Decentralised water provisions, pharmaceutical waste removal and safe water

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Moderator of this session: Jan Peter van der Hoek (Waternet)

This session will include the speakers: Jen Banach (Wageningen University & Research), Nadine Boelee (Nijhuis Industries) and Peter Scheer (Semilla Sanitation, Nijhuis Saur Industries)

Take a look at the abstracts below:

Safe and Save Water: Lessons learned and future endeavors

Presenting author: Jen Banach

Water is a potential source of contamination of leafy vegetables that have been implicated in food-borne outbreaks. Thus, there is an urgent need to support technologies designed to ensure food safety, including those that disinfect irrigation and processing wash water.  

For this lecture, results will be shown for ozone, UV, and membrane filtration when evaluated at the lab scale. Also, results will be shown for UV with and without pre-filtration in a field trial to determine the reduction of Escherichia coli in surface water used to irrigate leafy vegetables. We found that given our case scenario, UV was the most feasible disinfection technology in terms of microbial and cost efficacies to treat surface water used for the agricultural irrigation of crops. 

Current research is looking at new possibilities to (re)use fresh water in vegetable processing more efficiently and the possible effects and solutions concerning food safety. The plans for the latest research project targeting Listeria monocytogenes will be presented. 

It is pertinent to share how to ensure safety considering the circular economy concept in food systems. The results can provide input into the minimum requirements needed for water disinfection technologies considering its use and reuse of agricultural and processing waters. 

Removing pharmaceutical compounds at the source and centralized to reus e wastewater effluent for irrigation purposes

Presenting author: Nadine Boelee

Water security, sustainability, and resilience are becoming more challenging with climate change and population growth. Water reuse is becoming an important need to existing water supplies. Besides the additional need for water quality improvement, the reuse of wastewater effluent, for instance as irrigation water is required more often. This to deal with increased water consumption and drought. While most of the current domestic wastewater treatment plants can effectively remove nutrients, no disinfection takes place and most pharmaceutical compounds are not degraded. These compounds are a threat for the aquatic environment when discharged into surface water and also cause risks for water reuse for drinking water or process application. For example, antimicrobial resistance in water (AMR) is a serious threat, causing infectiveness of antibiotics and therefore increasing the risk spreading of diseases, severe illness and higher mortality rates. In this research a pharmaceutical treatment system (MediOxi) was first tested as decentralised pre-treatment to remove pharmaceuticals in two process steps; a filtration step and an advanced oxidation process (AOP) consisting of ozonation and UV. The pilot (Figure 1) treating 0.5 – 1 m3/h was tested at the Streekziekenhuis Koningin Beatrix (SKB) hospital in Winterswijk, the Netherlands. For the second part of the research, the pilot was tested as an centralised effluent polishing technology at the municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) Winterswijk, the Netherlands. The removal of 59 pharmaceuticals and the disinfection of E.coliwere determined.

Decentralized water provision and water reus e in residential areas in a ‘Closed Loop Concept’

Presenting author: Peter Scheer

In many countries around the world, the water infrastructure consists of a linear system wherecentralised water companies and water authorities are managing the water demand. With climate change, the ability to provide clean and safe water to a growing worldwide population, within the current linear water infrastructure, will become increasingly difficult in the near future. Therefore,decentralized solutions are required where the current linear infrastructure will no longer be sufficient.In this project a Closed Loop Concept (CLC, Figure 1) was developed. This CLC aims to close local water loops and provide decentralised solutions without the involvement of any central (waste)water treatment plant for residential areas. The CLC consist of four treatment parts: rainwater, grey water, yellow water, and black water. The first of these, rainwater, is collected from the roofs and treated into drinking water. This water will be divided over the tap, shower, washing machine and dishwasher. The used water, or grey water, from these activities will then be treated again and reused for the washing machine and toilet water. During the next step, the toilet water (referred to as yellow and black water) will be treated into clean water and fertilizer. This step includes the removal of medical residues. Lastly, the remaining treated yellow and black water will be infiltrated into the ground. CLC can be installed at street and building level in rural, remote, and urban areas, hereby providing the required decentralized treatment.

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