Yorkshire Water has announced it is to embrace the sludge treatment market to drive efficiency, boost resilience and accelerate innovation within the water sector.
The water company currently spends around 10% of its annual operating costs treating sludge but now plans to offer more opportunities for third-party companies to improve how it transports, treats and recycles the material.
It will invite these firms to share expert information and increase collaboration to optimise the industry.
Around 150,000 tonnes of sewage sludge are treated each year by Yorkshire Water, with 69% converted into renewable energy via anaerobic digestion – the industry is estimated to be worth up to £1.6 billion in the UK.
Yorkshire Water expects continued investments and knowledge sharing to increase these numbers and deliver significantly lower operating costs by 2020.
Ben Roche, Head of Energy & Recycling at Yorkshire Water, said: “We want to build even more relationships with expert companies operating in the bioresources market who can open us up to efficient technologies, new recycling avenues and cost-efficiencies that ultimately will help us keep customers’ bills down and make us even more resilient.”