Posted on 10 August 2015
Early July a consortium led by Unesco-IHE inaugurated two new pilot demonstration systems at the wastewater treatment plant of the Cuban tourist resort of Varadero.
The demonstration of two wastewater treatment systems is part of Mas agua para todos project that is funded by the European Union. The two systems include a membrane bioreactor and a SANI-system.
Other consortium partners are three Cuban institutes, including Instituto Superior Politécnico José A. Echeverria (CUJAE), Consejo Nacional de Cuencas Hidrográficas (CNCH) and Instituto de Investigaciones para la Industria Alimenticia (IIIA)
Highest water treatment efficiency
According to project directors dr. Carlos Lopez Vazquez (Unesco-IHE) and professor Orestes Gonzalez Diaz (CUJAE), both pilot systems involve some of the most advanced wastewater treatment technologies. Thus, the demonstration nature of the two pilot treatment plants will allow to assess treatment efficiencies in the local wastewater treatment plant Punta Hicacos.
The results will be compared against that of the existing conventional wastewater treatment technology to contribute to reduce water scarcity while preserving the environment.
As presented during the opening ceremony by dr. Hector Garcia (Unesco-IHE) and professor Guang-Hao Chen (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKUST), each pilot plant is based on a different treatment system.
Reduction of fresh water consumption
The first one is a membrane bioreactor (MBR) able to reach high treatment and removal efficiencies capable of providing a relatively high quality effluent which could be reused after further polishment.
The second system is the Sulfate reduction autotrophic denitrification and nitrification integrated (SANI) system, an innovative process developed by professor Guang-Hao Chen at HKUST, in collaboration with Delft university of technology.
The SANI system can treat saline wastewater with minimum emissions and energy requirements facilitating the potential replacement of fresh water by seawater for toilet flushing.
It will therefore contribute to reducing freshwater consumption and savings, or the treatment of saline wastewater generated by saline water intrusion into the sewage network, a common phenomenon in coastal zones.
This news item was originally published on the website of Unesco-IHE.