Beca Ellis

Year 1 MArch

The Power of Sludge

Whissendine, The Fens, UK

This project spotlights the ongoing crisis of toxic sewage spills into our natural water resources. According to the Environmental Agency, the UK experienced 3.6 million hours of illegal spills in 2023. As water treatment is a private industry in the UK, the government lacks sufficient control, damaging our environment. This scheme aims to harness the potential of waste, contributing to energy production and environmental protection.

The proposed park is located at an existing Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) effluent release site, which had 83 spilling incidents, lasting 845 hours in 2023. The park is designed to prevent toxic spills and repurpose waste into valuable energy and secondary biochar byproducts. Waste water treatment tanks for sedimentation and aeration separate solid sludge waste from water. The treated water is filtered through a reed bed system and a large settling pond. After filtration, the water is used for bathing before being released into the Whissendine Brook River.

The park houses a wastewater treatment centre with a developed anaerobic digestion system that processes the filtered solid sludge. Biogas produced by microorganisms is pumped to a power plant north of the site, generating energy through a Combined Heat and Power Unit (CHP) to power the park and connect to the grid. The scheme aims to demonstrate the potential of waste and organic water filtration methods. The site features a pottery studio powered by the energy generated through anaerobic digestion. The kiln is heated using excess heat from the CHP unit.

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