Evaluation of the use of dehydrated sludge as a substrate in constructed wetlands

Duration: 2019-2020
Organisation: IVACE
Program: R&D Projects in Cooperation
Partners: Global Omnium Medioambiente S.L. (GOMSL) and JECMA, Consultoría y Medio Ambiente, S.L.
The scarcity of water resources is a chronic problem in many southern regions of the European Union that, according to the forecasts about the effects of climate change, will worsen and extend to northernmost regions. Droughts are becoming more severe and prolonged over time, being a great challenge for the water resources management and a serious environmental threat for the maintenance of ecological flows in rivers and wetlands, ecosystems already punished by the human activity.
An option that is gaining more and more strength to combat these effects of climate change is the generation of good quality water resources from unconventional sources, in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable way.
In this context, the objective of the project is framed, to obtain water, in suitable quantity and quality, from the treated wastewaters, which could be destinated to environmental uses, such as the wetlands conservation, or other aquatic ecosystems.
For this propose, the efficiency of an innovative technology based on the use of dehydrated sludges, from drinking water treatment plants, will be tested as an active substrate in vertical subsurface flow constructed wetlands, destinated to the advanced treatment of wastewaters. This polishing treatment will improve nutrients and other persistent pollutants removal, obtaining a suitable effluent for different uses, especially environmental one.
The development of this technology will enable to transform a waste, dehydrated sludge, into a valuable by-product, moving towards a sustainable development and the application of the circular economy model in the Integral Water Cycle. This project is co-financed by the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (grant awarded: 30.875,20 euros, 50% of which comes from the FEDER Operational Program of the Valencian Community 2014-2020, file number: IMIDCA/2019/26).

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