This week, we met up with Aqua Consultants to understand more about what they want to achieve over the 10 weeks.

The final few weeks are flying by here at the Innovation Lab. The startups are pressing on with trials, demonstrations and collaboration with the United Utilities team.

This week, we met up with Alec Kimble, Technical Director at Aqua Consultants to understand more about what Aqua hopes to achieve over the 10 weeks, and the benefits their products and services will bring to United Utilities’ customers.

Hi Alec, thanks for sitting down with us! Tell us, what does Aqua do?

Aqua Consultants exist to help asset management organisations reduce the total cost, carbon and energy impact of asset ownership throughout the asset lifecycle. We combine technology, engineering and management consultancy disciplines to deliver efficient, innovative and sustainable solutions for our clients.

What made you want to join the Lab?

We met one of last year’s successful entrants and were aware of the significant value that working with United Utilities and L Marks can offer, particularly in terms of the significant resources, people and commitment to help specialist, progressive companies like ours test and develop our ideas in a safe and trusted environment. As well as this, the Lab gives us the opportunity to prove ourselves to United Utilities, with the aspiration to gain future working contracts.

How will Aqua benefit United Utilities’ customers in the North West?

The main objective is to help United Utilities improve performance of their wastewater asset base. This will assist United Utilities in reducing their operational costs, which will in turn reduce customer bills, as well as improving wastewater compliance and reducing odour potential from wastewater treatment operations.

What do you want to achieve over your 10 weeks in the lab?

Here at Aqua we believe innovation has to work at pace and deliver tangible benefits quickly for it to be economically sustainable. Collaborating with United Utilities enables us to accelerate that process even further. We set ourselves an ambitious target for the Lab of not only collaborating and developing our innovation, but to actually start to deliver tangible benefits and efficiencies to UU. We believe we are on course to deliver this thanks to the fantastic dedication of our team and the incredible support and engagement we have had with United Utilities.

In three words, what does innovation mean to you?

Tangible, sustainable efficiencies.

Looking ahead, where do you see Aqua in two years?

We want to be recognised for identifying, quantifying and proving no-build solutions. We also want to be known for delivering tangible and sustainable operational cost efficiencies through the use of our innovative operational technology solutions.  

By using our tools, clients will see increased efficiencies in maintaining compliance, and reductions in energy and chemical consumption, which will all contribute to an overall reduction in customer bills. 

Aqua will know we have succeeded when UK Water Companies recognise that a specialist service framework such as ours is required to support both operations and capital delivery, and we believe United Utilities may be an early adopter in this regard.