Marking 100 years of activated sludge

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Marking 100 years of activated sludge

ON the 2nd and 3rd of April 2014 in Manchester the CIWEM Wastewater Management Panel is organising a conference in association with Aqua Enviro to celebrate the centenary of the invention of the activated sludge process.

The programme comprises two days of technical presentations covering the historical developments of the process and the future of wastewater treatment.
The activated sludge process is now one of the most widely used processes for the treatment of wastewaters from medium to large populations and it has found application in almost all of the countries of the world. It is widely accepted that the original process is attributed to experimental work undertaken by Dr Edward Ardern and Mr William Lockett at the Davyhulme Sewage Works, operated at that time by the Manchester Corporation.
The origin of the process and the experimental work on which it was based were described by Ardern and Lockett in a series of papers read by them before the Manchester Section of the Society of Chemical Industry. As a result of this early work Lockett applied for funding to the Worshipful Company of Grocers and in July 1914 he was elected a Grocer’s Fellow, a position that was renewed in 1915 and 1916.
Ardern also presented the findings of their research to the 13th AGM of the Association of Managers of Sewage Disposal Works on 10th December 1914 – this organisation was a forerunner of the present CIWEM and both Ardern and Lockett were early members. Thus there were four UK organisations involved in this breakthrough: Manchester Corporation as the employers; CIWEM as the Institution; the SCi who hosted the original meeting and published the paper and the Worshipful Company of Grocers who funded the follow up study that ensured its full-scale development.
In addition to a conference the 2nd and 3rd April event includes an exhibition of up to 40 industry leading companies who will be showcasing their products and services.
United Utilities are the lead sponsor of the conference, and will be hosting a site visit to Davyhulme where the process was invented. Thames Water and Strathkelvin ASP-CON are also sponsoring this event. Further details are available at www.activatedsludgeconference.com or email Sarah at sarahbrown@aquaenviro.co.uk.

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