Scottish Water signs agreement with SEPA on resources recovery from waste

Scottish Water has signed a pioneering agreement with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) which will focus on finding new ways to recover more resources from the wastes the water utility manages and generates.

This so-called Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) between the two organisations was triggered by the recognition that Scotland’s sewage and solid organic waste can contribute to the country’s heat and power needs and contribute to further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change.

To date the water company has recycled over 115,000t of organic material from waste water for use as a fuel, soil conditioner or fertiliser.

Under the agreement Scottish Water has committed to developing proposals for a full-scale resource from waste project for delivery in the investment period 2021-027, subject to other priorities.

The focus will be on innovative ways of managing rainwater and waste water drainage to help protect the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of Scotland’s towns and cities and maximising the recovery of resources from Scotland’s sewage and cycling them back into a circular economy.

As well the company will make choices about how to invest in protecting the quality of Scotland’s water environment that minimise energy and resource use.

Scottish Water chief executive, Douglas Millican, said: “We manage almost a billion litres a day of waste water through our sewage network and in our treatment, works. We believe there is significant potential to release further economic value from that and will work with SEPA to understand how it can be delivered.”