Groundwater is the main source of drinking water for people living in rural areas in Mediterranean countries. Nevertheless, because of pollution severe drinking water shortages exist. Anthropogenic pollution by nitrate and pesticides is one of themain water quality problems in small and very small water supplies. Approximately 13% of groundwater monitoring stations across Europe exceed the 50 mg NO3/L limit established by Council Directive 91/676/EEC on protecting against water pollution.
The main objective of LIFE SPOT is to develop a new treatment process which removes nitrates and micropollutants from polluted groundwater and produces drinking water of good quality that meets the requirements of Council Directive 98/83/EC on drinking water quality. This will be applied in rural areas (with 50 inhabitants or <10m3/day water consumption) in the Mediterranean region. It will also help make rural areas more sustainable and resilient and support the agriculture and tourism sectors.
The project will build and operate two microalgae (MA)-cork pilot treatment plants, one treating 10 m3/day and another 1 m3/day. Both MA-cork pilot plants will use photobioreactors (bio-solar purification) and dissolved air flotation technology to enable microalgae separation, and a filtration system based on granulated cork as a substrate.
LIFE SPOT will support the Council directives on drinking water quality (Directive 98/83/EC) and nitrates pollution (Directive 91/676/EEC).
Expected results: The main expected result is a sustainable process which turns nitrate- and pesticide- contaminated groundwater into drinking water for the needs of local people and livestock, following the requirements of the Nitrate Directive 91/676/EEC.