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  • by Trevor Loveday

United Utilities adds river revival to its innovation programme

United Utilities has added a new category to its fifth annual Innovation Lab programme that will look to provide “sustainable solutions to support its river revival programme.” The company has opened the programme for applications to be in by 2 July.

Head of innovation at United Utilities, Kieran Brocklebank, said the 14-week programme aims to generate ideas that have the potential to “transform the water sector either through brand new technology or by bringing existing ideas from other industries to the water sector.”

Under the Better Rivers category United Utilities said it is looking for “ways to enhance monitoring, nature-based purification processes, wetland solutions and innovative ways to engage communities.”


The other categories are:

  • Low Carbon Constructionto explore ways to reduce the carbon footprint of these projects;

  • Water Efficiency – to discover new technologies and solutions to enable United Utilities to facilitate the reduction of water consumption for both domestic and business customers;

  • Dynamic Network Management – to expand on its current programme by improving their asset condition monitoring capabilities with the aim of using data to control assets via remote communication; and

  • Wildcard – where the company is “open to learning and being surprised by what new technologies and different approaches can do for them and their customers, employees and stakeholders.”

As in previous years, United Utilities will deliver its Innovation Lab programme with corporate innovation specialist, L Marks.


United Utilities said it will trial across three other wastewater treatment works in the Petteril catchment to reduce phosphorus discharge by 566kg/year by September 2024. It said 98kg of that reduction will be achieved through catchment interventions.

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