Municipal Wastewater Reuse

Regulations, processes and technologies of a key challenge

Civil wastewater is a valuable resource that can be reused to reduce fresh water consumption, save on supply costs, and protect the environment, which is why the European Union has established a regulatory framework to promote the reuse of civil wastewater. MITA Water Technologies offers a full range of solutions for the treatment and reuse of civil wastewater, covering all three stages of a municipal wastewater treatment plant.

Reuse of municipal wastewater: a basic need

The reuse of municipal, or civilian, wastewater is one of the greatest challenges of our time: at stake is the very survival of our ecosystem and the reduction of freshwater consumption, even for the benefit of communities that are undersupplied with this most precious resource. Moreover, the supply costs of even the most supplied communities receive a plus from this practice, with related economic and social implications.

The European Union has long established a regulatory framework to promote the reuse of civil wastewater.

  • Directive 2000/60/EC, also known as the Water Framework Directive, stipulates that member states must promote the reuse of treated wastewater.
  • Directive 91/271/EEC, also known as the Urban Wastewater Directive, establishes minimum requirements for the treatment of wastewater from urban communities. The directive provides that treated urban wastewater may be used for irrigation purposes, provided it meets certain quality requirements.

These are the main objectives established by these regulations.

  • Restoration and protection of water quality: The WFD aims to achieve and maintain “good ecological status” and “good chemical status” of surface water and groundwater within specified time frames.
  • Promotion of sustainable use of water resources: all to prevent excessive quantitative reduction of the blue resource and to avoid damage to it.
  • Protection of aquatic ecosystems and water bodies: this is to promote the conservation and improvement of these ecosystems, especially with specific measures for pollution prevention and sustainable management.

The Main tools provided by the legislation: management plans, direct citizen involvement and monitoring with a view to continuous improvement.

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Processes and technologies for civil wastewater reuse

For many years already, the operation of every civil wastewater treatment plant has been structured according to a series of steps for the treatment and reuse of municipal water. They are detailed here.

  • Primary treatment: is stage that we could call “roughing,” through physical-mechanical interventions to remove suspended solids and floating materials.
  • Secondary treatment: is aimed at removing dissolved organics through biological interventions.
  • Tertiary treatment: a mechanical “finishing” stage, aimed at removing suspended solids at levels of a few mg/l.

MITA Water Technologies' solutions for municipal wastewater treatment

For the treatment and reuse of municipal water, MITA Water Technologies has engineered a series of simple and efficient solutions that cover all three phases of a civil water treatment plant.

Some examples.

  • Oilpack oil separators and Flowpack decanters (primary treatments) offer a large active surface area due to their lamellar pack structure.
  • Biorulli® biological oxidation systems (secondary treatments) take advantage of aerobic bacteria, thus in the presence of oxygen, to degrade the organic matter in the effluent.
  • MITA Water Technologies’ free-fiber cloth filters (tertiary treatments) are an effective technology for the removal of suspended solids, with minimal acquisition, installation and management costs: output suspended particles are often less than 5 mg/l.
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Wastewater treatment will increasingly be a resource efficiency and optimization opportunity for organizations in both civil and industrial settings.