In 2010 United Utilities initiated the Asset Optimisation Programme (AOP). The goal was to optimise plant performance by reducing chemical usage, optimising electricity consumption, improving performance of combined heat & power (CHP) facilities and reducing reactive functioning time. A high level investigation comparing United Utilities wastewater treatment works against company averages for CHP production, compound use and power was undertaken. A benchmarking exercise was also carried out by way of relative efficiency measures against other water companies to recognize outlier websites and these were then prioritised in terms of possibility of optimisation.
This prioritisation and benchmarking process identified 30 wastewater treatment works for additional investigation.
The developed programme of work consisted of four periods for each of the websites: analysis, execution, benefits tracking and embedment.
The creation of combined engineering and operational teams realised delivery of the optimisation benefits on a website-by-site basis, therefore uniting operational and engineering expertise together experience and pragmatism. A systematic approach, reliant on information as opposed to subjective views, was used.