Water Quality Consultancy

Aqueum provide a full range of water quality consultancy and advisory services including:

  1. Water quality analysis & diagnosis
  2. Advice on source selection & protection
  3. Evaluation of source water quality
  4. Water Treatment process design & optimisation
  5. Disinfection design & optimisation
  6. Network water quality investigations & modelling
  7. Legionella audits
  8. Source to tap investigations
  9. HAZOP expert provision & facilitation
  10. Water safety plan facilitation
  11. Water quality expert witness
  12. Water quality and disinfection policy production & advisory

Contact us for a confidential chat on any water quality issues.

Water quality analysis & diagnosis

Many water utilities have millions of historic water quality data points.  The truth that these data points can reveal is often obscured by outliers & systemic errors.  Aqueum has significant experience in cutting through the irrelevant to find the heart of the matter – determining critical correlations between water quality parameters that often reveal not only the problem, but potential solutions.

If you don’t already have the data you need, we can recommend labs in most locations.  More critically we can advise on the critical parameters required to diagnose your water quality issue, we can work with you to intelligently refine your monitoring regime, deriving value from each data point.

Advice on source selection & protection

At least half of the battle with water quality is the source.  If you have the luxury of choice with your water source, we can help you to rapidly home in on the optimum location.

With established sources, even beyond statutory obligations, minimisation of risk at source can be more cost effective and is often more sustainable than subsequent treatment based solutions.

Evaluation of source water quality

Most water quality projects start with source water quality analysis, a comparison with the desired treated water quality and a gap analysis to determine water treatment requirements.  We take a risk based approach, building stochastic models that allow the most cost effective solution to be identified without risking a short sighted decision that only resolves yesterday’s problem.

Water Treatment process design & optimisation

Feasibility Studies & Optioneering

Starting with analysis of the potential source water & desired treated water quality, we determine the shortfall and propose one or more options to provide the required level of treatment.  The output of such a feasibility study is entirely tailored to the clients requirements, but would typically include estimates of required footprint, capex and opex, along with an assessment of risk and sustainability.  With financial optioneering we prefer to use a Net Present Value (NPV) method to allow comparison of capital and operationally intensive options with a level playing field.

Concept Design & Performance Specification

Once the client has selected the preffered option, we would typically produce a concept design, refining the footprint estimate with a conceptual layout, further estimating energy and chemical requirements, determining the likely workforce hence providing more accurate project cost estimates.  This concept design allows for the development of a performance specification that determines the minimum requirements of any tender design.  It therefore allows an apples vs apples comparison of contractors’ proposals.

Tender Evaluation

Often the best and most competitive water treatment technologies are proprietary designs, we therefore do not set out to provide a prescriptive design that any competent contractor could build, instead we provide a performance specification that all proposals must meet or exceed.  This allows the most competitive tendering process where any suitable technology can be proposed.  When we are asked to provide tender evaluation our preference is to also provide the technical tender documents – we are therefore able to lay out the required technical elements of each proposal in a way that facilitates the most rapid (hence lowest cost) and comprehensive (hence lowest risk) tender evaluation possible.

Owner’s / Lenders Engineer

If desired, we can support the owner or lender throughout the project, policing compliance with the performance specification & maintaining an ongoing risk register.

Disinfection design & optimisation

Disinfection is the most critical step in terms of potable water quality – it can also be a massive issue with industrial water projects.  As such we feel it deserves specific attention here.

Getting primary disinfection (the initial pathogen kill) right is a critical and often overlooked step.  Optimisation of disinfection reduces the level of potentially carcinogenic disinfection by-products formed, while also safeguarding water users and downstream processes.  Chemical disinfection (most commonly with chlorine) requires the correct level of dosing, but optimal mixing is also critical before the required Ct value (disinfectant concentration times time) is implemented to kill pathogens.  Adequate mixing and control provides the required concentration, optimal contact system design provides the required time.  We also have significant experience in UV, membrane and thermal systems for primary disinfection, but would generally recommend a residual disinfectant dose with most systems:

Optimal residual disinfection (maintaining a disinfectant concentration throughout distribution) is one of the widest ranging water quality mitigations as well as being a cost effective means of water quality monitoring.  As with primary disinfection, excessive disinfectant residuals can be a significant source of disinfection by-products, but allowing residuals to drop to zero can allow unchecked growth of biofilms and pathogens.

Network water quality investigations & modelling

In complex systems, significant savings can be afforded by network water quality modelling.  We can determine bulk chlorine (and other disinfectant) decay equations, allowing network modelling to optimise the location and extent of residual disinfectant booster stations in new networks.

Even greater benefits can be yielded when a water quality model is calibrated against the real world network by empirical determination of wall decay coefficients.  We have used such models to diagnose significant recalcitrant network water quality issues that had plagued one water transmission company and baffled experts for years.  Such models can be used to optimise network water quality maintenance, by identifying decaying mains and excessive biofilm growth without the need for invasive monitoring and CCTV surveys.

Legionella audits

There are many experts in legionella auditing, we would advise that you select one who does not stand to profit from the products and systems that their audits recommend.  If you are unable to find such independent assessors, we can provide independent oversight of your auditors.

Source to tap investigations

Source to tap is an excellent way to deliver holistic risk assessment across a water utility – we can help with screening, assessment, risk mitigation and detailed investigation.

HAZOP expert provision & facilitation

All too often HAZOPs and similar detailed systematic hazard and risk analysis techniques just go through the motions.  We can provide passionate, yet experienced water quality and other water experts to ensure that each study adds real value.  Where required we can also provide independent chairs.

Water safety plan facilitation

External independent experts can accelerate water safety plan system assessments.  We can also optimise monitoring of your control measures and can assist responsible persons with the production of management plans to allow pre-determined best practice to be implemented even in the height of a crisis.

Water quality expert witness

We can provide independent water quality expertise for arbitration and disputes.  With significant experience working with legal advisors, we are able to rapidly determine and express the most significant issues.

Water quality and disinfection policy production & advisory

We feel that the availability of potable water of adequate quality for drinking and food preparation, along with adequate quantities of water for washing and sanitation at affordable prices are basic human rights.  We completely understand the balances that regulators, governments and utilities must strike in terms of cost, quality and quantity.  We are also all too aware of the risks that water utility staff face along with the public risk associated with many aspects of water treatment.

The challenges faced in setting policy are significant, and the potential public benefit huge.  We have therefore always risen to the challenge and given policy and regulatory work our utmost effort.  We would love to serve you wherever we are needed.

Other water quality consultancy

For any other water quality issues, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  If we are unable to assist you directly, we should at least be able to point you in the direction of someone who can.

To find out more about how Aqueum can help with your water quality and treatment needs please Contact us.