Environmental Design

Water is the Earth's most precious resource. We can't survive without it. As the global population grows, our continuing challenge is to minimise our impact on its availability, in order to protect it for future generations.

The design and operation of the built environment is key to protecting fresh water, by ensuring that pollution is strictly controlled and water efficiency is maximised. Blue Rose's Environmental Design service provides integrated solutions to some of the most challenging environmental problems encountered within the built environment:

Trade Effluent Disposal

Pollutive Liquid Containment

Trade Effluent Disposal

The disposal of trade effluent presents a great challenge to most companies, primarily because a) effluent treatment is not the core business or expertise of the company in question and b) it does not create any source of income or revenue for the business, in fact it creates the opposite - an ongoing cost. Nevertheless, all businesses have a legal obligation to ensure that trade effluent discharged from their premises is properly licensed, either through a trade effluent consent or an environmental permit.

Blue Rose can review your entire 'case' and work on your behalf to ensure that you are managing and discharging effluent as economically, legally and safely as possible. Having identified any areas of risk and/or scope for improvement, we can provide the following services:

  • Application for Trade Effluent Consent or Environmental Permit
  • Effluent treatability analysis
  • Scoping of new or modified effluent treatment plant
  • Front End Engineering & Design (FEED)
  • Detailed design and procurement
  • Full project management of all work throughout the entire process

More specifically, we can be of assistance if you need help answering any of the following questions:

Do you need a Trade Effluent Consent or an Environmental Permit?

Under the Water Industry Act 1991, trade effluent is defined as any wastewater produced on trade premises (and in pursuit of a trade or business). It does not include domestic sewage – which is defined as wastewater produced as a result domestic usage, such as washing, food and drink, or using the toilet. You will need a trade effluent consent if you are discharging trade effluent to the sewer.

If you are not discharging to a sewer, you will need an environmental permit if you carry out either of the following:

  • a stand-alone water discharge activity – releasing polluting liquids directly to surface water such as rivers or streams
  • a stand-alone groundwater activity – releasing polluting liquids directly or indirectly to water underground

Whether you require a trade effluent consent or an environmental permit, we can carry out the application procedure and negotiate with the local water authority or environment agency on your behalf.

Are you paying too much for your trade effluent charges?

When you are billed by your water authority, the volume of trade effluent discharged is generally assumed to equal the volume of mains water consumed. However, many businesses incorporate water into a product and/or produce steam which is lost to the atmosphere - in these cases the volume of trade effluent will be less than that of mains water consumed.

Are you literally throwing money down the drain? Blue Rose can evaluate the way in which water is consumed on your site and advise you accordingly.

Do you know exactly what is in the effluent you are discharging and would you be able to prove it?

When was the last time your effluent was sampled and analysed? How easily can you confirm whether or not you are in compliance with your consent or permit? Representative sampling could also save you money on your discharge consent, if it turns out that the strength of effluent in terms of suspended solids (TSS) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) is a lot less than you are actually paying for.

Blue Rose can  take samples of your effluent for analysis by an accredited laboratory, giving you a certified physical and chemical breakdown of the overall quality. We can also help you implement suitable instrumentation and remote monitoring equipment, giving you the most accurate picture of your effluent quality in real time.

Does your effluent require treatment?

Depending on the quality criteria of your trade effluent consent or environmental permit, you may need to pre-treat your effluent before discharge. This could be because one or more of the quality parameters would otherwise be out of compliance. Such parameters typically include one or more of the following:

Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG, or TOG)
Ammoniacal Nitrogen

Other contaminants may include heavy metals such as chromium, mercury, arsenic and lead.

Blue Rose can review the various treatment options on a project by project basis, giving the implications, costs and benefits of each one. We can also carry out 'treatability analysis' to evaluate exactly how well your effluent responds to different types of treatment. We work with qualified and experienced process chemists to ensure that the testing is appropriate, accurate and representative of the type of treatment in question.

Do you know if your effluent treatment plant is operating as well as it should be?

You may already have an effluent treatment plant installed at your facility, to ensure compliance with your trade effluent consent or environmental permit. However, the nature of the processes generating your effluent may have changed over time - in terms of both chemical composition and volume. This could stress your existing plant, leading to increased consumption of energy and/or chemical reagents. It could also mean that the final effluent quality is no longer in compliance.

Blue Rose can visit your plant and make a full appraisal of the existing process, the mechanical and electrical plant, and the instrumentation and control to help you ensure that you are treating your effluent as efficiently and as risk free as possible.

Pollutive Liquid Containment

Does your building or project feature elevated or buried pipework that contains chemicals / hazardous fluids? Does your site feature underground sumps and tanks?

Are you at risk of breaking any environmental law?

Would you be able to detect any leaks safely and quickly - before it's too late?

We can review your existing and/or proposed plant and infrastructure to highlight areas of risk and implement improvements to protect your business. We offer design and project management services taking you all the way from concept through to commissioning.

Hare a couple of case studies where companies in the UK have been fined for breaching safety, health and environmental legislation:

Don't get caught out, contact us if you have any doubts regarding the environmental robustness of your site.

Our Approach

We take a holistic and collaborative approach to solving clients' trade effluent and liquid containment problems. We aim to partner with you, taking the role of 'client engineer' so that you can offload your trade effluent headaches and focus more on your core business.

Our environmental design projects are led by George Rose, our in house civil engineer. George has over 18 years of experience in the field of water and environmental management and infrastructure maintenance. He is a consultant with a solid hands-on contracting background. 

Here are some of the projects that George has been involved with:

New Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) for Aircraft Component Manufacturer

Due to expansion of their production facility, the client required the existing ETP to be decommissioned and a new plant installed at a new location. The project brief included the re-routing of pipework from existing wastewater transfer sumps around the site to the new location, and the smooth transition from the existing plant to the new plant with minimal disruption to production.

  • Design and routing of 400m of new effluent transfer pipework
  • Liaison and co-operation with the client's operations team to ensure minimal disruption to production during construction, whilst maintaining a high standard of health and safety 
  • Commissioning of the new plant and integration with the clients' existing SCADA system (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition)

As part of the design brief, it was essential to continually monitor the raw industrial effluent entering the ETP, in terms of both flow and concentration. This was to allow the automatic inhibit of any source of effluent which was 'out of spec', that would have otherwise overloaded the plant and resulted in a breach of the environmental permit.
The project involved the modification of existing pumping stations around the site, to integrate the automatic inhibit signals from the new ETP.
Enhanced leakage and flood detection for tanks and pipework was achieved using a combination of innovative bespoke equipment, and dual containment pipework systems.

New ETP for Sweeper Discharge Facility, UK International Airport
A well known international airport in the UK needed to improve its resilience to adverse winter weather by retaining a fleet of snow ploughs and sweeper vehicles to keep the runways clear. Part of the project included the design and construction of a new sweeper discharge facility with an integrated effluent plant to handle the liquid portion of the waste, which featured a high concentration of glycol from de-icing operations.

George project managed the design, installation and commissioning of the new ETP, including the erection of two 500,000 litre effluent storage tanks and one 100,000 litre buffer tank in close proximity to the runway. The plant features a unique blending system whereby two streams of effluent are automatically mixed at a calculated ratio to ensure that the total organic carbon (TOC) concentration is within the consent limit before being discharged to sewer.

'PROtector' Water Purification System for Oxfam, Kenya

George led a team of engineers to develop an experimental hand-powered reverse osmosis (RO) water purification system for Oxfam. The brief was to design and build a low-tech, small scale desalination plant that could be operated by local villagers on the shore of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. The raw lake water is brackish with a dangerously high concentration of Fluoride, well above the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended level for drinking water.

The design consisted of 4 x 40 inch BWRO membranes, pre-filters, a self priming peristaltic pump, a gearbox, capstan handle and internal clean-in-place (CIP) tank. The treated water produced upon commissioning of the system was completely compliant with WHO drinking water guidelines, with a fluoride concentration of 1.0ppm. The product flow rate was in the range of 350 - 500 litres per hour.

Unfortunately, the logistics of having to constantly turn the handle and the intensity of the CIP and maintenance required meant that it was not a viable water solution for the villagers in the long-term. However, the fact that the membrane process remedied the water safe to drink was encouraging, and the pilot led to the research and development of solar powered equipment.