Northumbrian Water Group secure funding for customer-focused innovation projects

Northumbrian Water has secured £1.8m worth of funding for three different projects which will help to further improve services for customers and make operations more efficient.

The water company managed to secure the significant amount of funding thanks to three winning bids in the second round of the Water Breakthrough Challenge, Catalyst Stream competition ran by its regulator Ofwat and innovation foundation Nesta.

The large-scale financial backing, which will see the money split between three different projects, will be a great investment into the region, and will support work into initiatives aimed at improving water quality, as well as wastewater and customer services.

The first project to receive funding is called ‘Support for All’. This is aimed at helping to establish a region-wide cross-utility Priority Services Register so that customers in vulnerable circumstances can receive help from all of their utility companies when needed.

The second project is called ‘Treatment-2-Tap’ and will see engineers adding water quality sensors to the final leg of water’s journey from treatment works to tap. This will then be studied, in collaboration with four other water companies, and the data gained will help to further improve the water quality for the customer.

The final project is known as SuPR Loofah (Sustainable Phosphorus Recovery) and this initiative involves the recovery of phosphorus from wastewater using an innovative micro-algae coated on loofah material and held in place by a sustainable polymer coating. Once the ‘SuPR Loofah’ is full of phosphorus it will be removed, replaced and the phosphorus recovered, preventing environmental damage.

All three projects are customer focused and are set to have a positive benefit to customers across the North East.

Angela MacOscar, Head of Innovation at Northumbrian Water Group, said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and here we have three incredible projects that are set to deliver great benefits for them.

“We are incredibly proud that out of the 13 winning bids, we have managed to secure three of them – this shows how Northumbrian Water is truly leading the way when it comes to innovation both in the region and in the sector.

“I can’t wait to see what happens to all three of these projects over the coming months, and I’m looking forward to see each of them making a real-life difference to the people in our communities.”

Some of the ideas funded were developed during Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival – which is returning in July 2022.



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