Articles & Case Studies

Southern Water Signs Hydro SludgeScreen™ Service Agreement

Posted: Tuesday 17th December 2013

Southern Water has upgraded its provision for the service and planned maintenance of its Hydro SludgeScreen® primary sludge screening and dewatering units with a new five year contract.

There are more than 60 Hydro SludgeScreen™ units installed at more than 30 sites around the region. Southern Water has outsourced the service requirements of sludge screening and screenings de-watering units, to Hydro since 2008.

With a greater emphasis on operating efficiency and through-life value of plant and equipment in AMP6, Southern Water and Hydro together took the opportunity to review service provision for SludgeScreen™ operations across the region and identify key service improvements.

“We are convinced of the benefits of planned maintenance agreements. They are critical to our operating efficiency,” said Bob Phillips, Principal Legislation Engineer (Assets) for Southern Water. “Service and planned maintenance schedules build certainty into waste treatment plant operation with the consistency of known operational costs. It means there are no surprise equipment failures leading to costly emergency downtime and the need to tanker to other plants.

“In line with current strategy decisions, especially with reference to AMP6, we must protect and make best use of the assets of Southern Water. By assets we mean both the equipment to be operated efficiently at the lowest possible lifetime costs and the skills of our operatives that should also be used as effectively as possible.”

The Southern Water Assets Team conducted a review of in-house maintenance procedures and the services provided by Hydro’s specialist Spares and Service Division and they worked together to implement key improvements and streamline maintenance efficiency based on key performance data and to target common root causes for failure. A thorough review identified further operating efficiencies. In particular, an ongoing review structure was developed to increase the flexibility to respond to any need to change procedures during the service period. The opportunity has been taken to include environmental checks to deliver customer improvement such as reduction of nuisance odours.

“Working with Hydro, we were able to agree a plan which considered the total tasks, the scheduled maintenance visits and how critical procedures should be divided between the in-house team and Hydro’s service provision The maintenance provided under the contract has been fully integrated with the important maintenance completed by Southern Water’s own staff. This provides a total care package that takes advantage of the available skilled resources to deliver efficiencies.

“With their experience and knowledge as the equipment supplier, Hydro also provides quality checks on our own weekly equipment inspections. They will also perform longer term audits, measuring for example, the content profile of the screenings that can indicate any changes in waste material and whether other treatment processes are required.”

Neil Hobbs, Service and Warranty Manager for Hydro International’s UK Wastewater Division added: “Hydro has a strong and productive working relationship with Southern Water and we are delighted that the service contract has been renewed for a further five years, whilst building in significant enhancements to the service provision. We believe the contract is an endorsement of Hydro’s SludgeScreen™ technology as well as the benefits of service and maintenance agreements.”

The Hydro SludgeScreen™ provides screening of primary settled sludge, with dewatering and coarse material discharge in one operation without requiring washwater. With a small footprint and low running costs, it is suitable for automatic continuous or intermittent operation and sludges of varying dry solids content and will accept any combination of tanker delivery or pumped feed; it is thus ideal for works where there are considerable differences between sources, for example for accepting tankered cess pit contents. As a totally enclosed system it is a low odour process.

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