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Environmental Division

Head of Division: Dr. R. Irusta Mata

E-mail: [email protected]

Castilla y León Technology Park, 205

47151 Boecillo (Valladolid) – SPAIN

TEL.: (34) 983 548 917 - (34) 983 546 504 E-mail: [email protected]

FAX: (34) 983 54 65 21 web:






  • CARTIF is a Non-profit Association mainly focused on industrial Research




    Remarkable experience in applied research field and in the industrial solutions development


    The horizontal character of CARTIF and the complementary aspects between its work lines of the different laboratories, allow to front the technology innovation in SMEs and micro SMEs with success guaranties


    The obtained results from CARTIF activities are disseminated at scientific level publications and congresses participation



Environmental Division


Environmental Management Area

Environmental Technologies Area

  • Eco-design

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

  • Studies and Designs regarding treatment of pollutant emissions,

    sewage and solid wastes

  • Advanced Treatment of efluents and pollutant emissions.

    • Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP´s)

      • Photocatalysis in liquid & gaseous phases

  • Pollution Minimization and Engine Optimisation

  • Wastes and Sub-products valorization

    • Chemical Recycling of Plastics

    • Natural Stone Utilization

      • Development of Advanced Composites

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    “MEDAWARE Workshop on Reuse of Treated Domestic Wastewaters in Turkey”-Ankara, June 2005

    Urban Wastewater Reuse: Good Practices and Success Stories in the Agricultural Production in the Mediterranean Countries

    D.Hidalgo*, R.Irusta

    Treated wastewater reuse


    Some initial considerations:

    • Worldwide, wastewater reclamation and reuse is estimated to represent a potential extra water resource amounting to approximately 15% of existing water consumption.

    • The potential benefits of wastewater reuse are most obvious for the arid areas but the general increasing pressures on water resources all over the world should also make wastewater reuse attractive in other areas.

    • In the Mediterranean region, the volume of wastewater is increasing. Large areas may be supplied with recycled water which may also be used for other different purposes depending on the demand, the water characteristics, its suitability, etc. Consequently, there is a major potential use of recycled water in the region.

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      • Current situation

    Reuse in the Mediterranean region


    • In Mediterranean countries there are many coastal and southern regions where there is a severe pressure on freshwater resources, due to low and seasonally uneven precipitation and high run-off.

    • In some cases this is exacerbated by especially high demand from tourism and agriculture during the summer months.

    • To alleviate water shortages serious consideration must be given to wastewater reclamation and reuse.

    Reuse in the Mediterranean region


    • The most off-stream water uses in Mediterranean countries are:

       industrial cooling,

      agriculture for irrigation (mostly on forage and cereals but also sometimes on fruit trees and even vegetables, depending on national legislation and its enforcement) and

       domestic and industrial process water.

    Reuse in the Mediterranean region


    • Water quality requirements vary depending on public exposure.

    • In several cases the wastewater is not properly treated due to:

     standard operating procedures are not followed,

    there is no qualified personnel able to overcome usual problems and to control/monitor the whole treatment procedure,

    the construction cost of efficient treatment systems can be very high.

    Wastewater reuse benefits


    • Some recent noteworthy examples of wastewater reuse in agricultural production can be pointed out in some Mediterranean countries.

    • These examples show the considerable benefits that wastewater reuse can produce. These benefits are:

      financial: savings in very costly heavy infrastructures.

      economic: allow agricultural incomes to be improved.

      social: give better access to water for the least well-off.

      environmental: reducing pressure on, and even restoring, ecosystems and resources.

    Reuse in the Mediterranean region


    It is essential that the development of water reuse in agriculture and other sectors will be based on scientific evidences of its

    “effects on environment and public health”

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      • Selection of wastewater reclamation facilities

    Selection of facilities


    • A number of parameters should be considered when choosing the appropriate technology:

      - economic

      - institutional and political,

    • - climatic,

    • - environmental,

    • - land availability /properties

    • - sociocultural,

    • - and other local ones.

    • Once these factors have been taken into account the most cost-effectivesystem should be selected, unless the population being served is willing to pay more.

    Selection of facilities


    • Considerations when “screening” alternative processes for (a) developing and (b) developed countries (Source: Tsagarakis et al., 2001).

    Alternatives to conventional treatment


    Low-cost treatments:

    • Conventional procedures are fairly effective, but in the Mediterranean countries, low technology techniques, such as lagooning and infiltration-percolation, are sometimes more reliable because of the lower cost that these systems suppose.

    • The effluent microorganisms are eliminated here by mechanical filtration, adsorption and microbial degradation.

    • The major disadvantage of these techniques is the big amount of space required.

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      • The cost of wastewater reclamation and reuse

    Reclamation costs


    • Wastewater reclamation system costs are a function of facility capacity, end-use option and treatment process configuration.

    • Costs can be identified estimating:

      - facility construction costs,

      - equipment purchases and

      - operation and maintenance fees.

    • Initially, reclamation systems have to be analysed in terms of individual components based on design criteria. Cost data are derived for each element of a reclamation system at various capacity levels and unit sizes.

    • Site development and electrical cost are assumed as 10 and 15 percent of the total facility costs respectively.

    Reclamation costs


    • Reclamation system annual cost are comprised of treatment and distribution facility personnel salaries, operating fees (recurring power and chemical cost) and maintenance cost (equipment repairs and replacements).

    • Personnel requirements are a function of facility size and complexity.

    • Maintenance cost (spare parts, replacements) are estimated generally as a percentage of equipment first cost (e.g., 5 percent).

    • For pipelines and storage tanks, maintenance costs are projected as two percent of capital costs.

    Reclamation costs for agricultural irrigation


    • The production of reclaimed water for fodder, fibre, seed crops and vineyards irrigation requires the lowest level of treatment and, as a result, generates the least reclamation costs.

    • Agricultural food crops, parks, playgrounds and schoolyard irrigation and non-restricted recreational impoundments reuse options, require a pathogen-free effluent.

    • To upgrade secondary wastewater treatment plants to produce the desired product quality, chemical addition, coagulation, filtration and disinfection facilities must be provided.

    • Operation costs appear to be strongly influenced by different disinfection options and quality targets.

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      • Problems associated with reclaimed water reuse projects

    Problems associated wastewater reuse


    • The real cost of the projects is usually considerably higher than the estimated previously. This is in large part a result of insufficient planning before design and construction of water reclamation projects.

    • Presence of pathogens in water, chemical contaminants or heavy metals because of insufficient treatment.

    • The method used to apply the treated wastewater:

    Problems associated wastewater reuse


    • Social acceptance (farmers, retailers and consumers): This is the most sensitive area of this topic. Farmers are not going to reuse water, if their product cannot be sold. Consumers will not buy products where reuse water was used unless it is proven to be safe.

    • Costs of the water vs traditional sources: the cost of water has to be acceptable for farmers.

    Social issues play a significant role in water reuse initiatives and should be adequately addressed. With adequate political will accompanied by awareness programmes these cultural, religious and social objections can be overcome.

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      • Good reuse practices

    Good practises


    • Reclaimed wastewater must only be reused for the uses for which permit was issued.

    • When reclaimed water quality does not meet the fixed standards, reuse must cease.

    • Sprinkler irrigation should not take place in strong winds.

    • Quality monitoring and process controls should be supported.

    • Routine inspections of reclaimed water facilities, including facilities located on the property of end users.

    • Recognition that distribution of reclaimed water for non-potable uses could potentially come into contact with the public, and that such contact could have consequences for public health.

    • Compliance with all applicable requirements for water reclamation, and storage, transmission, distribution, and reuse, of reclaimed water.

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      • Success stories on agricultural production

    Selected cases



    • In Tunisia a gradual approach has been adopted to expand the reuse since mid 1960s.

    • Nowadays, out of 61 treatment plants that treat 140 Mm3/yr total are operating. 41 have a daily capacity less than 3,500 m3 and 10 above 10,000 m3, Choutrana being the largest with 120,000 m3/d.

    • Municipal wastewater is processed biologically up to a secondary treatment stage.

    • The water reuse application is restricted irrigation, fodder (alfalfa, sorghum, berseem, etc.) (45.3%), fruit trees (citrus, grapes, olives, peaches, pears, apples, grenades, etc.) (28.5%), cereals (22.4%) and industrial crops (sugar beet) (3.8%).

    • Reuse of reclaimed wastewater helps to fulfil the water demand for irrigation in this region. In addition, sludge from the treatment plants is used to improve the soil fertility of low organic content Tunisian soils.

    Selected cases



    • In Cyprus an amount of about 10 Mm3 is estimated to be available for agricultural irrigation.

    • The cost of recycled water is low, about 0.13 €/m3. This allows irrigated agriculture to be expanded by 8-10% while conserving an equivalent amount of water for other sectors.

    • Reclamation plant in Cavo Greco area: the WWTP effluent is used for irrigation of agricultural landin Paralimni where potatoes are mostly cultivated. The treated water is also used by the hotels and the Municipalities for the irrigation of gardens and parks during the summer season.

    Selected cases



    • Egypt has developed a participative approach for the management of irrigation and modernisation of technology in the irrigated areas of the Nile valley which have enabled it to gradually deal with the pressure on the resource.

    • The technology uses modern equipment and bottom-up irrigation management with centralised control, simplification of the system, and above all the involvement of user organisations in decision-making, management, upkeep and maintenance through intensive training.

    Selected cases



    • Applications in Israel are the most notable ones in terms of costs, capacity, effluent quality, application diversity and suitability to Mediterranean region.

    • Dan Region projectseems to be the largest and most remarkable one with 120 million m3/yr capacity, post-treatment water handling and reuse applications (groundwater recharge, reservoir storage, soil aquifer treatment, direct irrigation,..)

    • An average agricultural area of 16,000 ha is irrigated with this reclaimed water.

    Selected cases


    Greater Haifa WWTP

    Hakishon project (Israel):

    • This system treats the wastewater from the Haifa and Afula area.

    • Based on 60 days retention in a reservoir, screen filtration and chlorination, supplies almost 570,000 PE of unrestricted irrigation water quality effluents to the North of the country.

    • The effluent is seasonally stored in dual seasonal reservoirs, operating in series.

    Selected cases



    • Wastewater reuse in Al-Beirah (West Bank, Palestine): Preparation of wastewater influent is accomplished by grit removal and screening. After that it is diverted equally to two parallel aeration tanks, the effluent of aeration tank is diverted to two parallel final clarifies, then most of the sludge goes to the thickener for dewatering.

    • The water passing to clarify goes to disinfection, by UV radiation. The final effluent (3,200 m3/day) is discharged through Wadi Al-Ein, by 5 km pipeline, to be reused for irrigation in Dir-Dabwan land where large uncultivated areas existed there.

    Selected cases



    • Tenerife wastewater reuse (Spain):

    • In Tenerife WWTP, reclamation includes filtration, desalination and chlorination of the effluent. The reclaimed water is reused for crop irrigation.

    • In order to improve wastewater quality, at 10 km from the inlet there is injection of fresh water saturated in dissolved oxygen (DO), after which a nitrification process appears. The result is a less chlorine requirement for disinfection.

    MEDAWARE project:






    This examination has been carried out in the frame of the MEDAWARE projectfunded by the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (more specifically by its Regional Program for Local Water Management):


    “Development tools and guidelines for the promotion of the sustainable treatment and reuse in agricultural production in the Mediterranean countries”

    Duration of the project:

    May 2003- October 2006(46 months).

    Participating countries:

    Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon,

    Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Turkey and Spain.

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    ... Thank you

    CARTIF- Castilla y León Technology Park, 205

    47151 Boecillo (Valladolid) – SPAIN

    TEL.: (34) 983 548 917 E-mail: [email protected]

    FAX: (34) 983 54 65 21 web: