Hydro Nation Scholars see innovation in action at Inverurie

As part of their summer school training programme, a group of 20 of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation Scholars attended Scottish Waters £21 million state-of-the-art waste water treatment works, to learn more about the facility.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 6:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 8:37 am

The Hydro Nation scholars programme is part of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation strategy, which seeks to develop the economic, environmental and social value of Scotland’s water resources.

The programme is supported by The Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) at the Hydro Nation International Centre.

Inverurie’s new WWTW, which officially opened in 2019, was the first of its kind in Scotland to use an innovative technology called Nereda, so the visit let the group see the high standard of treatment this provides with reduced site footprint and lower energy use than more established technologies.

The scholars and Scottish Water staff involved in the tour.

The site visit was hosted by Eric Davidson, who is Scottish Waters Waste Water Operations Team Leader for the area.

It gave attendees an insight into the day-to-day running of the works, as well as a deeper dive into the award-winning technology, Nereda.

Eric said: “I’m always very proud to showcase our Inverurie Waste Water Treatment Works and it was brilliant to see such enthusiasm from the group, who clearly have a passion for water and waste water treatment.

As part of Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation Scholars PhD water research programme, scholars have been brought together from all around the world, in an aim to build the water nations of the future and put Scotland at the forefront of this.

As part of their summer tour, the group has visited many Scottish locations to broaden their knowledge, including Forsinard Flows Nature Reserve, Glenmorangie Distillery and Scottish Canals.

Scholar, Rita Moussa from Lebanon is currently doing a PhD at the University of Aberdeen on Waste Water Treatment.

Rita said: “It was exciting to get the chance to attend a Waste Water Treatment Works, especially one as advanced as Inverurie.

"It definitely gave us a better understanding of the waste water process and how this site operates.

"These visits are so important for our learning and development and I am very grateful for the opportunity.”

The advanced technology being used at this site is part of Scottish Water’s journey to achieve its ambitious net zero emissions target by 2040.

When opening the site in 2019, Cabinet Secretary, Mairi Gougeon said: “While treating waste water isn’t something people probably like to think about too often, it is something that is absolutely vital to protect not only our health and sanitation, but also the environment.

“Developing new, more efficient ways of treating waste water through the deployment of new technology, is hugely important as Scotland takes decisive steps towards tackling the climate emergency we are facing around the world.”