Commissioning tests for sludge treatment facility

- Yorkshire Water case study -
Aqua Enviro (SUEZ) were asked by the construction firm to conduct commissioning tests for a sludge treatment facility to ensure all elements were working correctly and optimally before handover. 
The issue
The construction firm Black & Veatch (now RSK) were contracted by Yorkshire Water to design and build the sludge treatment facility (STF) at Knostrop in Leeds to replace an aging sludge incinerator. The plant was designed to process up to 148,000 tonnes of dry solids per year with the aim of generating a 100 MWh of electricity per day. The main goal of the facility was to be a major step forward in helpin Yorkshire Water achieve self reliance in energy generation from renewable sources while aiding their journey to Carbon Net Zero. As part of the plant’s development the construction firm needed to ensure all the elements were working correctly and optimally before handover to Yorkshire Water. They required specific testing and operational expertise from a reliable partner, who could also project manage other sub-contractors.
The solution

Aqua Enviro, a SUEZ company, was appointed to provide support on particular technical aspects during commissioning as well as the management of specific performance tests. These services were required to achieve handover to the water company and needed to be delivered against tight project timescales. Aqua Enviro brought together a project team comprising of technical, operational and site experts so they could deliver against the full breadth of the multi-faceted nature of the client’s requirement. To ensure dedicated support and facilitate quick turnarounds, the Aqua Enviro team set up an on-site analysis laboratory and, during the period of digester feeding ramp-up, the team provided 24 hour site presence, 7 days a week.


The service offer covered all areas of commissioning, operation and optimisation and demonstrates breadth and depth of technical and process expertise coupled with extensive site operation support. The details of the support programme are as follows:
The results

The £72 million project started in 2016 and was completed and delivered to Yorkshire Water on time and in full functioning order in 2019. The SUEZ team were proud to help achieve the successful handover of the project, keeping to the tight project timelines, ensuring all KPIs were met and with the plant performing at its designed specification.

Differentiating factors

Each wastewater and sludge facility, whether it has been operating for years or brand new is unique and clients need to bring in outside, objective assistance to maintain and improve performance. Aqua Enviro is uniquely placed for this. The team has the breadth and depth of experience across a wide customer base. They have widely respected technical knowledge and operational capabilities regarding the commissioning of Anaerobic Digestor (AD) systems. They are adept at conducting wastewater asset performance testing and providing optimisation guidance. For each situation, the team is able to provide a tailored package of support, as broad, specific or varied as required, with an agile, flexible workforce that can adjust as projects unfold.

The future

Aqua Enviro services and experience are called upon for a range of AD plant commissioning, operation, optimisation and client handover programmes. The consultancy is constantly developing new services to help our clients optimise asset performance, reliability and safety.

Being part of the team that helps bring new sludge treatment facilities to life is very satisfying. Technically interesting and valuable, not only to the water utility but also beneficial for the planet.

Rowland Minall-Operations Director Aqua Enviro -SUEZ