Purpose and objectives

The project's purpose is to prepare Danish water companies for a new reality. 

There are 11 performance goals that go beyond state-of-the art.

In a number of global contexts, including Pan-European, circular economy and environment are high on the agenda.
The tendency regarding utilization of wastewater energy and environmental and health protection is significant.

Effective handling of microplastics is an important focus area, and part of the solution is to improve the purification plants.

In Switzerland, there are already requirements for the treatment of environmentally hazardous substances.
In Denmark, utility companies are meeting constantly increasing demands for efficiency and better performance.

The purpose of the project is therefore to prepare Danish water companies for this new reality in the most efficient version - thus reaching significantly longer than state-of-the-art in dealing with wastewater.

Concrete answers to current and future environmental and efficiency challenges are found by using mature technology, new processes, new knowledge, IT and in a significantly more flexible form of plant construction.

The project will document significant improvements in the solution of the known problems with nitrous oxide, hydrogen sulphide, trace pollutants and extraneous water.

The HEPWAT concept thus makes the future drainage systems and treatment plants far more environmentally friendly, flexible in relation to future requirements and at the same time physically significantly smaller, for example with much lower concrete consumption.

Thus, it will also be economically attractive to renovate wastewater treatment plants throughout the world, which may start a modernization wave.

The project's results can not only be used as a total solution in new wastewater systems, but the sub-elements of the project's solutions can also be used in existing non-modern plants.

In addition, the project realizes an unprecedented potential for optimizing the operation of a wastewater system, as the project connects separate processes and information technologies and the data of these technologies into a holistic integrated, open and proactive solution that creates and utilizes Big Data.

The following goals are formulated as the most important in the HEPWAT-project:


Project objectives

Success criteria

Environmental improvement in recipients

More waste water through purification plants (overflow is reduced by at least 20%) and more potential problematic substances are eliminated (see, among other things, goal number four for trace pollutants)

The total annual load of N, P and COD is reduced by 50%.


Environmental improvement regarding nitrous oxide. The emissions are 360 ​​times more harmful to the environment and climate than CO2

The project minimizes nitrous oxide emissions from wastewater treatment plants. Improved control of the anammox process reduces N2O emission by at least 25%.


Improved lifetime of pipes, wells and installations, as well as minimizing obnoxious smells

Hydrogen sulphide is minimized and increases the life time of machinery installations with other components by at least 50%.


Reduction in emissions of trace pollutants

A marked effect will be demonstrated on commonly occurring trace pollutants (drugs, e.g. ibuprofen and dichlofenac). The emission of drugs is reduced by at least 50%


CO2 footprint is lowered significantly

In comparison with traditional plant design and operation, the total carbon footprint is reduced by at least 20% (both construction and operation - for example via renewable energy, etc.). This goal does not include emissions of nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

Lowering the amount of extraneous water

Data processing will help targeting efforts against extraneous water. At least 50% must be removed in the catchment area of Gummerup purification plant (the project’s LiveLab)

Better use of industrial waste water

Industrial waste water is received when the municipal waste water treatment plant needs it - without pre-cleaning at the industry. The treatment plant is getting better conditions as a bio-refinery and the industries become more competitive, as they save costs for pre-treatment.

Reduced plant costs

Control and prediction of flow helps to smooth out the load (avoid peaks) and to optimize the plant volume. It is expected that plant savings will be at least 15-20%

Documented contributions to the Smart Grid and lower energy costs for Assens Utility Company


The project smoothens peak load and makes Assens Utility Company net energy-generating

The diverse processes have consequences for energy consumption. Some new processes require more energy than is used today, other processes are energy-saving.

Highly energy-consuming processes are performed when energy is cheapest, and surplus energy production is performed when the energy is expensive and in deficit

Operational improvements and increased health for employees

Work with wastewater treatment will, with the HEPWAT concept, require fewer employees because it becomes more manageable, more automated and easier to operate. Wage costs for operation will fall by at least 20% in the first 3 years of the project in full operation.

Health: After 3 years in full production with a new central purification plant, every inspection will find hydrogen sulphide levels below 10 PPM (the legal level).

Open Source is demonstrated in the Waste Water Industry

Utility companies and customers find it cheaper to use IT, and IT is used far more actively for system integration. Furthermore, IT improves the performance of monitoring, control and optimization as well as the documentation in relation to the overall wastewater system.