Olivia Bailey

Project: Sewer systems of the future

Supervisors: Professor Jan Hofman and Dr Tom Arnot


Rising water scarcity, pressure for sustainability and the need for water efficiency will drive reduction in water consumption and hence flow to sewer. UKWIR wishes to halve abstraction by 2050. What will be the effect on sewer systems and the way we dispose of wastewater?

A new sewer design capable of transporting more concentrated wastewater could increase efficiency and sustainability of our wastewater networks. More effective sewage treatment and resource recovery could result from higher wastewater concentrations, however, sewer transport efficiency may be affected. This work is developing a stochastic sewer model for accurate prediction of dynamic flow, pollutant and sedimentation changes, resulting from widespread water conservation. The wider project will identify design modifications to best support sewers under dramatic water reduction. This is a bid to re-think sewerage to better serve communities through water conservation, resource recovery and providing a cleaner environment.


Olivia is a PhD researcher within the Chemical Engineering Department and the Water Innovation & Research Centre (WIRC) at the University of Bath. Her research is focused on developing a sustainable design for future sewer systems, currently focusing on opportunities for water conservation/wastewater concentration and the consequences for the sewerage system. Olivia was recently named runner-up in the IChemE Water Special Interest Group 30th Anniversary Young Process Engineer Prize, her video entry can be viewed here. She gave an oral presentation at the 11th International Conference on Urban drainage (UDM2018) in Palermo, Italy and has accepted the invitation to present her work at the IWA Efficient 2019 conference, which takes place in Manila, Philippines in January. Olivia will be conducting a research visit in TU Delft from January to April 2019, funded by the WISE CDT programme. She will be part of a team working on similar research in The Netherlands. This opportunity will be used to conduct additional model validation.

Prior to joining the WISE CDT Olivia graduated with a First Class MEng degree in Chemical Engineering (2015). During her first degree she undertook the design of a small-scale biorefinery for wastewater treatment as well as working to develop photo-amperometric algal biosensors. Olivia completed her industrial placement at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) where she conducted a comprehensive fire and environment risk assessment of an underground facility.

Contact: O.Bailey@bath.ac.uk

Keywords: Sewer Design; Water Conservation; Integrated Water Management

WISE 2018 Summer School Presentation: Olivia_Bailey_Jun18

April 2018 Poster: Olivia_Bailey_Apr18