Water resources are under increasing pressure due to climate change and growing demand. High-quality water should be reserved for drinking water, while reclaimed water is suitable for other usages. In Europe, several concerns need to be further addressed, namely: the impact of climate change; the need to re-use water; and emerging pollutants. The project will target these three key issues.
The BIODAPH2O project aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of applying BIODAPH technology, an eco-efficient and nature-based wastewater tertiary treatment, to produce reclaimed water, while reducing dependence on conventional energy sources in line with circular and green economy principles.
The project team will apply this technology in wastewater treatment plants to diminish discharges of pollutants and pathogens into freshwater ecosystems and promote agricultural re-use of the reclaimed water. The BIODAPH system is based on the capacity of biological organisms – water fleas, microalgae and biofilms – to eliminate pollutants (nutrients, organic carbon, suspended solids, pathogens, heavy metals, emerging and priority pollutants, and microplastics). The project aims to rescale and implement a nature-based wastewater tertiary treatment system that was previously developed within the framework of the Horizon2020 project, INNOQUA project (GA 689817). In this project, the large-scale reactors will be located at Quart (Girona, Spain) and Antissa (Lesvos Island, Greece), which are two water-stressed Mediterranean regions. The BIODAPH systems will be connected to different wastewater treatment technologies in order to treat 200 m3/day in Spain and from 10 m3/day in winter to 50 m3/day in summer in Greece.
- Demonstration of the capacity of the BIODAPH technology to remove emerging pollutants: 70% of pharmaceuticals, 90% of antibiotic microbial resistance (AMR), 80% of microplastics, and 60% of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs).
- Demonstration of the capacity of the BIODAPH system to reach the standards set in wastewater re-use guidelines and regulations.
- Production of 146,000 m3 of reclaimed water with improved quality: significant reduction in the environmental impact (eutrophication, ecotoxicity by chemical pollutant discharges, global warming) generated by the discharge of treated sewage waters in the River Onyar at the Spanish site.
- Production of 13,200 m3 of reclaimed water of sufficient quality for the irrigation of 7,000 m2 of the near 10,000 m2 agroforestry land in the island of Lesvos, reducing the use of freshwater or potable water and environmental impacts associated with wastewater release into the aquatic areas at the Greek site.
- Reduction of energy consumption by more than 90% in comparison with other tertiary systems, along with the reduction of carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% and a significant reduction in operating costs.