Water renewal– the project co-financed by The National Centre for Research and Development

About the water renewal project

The Institute of Applied Ecology has been dealing with wastewater treatment, water treatment and its renewal from the very beginning. The basic source of drinking water at the Institute’s premises is rainwater, subjected to appropriate treatment. Since 2019, the Institute has been implementing a research project entitled: “Development of a technology for a plant and pond wastewater treatment plant with nutrient removal and water renewal” co-financed by the National Centre for Research and Development. The technological goal of the project is the renewal of water recovered from domestic wastewater, so that it meets the parameters of drinking water. The regenerated water is not reused for consumption, but is pumped to toilet flushing, watering greenery and other household purposes. As part of the project, a prototype installation was built at the headquarters of the Institute, on which research is carried out, allowing to develop optimal conditions ensuring the achievement of the intended treatment effect. After the completion of the project, based on the results obtained, the Institute will offer the design of this type of installation for: single-family and multi-family buildings, schools, hotels, etc.

The built installation consists of the following elements:

The Decay settler is used for mechanical treatment of raw domestic sewage flowing from the Institute and the farm buildings.

Pumping station no. 1, located in the sedimentation tank, evenly circulates the mechanically treated sewage to the compost filter.

The first stage of biological wastewater treatment takes place in a compost filter placed in a greenhouse, which improves the treatment process, reduces unpleasant odors and protects against low temperatures in the winter.

The next stage of biological wastewater treatment takes place in the filtration pond, which consists of three filter beds (denitrification, phosphorus and carbon). The pond is placed in a brick tank covered with a glass cover for the winter, it can also be located in a greenhouse.

Pumping station no. 2 is located behind the filtration pond. Its function is to pump the renewed water to the buffer pond (swimming pool), and then to pump the renewed water to the installation supplying toilet flushes, the green roof irrigation and for other household purposes. In addition, a UV lamp is placed in the pumping station, which ultimately eliminates the bacteria in the renewed water, ensuring the quality of drinking water.

This element has two functions: in the autumn and winter period, the buffer pond collects the excess of renewed water, which in spring is fully used for irrigation. In the spring and summer period, this reservoir serves as a swimming pool and is filled with water from the ditch, which is purified to the parameters of the bathing water. During this period, the toilets are supplied, and the greenery is watered directly from the pumping station no. 2. In September, after the bathing season is over, the water from the pool is pumped out for irrigation and the pond is again refilled with an excess of clean, renewed water.

The applied installation reduces water consumption by about 50% per annum. In our case, limiting consumption is very important, because when using only rainwater as utility water, it should be borne in mind that this resource is limited and exhaustible. The installation of the water cycle at the Institute’s headquarters is an example of the use of rainwater as the only source of drinking water. Basing water management solely on rainwater is a model example, intended to show technological possibilities in the use of natural water treatment systems. Such a solution eliminates the need to use a water supply system or to build your own well and enables water self-sufficiency based on rainwater. Of course, this is not necessary, households can be connected to the water supply or have their own well as a source of drinking water. In this case, the use of sewage treatment and water renewal installations will allow considerable tap or well water savings. This has not only economic, but above all environmental importance, which is the greatest advantage of such a solution.