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BEWISe Biological Engineering: Wastewater Innovation at Scale

BEWISe is our experimental wastewater treatment facility. It consists of large pilot-scale replicated biological treatment processes. It is used for both academic and industrial research.

Project leader

Dr Russell Davenport



Project staff

Dr Russell Davenport

Dr Adam Jarvis

Prof Tom Curtis

Mr Dave Curtis

Dr Mathew Brown



Northumbrian Water Ltd

Newcastle University


Northumbrian Water Ltd


BEWISe will develop innovations for sustainable wastewater treatment. It will speed up the transition from these processes to low-carbon alternatives with lower running costs. BEWISe will be an international centre of academic and industrial research excellence. It will provide for experimentation and demonstration of wastewater management technology.

The facility enables experiments which use 10,000 times more microbes than we can use in the laboratory. It allows large scale experimental investigations that are scientifically rigorous and industrially credible.

BEWISe received a £1.2 million grant from EPSRC. Newcastle University and Northumbrian Water Ltd (NWL) also provide funding. It is one of the most visible manifestations of our strategic partnership with NWL.

BEWISe is perhaps the largest of its type in Europe. A Northumbrian Water Ltd site near to Newcastle upon Tyne hosts the facility.

The photograph is of the main pilot plant hall containing duplicate automated 3 m3 activated sludge and trickling filter pilot plants fed with real wastewater from a local town (population equivalent of 40,000).