Spain

Supporting the detection and processing of complex pollutants, the protection of water treatment plants and water reuse

Challenge

Water treatment plants treat water used by industry

However, water used by industry presents a more complex challenge than that used by households

Water used by industry can be toxic with the potential to damage water treatment plants’ systems. A water treatment plant for Almendralejo, Spain, faces this challenge. Almendralejo is the home of several food-based industries. Toxic used industrial water damages the biological treatment stage of a water treatment plant.

Project Ô has developed MOBILE3TECH technology to remove complex pollutants from used water

It helps protect water treatment plants by pre-treating used industrial water to remove damaging pollutants

The advanced control unit first determines if pre-treatment is needed and is useful in the event of a spillage. Toxic used water from spills could damage the water treatment plant. As European regulations around used water become more strict MOBILE3TECH technology can help ensure compliance.

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

DAP will support the site owners, SOCAMEX, in visualising the effects of implementing Project Ô technologies on a wider scale

This will enable them to fully benefit from a circular water economy approach, while considering the effect of real-world conditions on their decisions.

Background

Almendralejo is a small Spanish city about 160 kilometres north of Seville

It has a population of around 35,000 and is home to several different industries

In particular, there are almost thirty businesses processing olives for consumption as both fruit and oil. The used water from both homes and industry is sent for treatment to the nearby water treatment plant in Almendralejo. If a spill occurs, toxic used water could be sent directly to a water treatment plant and damage the system. This means the toxic used water could be returned to the natural environment without being treated.

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

Project Ô has developed MOBILE3TECH technology as a cost-effective, mobile solution to directly treat toxic used water before it is sent to a water treatment plant. In addition, an advanced control unit can assess the water to determine if pre-treatment is needed and therefore ensures that only required treatments are carried out. Using DAP will allow decision-makers, like SOCAMEX, to consider the current and future sustainability of the local water supply.
Project Ô is supporting local businesses to deal with their used water cost-effectively, helping them comply with environmental regulations, and increasing the reuse of water.

Circular Water Economy

Using Project Ô technologies, water use can apply a circular economy approach

Project Ô technologies have helped close the loop on water use in Almendralejo in Spain

And this leads to other benefits too...
  • Maximising local water reuse to strengthen resilience against changes in the climate and economy and increase the efficiency of water management
  • Closing the loop, requires new infrastructure and land uses which can lead to an increase in local jobs in the environmental sector 
  • Water management is supported by an increase in health and safety measures through strict regulations, quality standards, management plans, policies and permits for water reuse, storage and transportation
  • Improving the local environment through decreases in water taken from and discharged into the local river basin
  • Protecting the local area and water treatment plant by treating toxic water and accidental spills

Solution

MOBILE3TECH technology treats complex pollutants that may damage water treatment plants

The inclusion of an advanced control unit allows used water to be analysed

This determines if it is safe to go directly to the water treatment plant or if pre-treatment via MOBILE3TECH technology is required. The design of MOBILE3TECH technology includes:

  • The ability to test used water quality and determine if pre-treatment is required
  • A mobile and cost-effective pre-treatment unit that increases the biodegradability and decreases the toxicity of used water before treatment at a water treatment plant
  • The regeneration of saturated activated carbon for reuse reducing the consumption of new activated carbon
  • Low investment and operational costs
  • Compatibility with existing facilities, minimising works to incorporate the new system
  • The retention of emerging pollutants for safe water reuse

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