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Energy recovery from wastewater

Resource recovery from wastewater

Urban water management


Innovation strategy for Marselisborg ReWater

12. December 2022

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Smith is a Danish consultancy working with research and development in the building and water industry. Our aim is to realize the innovation potential of the industries and to achieve a more sustainable and efficient building and water sector by generating added value for the benefit of both companies, customers and society.

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An innovations strategy for Marselisborg Ressource utility plant aims to ensure that Aarhus Vand create the worlds most ressource effecient treatment plant. 

In 2005 the Aarhus City Council decided to optimize the wastewater structure in the Aarhus municipality by reducing the operation costs of the wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). As a result, it was decided to consolidate the wastewater treatment operation (from at the time 17 WWTP’s) into two large-scale and much more efficient plants equipped with the most environment-friendly and efficient technologies.

A consolidation estimated to reduce operating costs by 40 percent. At the same time Aarhus municipality is facing an annual increase in population that have to be met by increasing the capacity and performance of the WWTP’s. In the consolidation into two future WWTP’s: Egaa and Marselisborg analysis has proven that the existing Marselisborg WWTP cannot meet the future demands as the location does not allow the necessary expansion.


The Wastewater Plan for Aarhus therefore suggests, that the current WWTP is demolished and a new is built. Developing a new Marselisborg WWTP, Marselisborg ReWater, Aarhus Vand’s (Aarhus Water) ambition is to establish not only a wastewater treatment plant but a ‘resource and recovery plant’, meaning that the plant in addition to the purifying of wastewater, will also produce and recover energy and nutrients from the wastewater to an unprecedented extent. The goal is to make Marselisborg ReWater the world’s most resource efficient WWTP.

To achieve this, Smith has formulated an innovation strategy for the development of Marselisborg ReWater that states 15 innovation challenges, that is to be addressed – and solved – in the coming years, making sure that Aarhus Vand will get a comprehensive and broad input of technologies and solutions to choose from in the development of Marselisborg ReWater.


The approach is to openly invite companies, manufacturers, research institutions, and alike to offer their products, services, knowledge, and know-how into the process by having them answer how they would solve one (or more) of the innovation challenges. This part of the strategy is carried out through a series of 1:1 meetings in Denmark as well as in the USA, where Aarhus Vand is searching for collaboration partners that can help to meet the ambitions.