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Costas. Beach environmental treatment

Costas. Beach environmental treatment. Elimination of contaminant organics from residual waters through oxidation treatment.

The EMPRESA MUNICIPAL DE AGUAS DE MALAGA (EMASA) [MUNICIPAL WATER COMPANY] is a company whose activity fits into the 'whole water cycle'. Therefore, one of its main concerns is everything related to the protection of hydric resources, as well as the problems generated by pollutants present in natural water. As a consequence of demographic and industrial development in recent decades, the number of pollutants and toxic residues found in water has increased considerably. Industrial activity is not alone in being responsible for the formation of these pollutants. Human activity has also contributed substances that deteriorate the environment. In our case, water is also polluted with substances that come from the environment such as pesticides, fertilizers and detergents. All these organic compounds are very resistant to conventional biological treatments. That is why we see the need for creating methods of control for these pollutants, and studying and developing anti-polluting and water depurating techniques that are faster and more efficient than conventional techniques with the purpose of improving current performance. All environmental research and investment projects that cover these fields are of great interest to the company, whether innovative research projects or studies pertaining to re-use of treated residual waters, etc. This is because conventional residual water treatments have not been effective for specific pollutants. We believe it would be of interest to open new research fields such as the advanced oxidation treatment, to eliminate watery pollutants in general, but also particularly in residual water. The bibliography that has been consulted indicates that this could be an effective method with many possibilities, as seen from previous experiment results and the new technology derived from these. THE NEED FOR A RESEARCH PROJECT The coastline and geographical and weather conditions in the municipality of Malaga have made the place an important economic and tourist attraction all year round. Maintenance and conservation of its beaches is extremely important, as are the swimming water conditions. For some time the appearance of residues along the length of the coast has been observed in the area where waves break. We have named these residues 'skin'. The residues give the water a disagreeable impression -of filth- and can produce hygiene and sanitary-related problems for swimmers and beach users. The presence of this skin upon the edge of the water gives rise to a very negative impression, and promotes the formation of foam and emulsifiers on top of it. For this reason a decision has been made to investigate where these pollutants originate from, their evolution and the elimination thereof. It would also be convenient to perform a quality control check of the coastline water by means of studying determined parameters at given locations. Once the first stage of the investigation has been done, the project would continue with the analysis of the possible alternatives to destroy the pollutants present in urban residual water, by means of different advance oxidation treatments (TAO). Different procedures will be evaluated to see which has the best performance and which one can eliminate watery pollutants. GENERAL AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES FOR THE INVESTIGATION PROJECT The general objective of the COSTAS project is to study the appearance of organic residue ('skin'), and to analyse methodologies and technologies that may lead to its elimination along the coastline, particularly during the summer months near the beach swimming areas. With the results we hope to reach an 'optimum quality standard' (both hygiene/sanitary and chemical/biological) for swimming water. This general objective is broken down into more specific objectives: - To study environmental pollution caused by the 'skin' because of the presence of toxic substances contained therein. - To reduce the visual impact caused by this along the whole tourist area. - To study specific pollutants that cause the appearance and movement of the 'skin' along the coastline. - To chose the methodology by which these urban organic residues will be destroyed. The development of the project must include: - Characterisation of the 'skin' and residues. - Variables and parameters that influence its appearance. - Origin, location and movement of the 'skin' and residues. - Study the quality of the coastline water. - Viability of eliminating the 'skin'. Alternatives to destroy pollutants by advanced oxidation treatments (TAO). This investigation project will be performed from a multi-disciplinary point-of-view, in which the following tasks and phases are included: - Immediate action against the 'skin' with the objective of reducing the environmental impact. Study of its evolution once formed by means of a geographical information system (GIS) adapted to our needs. This will permit us to create a mathematical model of the problem we are dealing with, hence allowing us to predict the areas where the 'skin' may appear, as well as dealing with those already showing. - Minimising the formation of the 'skin' with a viability study of a tertiary urban residual water depuration treatment by advanced oxidation (PAO), which is based on the generation of hydroxyl radicals and highly oxidizing agents, capable of chemically attacking organic polluting compounds and transforming them into carbon dioxide and water. This phase of the project must also encompass the re-use of treated residual waters by means of this technique, for its use in industry or as irrigation water for parks, public gardens or golf courses. In fact, there are numerous golf courses along this same coastline. - Multi-parameter quality control of the coastline water, by means of the corresponding equipment, sensors and lab analysis. This information will allow us to check the efficiency of the math model and warnings of possible problems generated therein. Keywords: coast, environment, water treatment.
Acronym: 
COSTAS
Project ID: 
3 385
Start date: 
01-12-2004
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 120 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Water Pollution / Treatment
Market Area: 
Water treatment equipment and waste disposal systems

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