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IRONMAN™ awarded ‘Most Innovative use of an Existing Technology’ at the Water Industry Awards 2020

7 August 2020

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Bethan Stones

Group Marketing Manager

Cura Terrae
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Water Industry Awards Winner 2020

EMS is proud to have been awarded the ‘Most Innovative use of Existing Technology’ for IRONMAN™ at this year’s Water Industry Awards.

The Water Industry Awards are a prestigious event that celebrate and reward outstanding achievement and innovation in the UK water industry. IRONMAN™ won the Most Innovative use of an Existing Technology’ from a shortlist of 10 high-calibre entries.

IRONMAN™ is an innovative and autonomous wastewater treatment control technology based on Artificial Intelligence. It is used to control the addition of iron additives to remove phosphate as part of the wastewater treatment process. The development of this solution was adapted from the CENTAUR®  flood control platform (a 2018 Water Industry Award Winner)  which evolved from an Innovate UK project with The University of Sheffield.

IRONMAN™ is self-managing and easily deployed. Through the optimisation of iron additives, this technology has the potential to save thousands of pounds, benefiting water companies, their customers, and the environment. 

As well as autonomy, the system provides visibility via an internet dashboard and stores data for interrogation. 

Dr James Huntingdon, Smart Wastewater Division Manager at EMS is delighted with the award,

“At EMS we understand the environmental and economic pressures that the wastewater industry is under. So, in winning this award we are proud to be recognised for our work with the brilliant team at Northumbrian Water. We moved quickly and efficiently to solve a pressing environmental issue. Such awards are important to us because they give us confidence in what we do as a business. It’s confidence that drives innovation.”

Tightening phosphate consents and the need to save energy and additives led to the development of IRONMAN™. An innovation project was conceived between EMS and Northumbrian Water to derive a system to intelligently dose additives based on prevailing phosphate load conditions. Funding was secured from Innovate UK.

IRONMAN™ has been operating on its first pilot site since September 2019; a Northumbrian Water site serving 32k population equivalent. It is CE compliant and now available commercially with more deployments planned in 2020.

Laura Evans, Technical Advisor Wastewater Performance at Northumbrian Water said,

“Northumbrian Water are always looking for new innovative ideas to help us improve efficiency and protect the environment. The IRONMANpilot allowed us to explore the use of AI to improve our performance. Working with EMS was easy, their pragmatic, structured approach to the pilot helped us work together to achieve the desired outcome whilst ensuring the environment was protected throughout.”

Congratulations to all the winners at the Water Industry Awards. We would like to thank everyone at WWT and Faversham house for putting on a great virtual awards ceremony and we are honoured to be recognised.

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