Southern Water Tankered Waste Reception System

GX Environmental specialise in the supply, installation and support of monitoring solutions to the water and wastewater industry

by Bill Astley | Tuesday 11 July 2017

Part of the GX Group of companies based in Usk, Monmouthshire, UK, GX Environmental have been providing UK Utilities with accurately collected, analysed and presented data on the reception of tankered wastewater since the early 1980s.

GX Environmental was contacted by a major UK Utility in 1984 and asked whether their standard monitoring device, normally used for logging production and downtime in the manufacturing industry, could be adapted to monitor the volume of wastewater being discharged at a Sewage Treatment Works.

When Southern Water looked into implementing Tankered Waste Reception Monitoring they needed a far more rigorous control of cess waste received in order to facilitate a more efficient billing system.

They also were experiencing a proportional increase in the monitoring and recording of transactions by tanker, by contractor, and the resultant increase in what to many Utilities was still a paper work system for documenting receipts was laborious and time consuming.

Developing the system on from the original simple flow metering to include a suspended solids meter, that would then allow the strength of the wastewater to be monitored, a system became available that allowed the introduction of a tiered billing system.

In 1992 Southern Water introduced their first group of cess/septic loggers to their operation, starting with their site at Comb Haven. The benefits that this first device brought to Southern Water were clear to see and more sites were rapidly introduced.

By 1997 a new logger, the V5, was developed incorporating a full screen that allowed the driver discharging at the works to view the transaction as it was taking place and identify the origin of the wastewater and what class of waste was being delivered.

Each logger was contacted nightly, automatically, by means of a dial up modem and the transactions for that day were uploaded onto the web site, which naturally, Southern Water had access to.

The availability of accurately collected, analysed and presented data on each days transactions proved an invaluable asset to the day top running of the business.

As the volume of wastewater being received by each site increased, and as contractors were expected to pay based on volume and strength discharged the amounts paid were often in question, so the introduction of accurate real time measurement allowed easy clarification.

Working closely with the GX Environmental Service Engineers and Software Team a feature was developed that would allow either SMS, fax and/or E-mail alerts to be sent almost immediately to every contractor should a shut down occur. Previously it could have taken personnel most of a morning to inform all contractors of problems with sites and then the same amount of time to contact them again to say the site had been reopened. This detracted from the site personnel doing the more important work of keeping the plant running.

Immediately the messaging facility was implemented operating efficiencies improved and it also freed up important time that had previously been needed to ensure the contractors were informed of the up to date situation at all sites.

Southern Water during this time had also installed V loggers at their Intersite Sludge Reception facilities in order to monitor their own fleet of tankers carrying dewatered sludge from one site to another for on going treatment.

Service and Support agreements with GX Environmental ensured that twice a year full Preventative Maintenance calls were made to check all the equipment and calibrate the solids meter, flow meter and service the actuator and knife gate valve.

The TIDON web based system that allows selected Southern Water personnel to see the daily, weekly and monthly transaction reports also communicates with their other in house systems to upload data for customer billing. The integration of the TIDON data reporting and the customer billing system was provided by GX Environmental software engineers.

This now means transaction data is uploaded directly into their SAP system for the raising of invoices.

The complete solution in Southern Water has been developed over 25 years in line with their on going requirements and need to have a full audit trail of all transactions at their sites across the South East of the UK. The system now monitors loggers at 61 sites, covering both Cess/Septic reception and Inter Site Sludge, through 77 lines.

The TIDON web based centralised services and transaction recording system collects 12500 to 13000 transactions monthly.

A 3 year contract for supply and support of their loggers and transaction data management was awarded to GX in 2004 with the option to extend for a further 2 years after that, which was taken up.

From the original implementation to date GX have continued to work with Southern Water to provide maintenance and support services while working collaboratively with Southern Water to develop system functionality in line with their requirements for the day to day running of their operation.
During this time GX Engineers worked with a German sampler supplier, Watersam, and with modifications to their unit and the design of a special draw off spool piece to be fitted into the standard line pipe work a successful, reliable operable sampler unit was developed.

The introduction of in line samplers at reception stations was seen as an ideal way of either targeted or random sampling of discharged loads. The system can be asked to sample at a certain frequency or identify a particular key fob accessing the system.

This has served in most cases to dissuade the idea of collecting anything other than allowable wastewater for discharge at the works. During the time the samplers have been in service they have identified problem loads and through the link on the system between the bottle numbers in the refrigerated sampler and the transaction that was sampled, a full audit trail is available of which contractor discharged which load.

With the constant need to meet regulatory compliance and provide a complete audit trail, not only for internal paperwork needs but also for the Environmental Agency means that the solution provided by GX Environmental proves its worth on a daily basis.

Having supplied the majority of UK Utilities with V loggers, GX Environmental now have an Overseas partner program in operation. Currently partners in Canada, New Zealand, U.A.E., Qatar, Scotland and Mainland Europe are offering the same benefits to their clients as have been and are being achieved on a daily basis by Southern Water.


Bill Astley
GX Environmental
+44 1291 673437

Tuesday 11 July 2017 / file under Wastewater | Water