The phenomenon of climate change, which has already resulted in a lack of water and frequent drought periods,, means that society needs to change its behaviour. The sustainable use of water includes three elements: a reduction in the needs for water, the use of renewable sources of water, and the efficient use of water. It is a requirement of the Slovenian legislation that, in order to preserve sources of drinking water, drainage systems in inhabited areas must be adequately constructed by the end of the year 2017. Owners of buildings located where there is no requirement for their connection to a public drainage system, and which are located outside settlements, must arrange for the cleaning of communal wastewater by the end of the year 2018, at the latest.
Large-scale communal wastewater cleaning devices, with extensive drainage networks and expensive pumping-stations, are, in the case of small settlements and municipalities, particularly those which are thinly spread out, financially unfeasible. In such areas a sustainable option is the construction of small-scale wastewater treatment plants, which need to be of the kind which treats water as a renewable resource. This can be done as follows: water originating from small, biologically-based treatment plants is not be released into surface water channels, but is additionally cleaned by means of an innovative technology which makes use of nanoparticles of zero-valent iron. By means of this process water will be made available for households and common purposes. This water will be brought to local users by means of a reverse loop. Although it will satisfy the requirements for drinking water, it is not in fact foreseen that users will actually drink this water. It will be used for the watering of gardens and similar areas, for the washing of cars, as water for the needs of fire-fighters, and for similar purposes.
The aim of the project
The main aim of the project is to demonstrate to the technical and lay public that, by means of the additional cleaning of water originating from small-scale wastewater treatment plants, and the re-use of this water by consumers by means of a reverse loop, it is possible to reduce the consumption of water obtained from natural sources by up to 30 %. This will result in a reduction in the costs incurred by communal water treatment organizations, and increase the economic efficiency of households and the local community.
Another important aim of the project is the establishing of a protocol about the use of solid waste obtained from small-scale wastewater treatment plants, and from nano-remediation tanks, in different types of composites for use in the construction industry, as well as in environmental improvement projects. The above-described recycled solid waste will be used for humus composites, whereas settled material from nano-remediation tanks will be used in concretes. This will help to preserve natural resources through the re-use of recycled waste, thus resulting in smaller amounts of landfill, and the establishing of a system for the management of zero-waste water.
The project is also aimed at the dissemination of knowledge and good practice among the technical and lay public. A fully-operative pilot system using a reverse loop will, together with the establishment of a system for the management of zero-waste water, be a good example for other thinly-settled areas, as well as for settlements in areas that have similar geographic and climatic characteristics.
|Title of the project||Nanoremediation of water from small waste water treatment plants and reuse of water and solid remains for local needs|
|Duration||1.7.2013 – 30.9.2017|
|Planned justified costs of the project:||852.388 EUR|
|Co-financing by the European Commission
(the LIFE+ program)
|426.192 EUR (50 %)|
|Contact person||Assist. Prof. Dr. Ana Mladenovič
Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute
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Tel.: +386 (0) 1 28 04 394
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