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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

The Albanian coastline has been declining in recent years due to coastal erosion and uncontrolled...

EWB Fire Water

Climate change leads to more extreme weather. Urban areas experience more floods due to heavy rainfalls and a decreased buffer capacity (due to an increase of hardened surfaces). Runoff water is contaminated with heavy metals, mineral oils, etc. which makes it difficult to infiltrate it or reuse it when buffered. At the same time, droughts cause an increased scarcity of water sources, damage to foundations of buildings, salinization, forest fires and problems for agriculture, flora and fauna.

Developed by Ecological Water Management

EWM filters, buffers and stores runoff water, and infiltrates it if necessary. Runoff water contaminated with heavy metals, mineral oils, etc. is treated and stored underground, making it available for reuse in all kinds of applications (extinguishing water for the fire-departments, irrigation, process water, etc.), while saving money on drinking water. EWM increases ground water levels and prevents desiccation and salinization during dry periods, by safely infiltrating the treated water.

TRL9. System ready for full scale deployment
Actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing). The solution is used successfully in a structurally operational environment. The user can and wants to recommend the solution to others. Full scale demonstration implemented in the Dutch Municipality Goes at the local sports facilities (field hockey). Project was executed as part of a (public) tender, which demanded that the implemented system would safe significantly on drinking water use. Project was won on the characteristics related to the ability to safe drinking water (currently used for the irrigation of artificial sports field as well). Need to note that several small technological questions need to be answered, such as the need to monitor water quality (input and output) as part of risk-management of potential end-users (water authorities, municipalities, etc.).

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

Credits
Collaborators

How does it work?

The innovation is a combination of underground buffering preceded by several ecological treatment steps. Contaminated runoff water is collected through a drainage system, after which it is treated up to standards of Dutch legislation (as elaborated in the ‘infiltration decision soil protection’). Treatment is done through a mix of granulated shells and the ‘AA Mineral Mix’. The granulated shells also have a buffering effect. After treatment, the water is stored in an underground buffer, which contains an Airlift system in order to have permanent flow. As a next step, before reuse, the water quality is improved through a bioreactor and the AA vitaliser. If necessary, large volumes of treated water can be infiltrated through the DSI system.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

  •  In case of high ground water levels, both investment costs as well as operational costs will increase due to respectively higher installation- and energy costs (the latter as a result of the need for pumping)
  •  The water buffering cannot be done cost-effectively under roads, as the load as a result of traffic will be too high.
  • The capacity of the treatment has currently only been tested and proven on grey water (runoff water) and not other types of water (black water, industrial waste water, etc.). Although we are constantly innovating and striving for improvements, treatment of other types of water is currently not the focus of EWB.

Animation Ecological Water Managment Innovation

Added value
The combination of water buffering with water treatment, making urban areas more resilient for both heavy rainfall as well as droughts. By applying the EWM concept, cities do not only increase their buffer capacity, but also harvest water that can be reused for various purposes. As such, drinking water and related costs can be saved. The treated and collected water can be used: 1) By fire-departments (making them less dependent on the drinking water network or low quality surface water which has negative influence on the equipment); 2) As irrigation water for (artificial) sportfields; 3) As irrigation water in agri- or horticulture or parks and gardens; 4) If required and possible as drinking water (depending on the legislative environment), and only when constantly monitored. Alternatively, the treated and collected water can be reused to safely infiltrate into the ground to: 1) increase ground water levels in case of droughts (hence prevent damage to dikes and foundations of buildings as well as problems for flora and fauna); 2) Prevent salinization through the creation of aquifers.

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