The 12th European Waste Water Management Conference (EWWM), Manchester (AquaEnviro), addressed a range of questions about water treatment, including tomorrow’s challenges of phosphorus removal to stringent discharge consents and of emerging contaminants (pharmaceuticals, antimicrobial resistance, organic chemicals, microplastics). The conference brought together around 230 participants, mainly from water companies and technology suppliers.
Chris Thornton, European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP), opened the conference session on phosphorus (P), by summarising the pressures to remove phosphorus from wastewater and the developments towards phosphorus recovery and recycling. He underlined opportunities including the proposed new EU Fertilisers Regulation, EU R&D funding and projects, the draft EU Water Reuse Regulation, the Water Framework Directive review, the pending EU pharmaceuticals strategy, technology transfer and flexible consent permitting. A key and pressing challenge however is the questioning of use of sewage biosolids in agriculture, both from regulators and from supermarket or food industry purchasing criteria, driven by negative perceptions around contaminants
Complete reporting of the phosphorus session can be found in ESPP eNews 26: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews026