60 Seconds with Russell Frost, Gardner Denver Market Sector Manager

  • Tell us about your background and experience.

First of all, I come from Stockton on Tees, in the North East of England. I attended a local Comprehensive School and Technical before completing an Apprenticeship within the Motor Industry. I have been working with compressed air for over 25 years, with both low and high pressure applications, including oil & gas, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and wastewater treatment industries. My experience is quite wide, and in the last years mostly focused on wastewater treatment technologies.

  • When did you start working at Gardner Denver and what is your specific role?

I am very proud to be part of this “big family”, although I am pretty new in Gardner Denver. I joined the company in July 2018 with the position of Market Sector Manager for the WWT industry. I am excited to bring my deep knowledge, passion and expertise into Gardner Denver to stay one-step ahead in this evolving sector.

  • Can you shed some light on the company’s upcoming projects related to WWT?

We are always focusing on developing state-of-the-art equipment suitable for applications in wastewater treatment, promoting the strengths of the Gardner Denver brands. In addition, our primary effort is to create win-win relationships with our customers, sharing our culture and core values. We really strive to build a trusting relationship with every customer.

  • What do you think of the WWT market’s recent and future development?

Total investment in the Global Wastewater Market is expected to continue growing in excess of CAGR 3.5% and will reach around $674B by the end of 2025. A considerable part of this investment will be blowers, air compressors and vacuum pumps. The growth forecast is due to global population growth and increased legislation such as the EU Wastewater Treatment Directive 97/271/EEC, which is currently undergoing 9th Technical Assessment / Review and USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). The increased investment in industrial wastewater treatment has also been due to new legislation such as the national effluent discharge guideline & ELGs, which limit the content of discharges and require primary and/or secondary treatment before discharge. We have also seen a significant increase in fines and penalties for unauthorized discharges or discharges that did not meet local regulations.

  • According to your experience, what could be the biggest challenges for the WWT sector?

For wastewater treatment plants, energy can account for as much as 75% of the overall operation costs of the facility. We have to take into account that aeration systems are the largest energy user in wastewater treatment plants (more than 60% of the total electricity cost), so improvements in efficiency can significantly reduce energy costs: state-of-the-art aeration equipment can make all the difference, not only by reducing carbon footprint but also substantially lowering life cycle costs.

Therefore, I think the biggest challenge that WWT plants need to face and deal with is finding the correct solution with the funding available. Other key aspects to consider are prioritizing whole life-cycle costing versus capital investment, as well as responding to changes in market conditions such as climate change, population growth and rising energy costs.

  • How is Gardner Denver tackling the WWT market?

Through a wide technology portfolio, Gardner Denver is able to offer various solutions targeting the most efficient operation possible, to accommodate the needs of all WWT applications and their constraints. We understand the importance of compact design, ease of maintenance and low noise emission, as well as the impact of operating costs and length of service life on our customers’ bottom line. In addition, we provide a wide range of supporting technologies such as frequency converters, human machine interfaces and interactive web-based communication tools to keep energy cost down and optimizing the process. Thanks to such a comprehensive approach, our customers are able to enjoy the benefits of dealing with a single source supplier.

  • What are you looking forward to?

Clean water is an essential resource for people and their environments throughout the world. Those who provide effective solutions for wastewater treatment play a major role in returning clean, safe water back to its source. Municipal wastewater treatment plants can have a major impact on driving cities toward a sustainable future, characterized by circular flow of water, waste, matter and energy. WWTPs are beginning to be perceived not only in their traditional role of wastewater and sewage sludge treatment, but also in their new role associated with resource and energy recovery. In the near future, WWTPs are to become “ecologically sustainable” technological systems and a very important component of the cities of the future.

Gardner Denver with its wide experience and extensive product portfolio could become the number one supplier for the municipal and industrial wastewater industry. I am striving for that!