LIFE Renaturwat starts, a new EU project to improve water quality

The European project LIFE Renaturwat that the EU has just approved and that is planned to be launched in the Valencian community will seek to improve the environmental quality of urban wastewater through sustainable treatments.

The project ‘Integration of circular economy and biodiversity in sustainable water treatments through artificial wetlands’ (LIFE19 RENATURWAT) has been approved within the LIFE 2014-2020 financing program of the European Commission and is part of the European circular economy policies in the integral water cycle.

Artificial wetlands

The artificial wetlands will be improved with the sludge produced in the settlers during the water purification process, which will function as “absorbent material” for the treatment of urban wastewater, as explained by the partners participating in the project in a statement..

The creation of these artificial wetlands in small towns’ wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is a measure that can “greatly improve the quality of treated wastewater” and help to comply with “the water quality objectives in the receiving environment. included in the Water Framework Directive ”.

In this case, LIFE Renaturwat, with a duration of 42 months, will be implemented in the Vall dels Alcalans WWTP, which serves the towns of Monstserrat, Montroy and Real (Valencia).

Another innovative aspect is that, in addition to this vertical flow wetland, two small surface flow wetlands will be built which, like small lagoons, will improve the biodiversity of the treated water before its final discharge into the Magro River.

To do this, a vertical flow artificial wetland of one hundred square meters of surface will be installed with the active substrate that will operate as a refining treatment of part of the WWTP effluent, and whose purpose is “to improve the elimination of nutrients and organic compounds.

Likewise, the economic impact of the reuse of this sludge, the national and international transferability of the project (Portugal, as an example), the exchange of similar experiences and the involvement of all sectors of society will be addressed in its three and a half years of duration.

European project

The project, which has a budget of 1,893,955 euros, of which the European Union (EU) finances 55%, will be coordinated by the Institute of Water Engineering and the Environment of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (IIAMA-UPV) .

In addition, it involves a consortium made up of EMIVASA (Valencia City Council-Aguas de Valencia, SA), Global Omnium Medioambiente SL, the Water Economy Group of the University of Valencia (GEA-UV), EFEverde of the EFE Agency, the Global Nature Foundation and Aguas de Portugal.