An update on our foam production challenge

17 March 2022

A post by Eleanor Porter

Lead Area Scientist


Last Autumn we launched a challenge looking at foaming at water recycling centre outfalls. Although the foam causes no environmental damage, there would be lots of benefits of resolving the issue, including improving the amenity value of watercourses for members of the public. You can read more on the webpage for the challenge here.

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to send in their thoughts on the challenge.

We received a good number of responses, not only from suppliers but from water company staff too. Responses were wide-ranging – including data science, engineering solutions, and upscaled fishpond equipment. We even received a suggestion of a mat technology someone had spotted used in urinals!! The breadth received demonstrates the value of the Marketplace approach in helping us to ‘think outside the box’.

We’re really keen to tackle the root cause of the issue, and so at present we are exploring a site survey approach that was suggested, which will draw insight from process data. We’ll also be keeping several of the ideas on file to potentially revisit in the future if the need arises.

We’ll keep you updated as we progress.

August 2022 update:  Since this blog post was published, we have engaged Royal HaskoningDHV for a site survey approach that they proposed.  They are currently undertaking a review of all available data, and we’re looking forward to hearing what they’ve found when they report back in the Autumn.