March's top stories: Severn Trent picks OVA7000, Thames Water seeks investors

Severn Trent Water selected the OVA7000 water treatment monitoring tool developed by Modern Water, and Thames Water commenced a search for international investors to fund the construction of a £4bn super-sewer across London. wraps-up the key headlines from March.

CH2M HILL secures wetlands restoration contract

Severn Trent Water selects OVA7000 water monitoring tool

Water monitoring tool

Following a three-month trial, UK-based water utility Severn Trent Water (SVT) selected the OVA7000 water treatment monitoring tool developed by membrane technologies company Modern Water, and is currently investigating potential areas for deployment.

The OVA7000 is an online tool that detects naturally occurring trace metals in water. It is integrated with SVT's telemetry system.

Modern Water monitoring division managing director Neil Townend said that this is the first OVA7000 tool installed for drinking water quality in the UK.

Thames Water seeks investors for London sewer project

UK water firm Thames Water commenced a search for international investors to fund the construction of a £4bn super-sewer across London.

The company is expected to formally advertise for investors in May, in a process that will be handled by investment bank UBS. Planning consent for the project is due in September.

The new 15-mile tunnel known as The Thames Tideway Tunnel will run west to east across London. It will upgrade the underground network that was originally constructed for London's two million inhabitants in the 1850s. The old tunnel is currently serving nearly eight million London residents.

Helena Water opens Mundaring Water Treatment Plant in Australia

Water Treatment Plant

Helena Water Consortium opened the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant to serve more than 100,000 people in Western Australia.

Located in Mundaring, a residential district approximately 21 miles east of Perth, the A$300m plant will supply Western Australia's Goldfield and Agricultural Water System (G&AWS), and will become the main source of water for a larger population in the future.

It will have an ultimate capacity of approximately 240,000m³ a day, but will initially be outfitted for 165,000m³ a day.

UNICEF report estimates that majority of world's poor lack access to safe water

safe water

Approximately 768 million people still do not have access to safe water according to UNICEF and WHO estimates. Most of these people are poor and live in remote rural areas or urban slums.

UNICEF revealed that nearly 1,400 children under the age of five die every day from diarrhoeal diseases caused by lack of safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.

The organisation is implementing WASH programming in more than 100 nations, as well as new initiatives, such as cost-effective drilling and community-based water safety planning, which aim to bring safe water to families living in isolated regions.

CH2M HILL secures wetlands restoration contract


The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) awarded a contract to CH2M HILL to provide professional engineering services as part of an $880m plan to restore the Everglades.

The Everglades, one of the largest US freshwater wetland systems, once covered nearly 11,000 square miles of South Florida. It is home to dozens of threatened and endangered species.

Efforts to drain the marshland for agriculture, development and flood control have reduced the Everglades to half the size it was a century ago.

LG Chem to acquire NanoH2O

LG Chem decided to purchase US-based water company NanoH2O for $200m.

The company develops, manufactures and markets reverse osmosis (RO) membranes that lower the cost of desalination. LG Chem says that the deal will strengthen its water treatment filter business. The acquisition is expected to close next month.

Last year, NanoH2O was selected for two large projects in Saudi Arabia. The first project was awarded by Al Fatah Water and Power International for phase II of the Jubail desalination plant. QuantumFlux membranes will produce 13,000m³ of water per day.

US researchers to develop new biosensor to protect water supplies

Researchers at the University of California San Diego, US, will develop a new biosensor following a $953,958 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The biosensors will continuously monitor water supplies for the presence of toxins, aiming to protect the nation's water supplies from heavy metals and other poisons. The DARPA funding has the potential for an additional $655,130 in a second year of support.

UC San Diego BioCircuits Institute director Jeff Hasty is heading the project, which will combine next-generation sequencing, synthetic biology and microfluidic technologies to engineer a highly specific array of biosensors.

Companies form India water treatment joint venture

Voltas and Dow Chemical Pacific (Singapore) formed a joint-venture (JV) to tap the growing water and wastewater treatment market in India.

Voltas Water Solutions will be an equal partnership JV to market and distribute standard packaged water treatment systems and wastewater treatment systems.

The systems will have a capacity of up to 20m³ per hour and will be used by residential and commercial complexes and light industrial markets in the Indian subcontinent.