We have been working with Typhon Treatment Systems on a game-changing innovation for water and wastewater treatment since 2015. In the last year we have supported their technology to develop it at a faster pace and move it out of the laboratory and into a commercial product.
Typhon, a start-up business based in Penrith, has developed a UV LED water treatment reactor that significantly reduces the power and chemical consumption of traditional water treatment techniques – non-LED UV light disinfection and activated carbon – which have been the mainstay of water and wastewater treatment processes for the last 20 years.
UV light is used to protect the water we use from dangerous microscopic organisms and hazardous chemical pollutants such as pesticides or pharmaceuticals. Activated carbon is used for issues that can lead to taste and smell problems in water treatment. While both technologies are reliable and scalable, they are difficult to control and can be extremely costly for customers, as they have high energy needs and carbon emissions.
We started working with Typhon to accelerate the development of the technology by building and providing access to a test facility on a live operational site, giving them access to our expert asset management, engineering, scientific and innovation skills and supplying equipment and services to allow the field testing to be carried out in the most efficient manner possible. The aim of the trial was to prove whether energy-efficient LED bulbs could be used for UV treatment and whether these would outperform traditional solutions.
Our work with Typhon enabled them to take a theory and apply it across two trials over a 12-month period, which is significantly faster than traditional water sector technology development. The trials proved the viability of the UV LED rig for advanced oxidation to remove taste and smell compounds as an alternative to conventional treatment processes.
Now proven for water treatment, we are working hard to find the best site for our first full-scale implementation – and encouraged to work with Typhon to further develop and apply this technology into wastewater applications. The Typhon system uses smart computing to optimise the system locally. Our Systems Thinking vision is to have all our Typhon installations remotely monitored, controlled and optimised.
Working together, United Utilities and Typhon accelerated the technological development of LED UV systems for municipal scale applications and delivered the world's first validated LED UV system.
We firmly believe in this technology and our collaboration has helped prove its viability for the benefit of the global water industry.