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During the last week of April the IWAMA student audit group met in Gdańsk, Poland for the third wave of audits.

Audits of the wastewater treatment plants is one of the key activities of the IWAMA project, they take place during spring–summer 2017. IWAMA aims at achieving resource efficiency of the plants in the Baltic Sea Region, and one of the keys to that is the development of the audit concept. With the audit tool incorporated into this concept, WWTPs could later measure their levels of energy consumption and sludge management to further improve them.

Student audits is one of the IWAMA know-hows: we emphasize that measuring the plants in the project is done inside the project consortium. Degree students of the partner universities (Technical University of Berlin, University of Tartu, Lahti University of Applied Sciences and Linnaeus University) study various areas: environmental engineering, civil engineering and waste technologies. Guided by the university professors, students visit the sites to take necessary measurements concerning the energy consumption in different parts of the plants and sludge samples on the various stages.

Gdańsk WWTP Wschód that was examined this week is a large plant with the catchment area covering the city of Gdańsk and neighbouring municipalities: Pruszcz, Kolbudy, Żukowo and Sopot. It was constructed in 1976, and since then the plant has experienced several upgrades concerning removal efficiency of pollutants, expanding the lines and constructing the sludge incineration plant.

The student audit on the site took two days, which was preceded by preparing the audit based on the information sent by the plant and the key figure questionnaire filled earlier. The audit work will continue further with evaluation of the plant’s performance. As a part of the audit, an energy meter was placed on the recirculation and excess sludge pumping station for a week to measure the energy flow in order to establish if there is a need for energy optimisation of this station.

The Wschód WWTP found the audit very useful: like other plants, they are interested in learning how it is possible to optimize energy consumption even further, how a smarter sludge handling can be acheved and what are innovative solutions for the particular design of the facility.

The next series of IWAMA student audits will take place in Jūrmala, Tartu and Türi between 8–11 May.