What Should A Sewage Treatment Plant Look Like In The Future? — Part I

In retrospect, I realized the project I work on is far more complicated that I thought.

Two DEMON reactors under construction at WWTP Ejby Mølle in Denmark

Five months ago I turned down an job offer in the Netherlands and joined a newly founded company in Beijing. “It is such an unprecedented project in China that no one knows how it should be. That’s a perfect chance for me to make a difference in a career that I love!” That lured me to join this adventure.

But NOW, I doubt if I have overestimated myself. The more background info revealed to me, the harder I realize this project is.

What is this project actually? It is the so-called Concept Wastewater Treatment Plant in China. Two years is gone since the concept was initially hit on in 2013. So far it’s, yet, nothing more than an announcement in a piece of A4 paper. The good news is the project is still going forward, although without a clear agenda.

Don’t get me wrong. There is no inside scandal. I am just not sure if the the members of the management board share the same understanding of CONCEPT. I feel my supervisor, an engineer with rich experience in operatting a sewage treatment plant, is not exactly on the same page with my boss, a boss of an environmental company. I concern if it would be a hidden time bomb in our team.

It seems the decision makers have chosen the location for the demonstration plant without any professional field work and investigations for the site selection.

My current position is a technical assistant and actually I work more as a manager assistant. I’m responsible in not only the studies of the technical details such as the process and equipment, but also the PR work. I really love the job because I have so many opportunities to play around, learn fast and meanwhile get paid. But after my four months’ observation, I developed my own conception over CONCEPT plant in China, either technology-wise or humanity-wise. To some extent, I feel I’m in the game like House of Cards. To make a journal is the best manner to keep track of the project, no matter if I will go bust like the fancy Google glass or make good in the end.

From now on, I will write on MEDIUM to keep the world updated with this long-term ambitious project in China. Many questions will be answered by time.

In this article, I would like to pop up a few discussions first:

What should a futuristic sewage treatment plant look like? A plant with the state-of-the-art technology? How to define state-of-the-art? What do I mean by technology? The best process? The more energy-efficient machines?

I cannot answer any question above now. I will give myself time and space to think about them and come back to you later.

Clarifier at WWTP Vienna
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