The Nutrient Neutrality Solution for Your Development

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Robert White

1st December 2022

Strict nutrient neutrality standards being enforced for housing development across the UK are causing significant challenges for developers. Plantwork Systems provides the solution.

Phosphorus and Nitrogen pollution is a serious problem for waterbodies in the UK and worldwide, and is increasingly being targeted by the Environment Agency and Natural England with strict Nutrient Neutrality standards being enforced for housing development in many areas of the UK.

This means that developers must ensure that their completed developments result in no additional nutrients being introduced to the environment: a challenge that can be very difficult to meet with the limitations of existing wastewater treatment infrastructure.

Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) provides the ideal solution. BNR is a wastewater process by which bacteria and other microbes are used to consume or absorb harmful nutrients present in sewage.  However, until recently, applications of BNR have required large amounts of land and have very high operational costs – additional barriers for unlocking land for development.

Natural England and the Environment Agency know and understand NUTREM®’s capabilities.

A Better BNR Solution

Plantwork Systems is leading the way in developing a better BNR wastewater treatment solution. Our NUTREM® process is achieving industry-leading levels of total nitrogen and total phosphorus reduction –  concentrations below 5 and 0.25 mg/l, respectively, in treated effluent. We are now working with various water utilities and developers to install our bespoke NUTREM® plant as a preference to traditional chemical alternatives.

Land take for the NUTREM® plant is minimal compared to traditional biological nutrient removal systems. It can fit in a comparatively small footprint, minimising the need to compromise on development site plans. Plantwork Systems also works with developers and their consultants to obtain all the relevant permissions and permits required. Both Natural England and the Environment Agency know and understand NUTREM®’s capabilities.

NUTREM® offers huge benefits to your development:


Industry-leading level of Total Phosphorus (TP) removal (below 0.25 mg/l)


Industry-leading level of Total Nitrogen (TN) removal (below 5 mg/l)


Ability to meet 0.1mg/l TP with the addition of tertiary filters


No chemical dosing requirements


Effective in all seasons (i.e. including weak sewage strengths)


Lower capital expenditure and operating costs


Smaller footprint, with resulting cost saving


Modular and scalable, allowing costs to be spread


High quality effluent capable of re-use without tertiary treatment


Virtually odour-free operation


No corrosive by-products

Let us help you with YOUR Development

Our technical team offers unique consultancy expertise to enable developers to unlock land for development. Engagement is encouraged at an early stage to keep costs and delays to a minimum, so talk to us today to help you gain planning consent for your scheme or development.

Jamie Ewins
T: 0800 310 2073
M: 07834 682864
E: [email protected]

Article by Robert White, PWS Managing Director