Italy

Treating previously inaccessible water sources that have been contaminated by certain microorganisms and seawater

Challenge

Some freshwater sources can no longer be used

This can be due to contamination and the water source being too great a distance from existing water treatment plants for processing

Overexploited and now abandoned wells in the Puglia region of Italy present this challenge. They have been contaminated with seawater and certain microorganisms, but are too remote to be treated by existing water treatment plants.

Project Ô has developed ADV.ERT technology to treat contaminated water

It operates independently of a water treatment plant and can be used directly at the water source, aiding the sustainable recovery of an untapped water resource

This module has low investment and operational costs, and a low environmental impact. It can provide local communities with a more reliable source of water, particularly in times of crisis, like during a drought. It can be used as part of a circular water economy, ensuring high quality water is returned to its source after use.

Project Ô has developed a Decision Analytic Platform (DAP) to assist in water planning activities

DAP is designed to aid management of water resources for local water management companies, like Acquedotto Pugliese (AQP) in the Puglia region

It will follow a circular water economy approach by integrating water reuse technologies into existing practices. This will include assessing how to provide the most reliable water supply for users by considering current conditions.

Background

The limestone landscape of the Puglia region in Italy has formed several natural aquifers

These underground water sources supply more than 200 wells across this coastal region

The wells were abandoned as a cost-effective, local source of water as exploitation activities have resulted in the aquifers steadily containing more salt water.

Historically, water use has been linear, with water extracted
from one area, used and then discharged elsewhere

Project Ô has developed ADV.ERT technology to purify the water, making water from the well suitable for use again. Using DAP will allow decision-makers, like AQP, to consider the current and future sustainability of the local water supply.
Reuse and water efficiency are key priorities for the Puglia region. While having water from an alternative local source would reduce the pressure of demand on the local aqueduct.

Circular Water Economy

Using Project Ô technologies, water use in the Puglia Region can apply a circular economy approach

Project Ô technologies have helped close
the loop on water use in the Puglia region of Italy

And this leads to other benefits too...
  • Maximising local water reuse to strengthen resilience in the region and decrease the need for external water imports
  • Recharged aquifers ensure their viability for future use and protects a long-term local source of water
  • New local water reuse will relieve pressure on the aqueduct and can lead to a reduction of reliance on water from external sources
  • Closing the loop requires new infrastructure and use of technologies which can lead to an increase in local jobs in the environmental sector 
  • Returning treated water to its source supports the local environment and stops water being discharged into the Adriatic Sea

Solution

ADV.ERT technology is an advanced, tertiary treatment, mobile plant

It has been designed to treat contaminated freshwater out of the reach of existing water treatment plants

The features of ADV.ERT technology include:

  • Relatively small dimensions
  • Mobile and operates independently of a water treatment plant, so it can be used directly at the water source
  • Low electrical energy consumption, which reduces costs and increases sustainability
  • Low investment and operational costs with a low environmental impact
  • Can be used to treat any water source with a variable level of contamination

DAP is designed to aid water resource management

DAP will help decision-makers compare the effect of making particular decisions
The models are based on real world conditions to forecast the impact on water supply
This will allow decision-makers to manage water resources with robust and efficient compromises
DAP provides the practical tools to enable evidence-based decision making
in the management and treatment of water