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[en] This paper will present an overview of a range of work that has focussed on developing a new paradigm for air quality management This will not only argue that developing a more social approach to air quality management is both desirable and necessary, but also how it is possible.
[en] It is our privilege to announce that CEBAS-CSIC will be hosting The IWA Regional Conference on Water Reuse and Salinity Management (IWARESA) on June 11-15, 2018 in Murcia, Spain. The Conference will feature highly respected speakers who will share, discuss and debate significant new developments and scientific advancements that will impact the problem of water scarcity induced by climate change in arid and semiarid areas, the use of non-conventional water sources in agriculture and the risk of agricultural land and groundwater salinization in areas where aquifers are significantly depleted.
[en] La Comunidad de Regantes del Campo de Cartagena (the CRCC or the Community is an irrigators community based in the Region of Murcia, specifically in an area called Campo de Cartagena. The Community is in charge of distributing water from the Tagus-Segura aqueduct to approximately 41,000 hectares of agricultural land. Due to the laws regulating the transfer of water from the Tagus River, and other reasons such as climate change, providing water to the farmers exclusively through the aqueduct is no longer a long term solution. The CRCC has had to search elsewhere for water and, for the time being, reclaimed water from waste water treatment plants and water from desalination plants in the area is helping to resolve the problem. The usage of reclaimed water for agricultural purposes presented certain challenges that the CRCC had to face prior to providing farmers with water from the plants. This conference analyses those challenges and discusses how the CRCC has resolved them, including but not limited to, mixing several sources of water within fixed proportions and deploying a surveillance network to constantly monitor the quality of water. After deploying these techniques, the CRCC is now safely delivering reclaimed water mixed with other sources.
[en] Aluminium sulphate (alum) stands out as the preferred coagulant for clarifying water and wastewater due to its ready availability and lower cost. In Ghana, alum has been synthesized from bauxite slime waste (available in huge tons in bauxite mining communities) at half the cost of industrial grade alum. This study tested the efficiency of the reclaimed alum in treating carwash wastewater through jar tests and a bench scale carwash wastewater treatment system. Reclaimed alum holds the potential to reduce the cost of wastewater recycling and protect the environment in line with the SDG 6.3. Three coagulation-flocculation experiments were performed with a jar test equipment using three samples of car wash wastewater collected in September 2017. Five glass beakers containing 500mL of the wastewater were dosed with varying volumes (2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% v/v%) of 900mg/L aqueous coagulant while a sixth beaker was filled with only wastewater - control. Subsequently, the reclaimed alum was applied as a chemical coagulant in a novel bench scale carwash wastewater treatment technology comprising sedimentation, coagulation-flocculation, dissolved air flotation and sand filtration.
[en] The Project “Integrated management of efficient and safe reclamation and reuse of urban wastewater in agriculture” (REUSAGUA), has the objective of developing management practices and protocols for irrigation water use, as a way to achieve a sustainable agricultural production. For this, the project is based on two pillars: 1) Safe and efficient reuse of reclaimed water; 2) Integration of information and communication technologies in the sector. For optimizing the reclaimed water reuse and thus limit any negative effect on the agricultural production, the project proposes the following innovative solutions: i) Development and assessment of innovative water treatment processes for the removal of emerging pollutants of concern, which assure the reclaimed water quality, according to the regulations, and in a sustainable way for the agriculture sector, ii) Development of action protocols for improving the efficiency of the reclaimed water use in agriculture (use of wireless sensors, in-situ monitoring techniques and by unmanned aerial vehicles for the diagnosis of the water status of the crop and the soil salinization, dual irrigation and enrichment of water with ozone to improve crop performance, iii) Development of an ICT platform for the information integration and the efficient and safe management of wastewater in agriculture through smart processing by mean of decision-making systems, focused on irrigation communities, and based on the IoT (Internet of Things).
[en] Organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus removal from wastewater have been studied in two pilot- scale combinations of a special configuration of a subsurface wastewater infiltration system with vertical flow. Both pilot-scale combinations operated in parallel and each one consists of four stages in series, one of them with a vertical distribution of stages and the other one with a horizontal distribution. Results of both configurations showed high removal of organic matter (with mean removal values of 96 % for COD) and high total kjeldahl nitrogen removal (mean removals of 70 % and 90 % for the vertical and the horizontal distribution, respectively). A strong nitrification was produced in both pilot plants and it washigherin the configuration with horizontal distribution which includes pumping and filtering between stages and higher depth of the filtering beds.The removal of total phosphorus (mean removals of 55 % and 58 % for the vertical and the horizontal distribution, respectively) is significantly lower than that of both organic matter and total kjeldahl nitrogen.
[en] Murcia is the driest region of Europe with an annual rainfall of 350 mm. and, in the other hand, more than 2,6 million tons of fruits and vegetables are produced every year in the region. It means that we need to take advantage of all available water sources and the reclaimed water is a quality and safe resource for us. In Murcia region there are 93 WWTPs, the most of them with tertiary treatment. The most common tertiary treatment consists of physical-chemical treatment, lamellar settlement, filtration and disinfection, with UV system as the most common disinfection system. Also there are 9 MBRs that is a really good tertiary treatment. The continuous effort to get excellent reclaimed water continuously has given to the region a huge experience in treatments and management of reclaimed water, supported by innovative technologies. Currently, our main challenges are to achieve the maximum reliability in our plants, to work every day to improve food safety, both microbiological and chemical aspects, and decrease the salinity in the effluents of some WWTPs. Other aspect very important for ESAMUR is the research. We are working to get the most effective systems to reclaim the treated water and with affordability. Currently we are participating in nine European research projects, many of them related with the water reuse.
[en] Forward osmosis (FO) is a membrane technology that uses differential osmotic pressure as driving force for membrane separation. A draw solution (DS) of high osmotic pressure is used for this purpose, which in the present study was afterwards recycled using nanofiltration. An FO-NF (forward osmosis and nanofiltration) demonstration plant was installed in the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia, Spain) and operated treating 3 m3 /h during 2 years. This represents the first FO demonstration project for wastewater reclamation for agriculture worldwide. The feed water was effluent from the WWTP (an MBR) with a salinity of 4-6 mS/cm, which means a poor quality for agriculture purposes. The scheme of the demonstration plant is presented. Diverse draw solutions were evaluated, as well as different membranes and operational conditions, obtaining an optimized process. The FO-NF is a stable low-fouling process, which produces a high-quality effluent for agricultural reuse. The demonstration plant is now been used for the concentration of wastewater as a pretreatment for anaerobic digestion, aiming to achieve higher biogas production in lower digester volumes and the results of this second FO application for wastewater treatment will be also shown in the conference.
[en] Human urine is rich in major nutrients nitrogen phosphorus and potassium. Therefore, soil fertilization with human urine is an attractive option to recycle nutrients. However, sodium salts concentration in urine is high (40 to 220 mEq/L). Hence, the use of human urine as liquid fertilizer, increases the risks of soil salinization. Risks of soil salinization are of concern especially in water scarce countries, where full salt washout cannot be achieved due to lack of water. Therefore, sodium salts washout from soil during rainy season was investigated. Sorghum planted and non-planted pots, containing an initial amount of 110mg/pot of sodium in the top layer (the upper 10cm) were irrigated for 8 weeks. The irrigation simulated the rainy season of a dry climate of Burkina Faso. Findings revealed that, full washout of sodium ions was achieved in non-planted pots only. However, and due to high evaporation rates, only 20% of the sodium ions were washed out from planted pots. To further investigate the possibility of full sodium washout from planted pots, a simulation using Hydrus 1D software was conducted. Different conditions were evaluated. Soil amendment with calcium is known for its important role in plant growth and nutrition, as well as in cell wall deposition. Calcium is nontoxic, essential for plant growth and is abundant. Evaluation of soil amendment with different concentration of calcium on the fate of sodium salts was evaluated. Results revealed that the addition of a minimum of 247mg/pot is required to free all sodium salts, achieving therefore a sustainable cultivation with human urine.
[en] In the European Union only 1-2% of the potentially reclaimed wastewater is reused, besides nowadays only 40% of the sludge generated by WWTPs has the appropriate quality to be used in agriculture. The solution proposed in RAMSES is based on the use of an anaerobic digestion with supported biomass growth as pre-treatment of the biological treatment of urban wastewater. The anaerobic digestion process is based on a UASB reactor but with an own design. It has also been feed with organic waste collected from different industries in the area, mainly from canned food industries. This organic waste act as co-substrate of the digestion process and it is treated together with the water in a process in which organic substances (phosphate, nitrate, etc) are extracted from the water and incorporated into the co-substrate in order to form a nutrient-rich organic sludge which can be used as fertilizer. This process also produces biogas that can be used in the digestion process, making the overall system more sustainable in terms of energy. The results obtained to date present significant advances; organic matter eliminations of up to 90% have been obtained and values close to 70% of elimination of contaminants. With the start of the production of biogas, the consumption of aeration of the process has been reduced, and finally the volume of sludge generated has been reduced, expecting a reduction of up to 30% at the end of the project. In summary, the Ramses project has achieved high eliminations of pollutants and reduction of produced sludge, thus achieving better reuse of wastewater for irrigation and agricultural purposes and improving the sustainability of the process with self-consumption of biogas and the use of the generated sludge as fertilizers.