending this year’s conference? Follow the conversation using the official conference hashtag #SludgeTech2016.

As vice president, technology senior fellow and global wastewater service team leader in CH2M, Dr. Julian Sandino has participated in more than 300 sanitary infrastructure and environmental projects around the world, including process evaluations and designs for a wide variety of wastewater treatment facilities, as well as applied research projects. He also serves as an advisor and special consultant to the World Bank in the areas of Water and Sanitation. Julian is a Fellow of the Internationally Water Association (IWA) and of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), is a member of IWA’s Management Committee for the Design, Operations and Costs of Large Wastewater Treatment Plant (LWWTP) Specialist Group and is a past Chair of WEF’s Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Design Committee.