The use of controlled bioremediation for removal of specific types of contaminants

The project will conduct a comprehensive research on the application of constructed wetlands technology (cws) for various specific pollutants (heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, phosphorus and nitrogen), more cws will be tested also in the third world countries as part of the "water reuse" strategy.

The goal of this project is to design a technology of controlled bioremediation for the removal of selected problematic kinds of contaminants (heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, phosphorus and nitrogen). In addition to that, in case the transfer of this methodology to the Third World countries is envisaged, specific circumstances resulting from the peculiarities of local target groups and local environmental, socio-economic and legislative conditions will be taken into consideration as well. By means of constructed wetland pilot plants, this project strives to meet the demand of end users who, under specific local conditions, prefer the natural and simple ways of wastewater cleansing that are low-maintenance and energy saving at the same time. As a complement to the constructed wetland pilot plants, the project will design a technology for subsequent infiltration of the treated water into the rock medium (primarily for Third World countries and sites where such proceeding complies with local regulations), aiming at the reuse of water and strengthening of groundwater recharge. CWs are typically used for removing organic substances, bacteriological pollution, and deposits. However, in case of several specific conditions and pollutants, their efficiency has not yet been sufficiently ascertained. The project BIORESET will test possible uses of CWs for various specific areas/pollutants so as to offer a technical application resulting in pilot plants also for end users other than common producers of sewage, runoff waters, and wastewaters from livestock production. Thus the potential market for bioremediation of landfill leachate containing heavy metals, wastewater from hospitals and from intensive agricultural production will expand. In addition to that, owing to the socio-anthropogenic research and model partnership with end users from the Third World countries (India or Nepal), the use of CWs will be extended also to Asia and Latin America. The project will conduct a comprehensive research on the application of CWs for the following kinds of pollution: 1. Waters containing heavy metals 2. Waters containing pharmaceuticals 3. Waters from vegetable production – wineries, or other sources In addition to that, the use of CWs will be tested also in the Third World countries as part of the "water reuse" strategy, including the removal of bacteriological and organic pollution as well as the infiltration of treated water. 4. Use of CWs in conditions of the Third World countries (including the infiltration of treated water as well as "participatory management", i. e. involving local communities and interest groups): CWs are a strategic commodity in the Third World countries because they are highly efficient in removing organic and insoluble substances and, at the same time, their construction and operation are both simple and cost-effective. For their management, neither electric power (which is usually in short supply in India and Nepal) nor sophisticated computers are needed and they do not contain mechanical components that would require repairing and importing from the EU. Furthermore, they work very well regardless of the season, precipitation and temperature (they are used to good effect both in countries with warm climate (Slovenia) and in areas with colder climate (Czech Republic). Nevertheless, it must be noticed that CWs do not work without any attention at all – the operator's participation is required if good performance is to be achieved. Even a very simple arrangement – mechanical pretreatment and a root-bed – demands regular inspection. First of all, it is necessary to check regularly the septic tank and empty it, if necessary; further to clean the screen and the sand and stone chamber if they are part of the pretreatment arrangement. Further it is necessary to check regularly the setting of the water surface level and the distribution of the influent water on the root-bed and, in case it is necessary, to slash back the vegetation. If maintenance is methodical and regular, it proves neither expensive nor time-consuming. For these reasons cooperation with local interest groups, awareness creation and participatory management, as well good training are vital in Third World countries. It is impossible to successfully manage CWs in the Third World countries without having sufficiently analysed the issues concerning local socio-economic conditions. For each of the suggested "nonstandard" contaminants, pilot areas will be chosen in Czech Republic, iin Slovenia and a Third World country (Argentina, Nepal/India). Each of the CWs (1 to 4) will be designed as a pilot plant (methodology of construction and operation) and subsequently, conditions of transfer to similar sites, or, if this is the case, market uptake on the basis of concluded Memorandum of Understanding will be specified.
Project ID: 
12 219
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
640 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Environmental Engineering / Technology
Market Area: 
Water treatment equipment and waste disposal systems

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