1. Abstract

TREAT&USE is a Collaborative Project targeted to special groups such as SMEs and other smaller actors. It started the 1st June of 2012 and will last for 30 months. The project aims to bring together 6 European SMEs and one RTD to prove and disseminate the technical and economic viability of a method for safe and economic wastewater treatment that allows a direct reuse of the water and nutrients in agricultural production with minimal operational and maintenance costs.

TREAT&USE is based on the outcomes of two successful finished EU research projects: PURATREAT and WACOSYS on wastewater treatment, reuse technologies and fertigation systems. The produced technical and scientific results of both projects were excellent and very promising in terms of energy and cost efficiency. The most promising MBR system developed in PURATREAT run successfully with reduced energy consumption ( 90 % less than RO).

The tested MBR lab-prototypes generated an effluent not suitable for drinking water but an excellent source for irrigation and fertilization purposes (rich on nutrients such as N and P and free of pathogens). In WACOSYS, the application of wastewater in agricultural production schemes has been successfully applied and monitored. Based on these valuable outcomes, within TREA&USE is planned to construct and implement a pre-commercial prototype unit which combines the treatment of substantial amounts of communal wastewater in an up scaled MBR system and the safe application of the effluent as irrigation and fertilization water in agricultural production schemes. The tailor-made MBR effluent will be applied directly for irrigating and fertilizing fruit trees and vegetables in commercial agricultural production site in Southern Spain. To measure the performance and the reliability of the approach, the pre-commercial prototype will include a feedback and control unit based on soil sensors. Therefore, the gained knowledge and tools of PURATREAT and WACOSYS will be further specified, applied and demonstrated in praxis and developed to direct market applications. The participating SMEs have already developed business plans.