Castellana Grotte demo-site for municipal wastewater treatment for reuse in irrigation

Castellana Grotte demo-site for municipal wastewater treatment for reuse in irrigation

Project description

The municipal wastewater treatment plant of Castellana Grotte (a town located in Puglia, South Eastern Italy) hosts two large pilot scale installations for experimental testing non-conventional technologies specifically aimed at producing effluents to be used for irrigation. The demo-site includes a test field located immediately outside the treatment plant where horticultures can be grown for testing irrigation with different water sources. The two pilot plants are based on different treatment technologies and treat wastewater flows that are taken from the main plant at different points. The first plant is based on the technology IFAS-MBR (Integrated Fixed film Activated Sludge – Membrane BioReactor), and treats sewage after preliminary screening. The IFAS technology is based on the presence of plastic carriers in the aerobic bioreactor. These carriers promote biomass accumulation in the form of biofilm, and biological processes are carried out synergistically by the suspended biomass and the biofilm, resulting in limited biomass growth. Coupling the MBBR with an MBR has further potential benefits, since the membrane bioreactor allows optimal control of suspended biomass in terms of sludge retention time, possibly resulting in reduced production of partially stabilized sludge. Moreover membrane separation results in high quality effluent in terms of suspended solids, favoring the adoption of UV disinfection technologies. In fact the outlet of this plant is connected to a UV disinfection system that is activated when the irrigation line is switched on (“on demand” disinfection). The second pilot plant is based on the FDG technology (Filtro a Dischi a Gravità, Gravity Disk Filter). It treats a fraction of the secondary effluent taken downstream the secondary settling tank of the main wastewater treatment plant. Therefore, the FDG provides a tertiary physical treatment allowing for improved removal of residual suspended solids. The system is based on cloth filtration that is operated through a set of disks submerged into the tank. Also in this case a UV system is placed downstream and treats the effluent when irrigation is performed.

Results obtained so far

On-going research projects are revealing the applicability of tested technologies for the production of effluents suitable for irrigation.

Success factors

On-going research projects are revealing the applicability of tested technologies for the production of effluents suitable for irrigation.

Performance indicators

The whole wastewater treatment and reuse system can be monitored in terms of: (i) process parameters at both pilot plants, (ii) water quality at the different treatment levels, (iii) soil and crops quality, also with reference to possible accumulation of microbial indicators, organic and inorganic contaminants (including chemicals used in agriculture, salinity, metals, etc.).

Repeatability & Applicability

The approach adopted at this demo-site can be reproduced at virtually all municipal wastewater treatment facilities where effluent reclamation for irrigation is proposed.

Further references

www.irsa.cnr.it

Contact

alfieri.pollice@ba.irsa.cnr.it 

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