Sorigué tests an innovative, natural-based wastewater treatment system

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Sorigué tests an innovative, natural-based wastewater treatment system

December 7, 2022

The Pesaru Ter-Daró WWTP located in Girona, will use ‘water fleas’ for maximum wastewater treatment without the use of chemicals and at a lower energy cost.

Nature can be a great ally for treating wastewater and reclaiming clean water. Under this premise, the LIFE BIODAPH20 project features biological organisms as an environmentally-friendly tertiary treatment for real environment implementation. The Pesaru Ter-Daró Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) located in Quart (Girona) and the Antissa WWTP located on the island of Lesbos, Greece, are the two pilot-test facilities for this technology.  

Both sites are in Mediterranean water-stressed areas, posing a major challenge for researchers. The Girona plant, managed by Sorigué since 2010, is particularly important for the environment as the water treated here is used to replenish local aquifers and streams to regenerate aquatic life.  

Model Project  

The technology being tested is based on the high pollutant removal capacity of biological organisms such as ‘water fleas’ (Daphnia), microalgae and microbial biofilms. This system is operated via a small solar panel, which does not require chemicals or produce sedimentation sludge. Highly cost-efficient, BIODAPH does not use as much as energy as other conventional treatment technology and can be operated in small areas.  

BIODAPH technology uses daphnias, small crustaceans measuring 0.5 to 4mm long who live in aquatic environments. Being filtration fed means they are extremely efficient at removing any microbiological pollutants, microplastics, pathogens, solids and metals found in water.

Developed and assessed under the European INNOQUA project, BIODAPH technology will be pilot tested with a 1.5 m3/day reactor. This research, conducted on-site at the Girona and Lesbos WWTPs, incorporates the technology as a tertiary treatment, i.e., during the last phase of the process to lower the pollutant loads of wastewater in order to return it back to aquatic ecosystems or be used for agriculture. Once it has been proved to be efficient, this technology is expected to be used at more plants in other countries in similar situations.  

Closing Off the Water Cycle  

Using BIODAPH technology helps Sorigué get one step closer to its maximum wastewater treatment target to meet circular economy criteria. This is a complete process delivering high-quality water for agricultural irrigation.  

This research is coordinated by the University of Girona, and participants include Sorigué, the IDAEA-CSIC, MINAVRA Techniki, the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the BETA Technological Centre and the Catalan Water Partnership (CWP).  

With 12 ongoing projects today, Sorigué’s Innovation Department continues to focus on public-private partnerships for new technology and product breakthroughs which, as part of the circular economy, can respond to the needs of its various lines of business and meet the sustainability goals it has pledged to achieve.