In the middle of the desert, the water supply facility at the military camp of the United Nation’s Peace Mission has successfully been converted to turn wastewater directly into drinking water. The camp reduced its groundwater use by 65 percent.

The compact water treatment plant has been built by the Dutch sustainable technology company The MasterMind and is equipped with an online BACTcontrol sensor made by microLAN.

dws-microlan-mali-dust-350px   Harsh desert circumstances with high temperatures and sand dust

Harsh circumstances
Under harsh circumstances with temperatures upto 50 oC, sand dust everywhere and ongoing military operations, water engineer Han Wissink of the MasterMind Company managed to upgrade the existing water supply installation of the UN military camp into a high-tech water cycle facility that produces drinking water directly from the camp’s waste water.

Of all the camp’s daily water use now only 35 percent is abstracted groundwater, which is a reduction of 65 percent compared to the previous situation. If it were up to Wissink, it would be down to 25 percent.

Two years of hard work
At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Defence, Wissink spent two years at the camp to rebuild the existing water supply facility into the current high-tech water cycle plant.

The MasterMind company owns the installation and is paid by the Dutch Ministry of Defence for the treated cubic meters of water supply.

dws-microlan-mali-sheet-mbr-350pxA covered membrane bioreactor is at the hearth of the waste water treatment plant.

Online monitoring
One of the key components to enable this direct reuse, is the sophisticated online monitoring, including the detection of coliform bacteria. 

An online MicroLAN BACTcontrol sensor detects the microbiological activity in the water and produces a measurement result within one to two hours.

This fast analysis prevents that large amounts of treated water must be stored first, awaiting a laboratory analysis, which can take up to three days.

Missing link
The BACTcontrol sensor measures the specific enzymatic activities of coliforms. E. coli as an indicator for the presence of bacterial contamination.

For the installation in Mali, it was the ‘missing link’ since in the case of potential contamination, the drinking water supply can now be stopped almost immediately. Without this online monitoring, water samples would have to be analysed in a laboratory, or on-site using 24 hour field tests.

The BACTcontrol sensor is part of a process monitoring system designed and built by Qsenz. The entire system is mounted on panels made in the Netherlands and then only had to be connected to the power and water supply lines in the camp.

This news item was originally published on the website of MicroLan.

Read also on this website 
Dutch armed forces facilitate field tests for promising water technologies in Mali, 26 April 2017
KWR and MicroLAN to develop rapid detection method for enterococci bacteria in drinking water, 7 October 2016
Expertise: Water technology
Country: Mali

More information
The MasterMind company
Spakenburg, the Netherlands
+31 33 222 25 10

Waalwijk, the Netherlands
+31 416 348 090

Den Burg, the Netherlands
+31 222 760 016