Retention soil filters for urban waters in China
Thousands of canals run through the cities in China. In the shallow estuaries of the major rivers, they have traditionally served as traffic routes navigable by barges. With rapid and extremely dense development, the drainage of water became increasingly important. However, this was accompanied by ever-increasing pollution. Hydraulically overloaded sewers and high material loads in rainwater runoff today lead to excessive pollution of surface waters. This has a bad effect on their oxygen balance, which leads to serious odour nuisance, especially in the warm season.
Since the government declared the remediation of these waters to be a central task for all municipalities, many technologies have been tested. In most cases, however, success has not been achieved. Obviously, the problem could not be solved by internal measures in the waters alone. In two cases, retention soil filters were now used, which are suitable for the short-term absorption of high hydraulic loads from the combined sewer and stormwater system and thus for treatment before overflowing into the sewer.
Within the framework of the BMBF-funded KEYS joint project entitled “Pioneering technologies for the sustainable management of urban watersheds as a key factor for the successful implementation of the “sponge city” concept”, the effect of these systems is to be demonstrated and investigated in parallel. Retention soil filters were developed in Germany and represent the key technology in this country for both centralised and decentralised treatment of rainwater and combined sewer overflows.
The engineers of AKUT, who have been working in China as consultants for 10 years, are aware that German technology cannot always be transferred one to one abroad. In particular, the data basis for optimal dimensioning is often missing there. In cooperation with the project partners, the prerequisites are now being created. During our visit in December 2019, the sampling locations for the planned measurement campaigns in 2020 were examined and operational data were obtained. The installation of online probes and rain recorders was prepared.
The two demonstration sites, each with 3 000 m² retention filter area, are located in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. While the first retention soil filter at the Zhujing Channel has been in operation since 2018, the second filter at the Hongshuanglou Channel was not completed until winter 2019.
In contrast to the more water-rich regions, these soil filters will also be used in arid climates such as Beijing. A multifunctional use of the soil filters is being tested for this purpose. This means that in dry weather, the available filter area will be used for direct treatment of surface water. This protects the plant filters from drying out and simultaneously leads to an increased cleaning effect.
The joint project is led by the Institute for Sanitary Engineering of the Leibniz University of Hannover (ISAH) and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for 3 years within the framework of the funding measure “CLIENT II – International Partnerships for Sustainable Innovations”.
Photo: Till Ermisch (AKUT) interviews Ying ZHANG from Suzhou DeHua Eco Technology Ltd. about the discharge points at the restored Hongshuanglou Channel.
Presentation: IE expo China 2021
Design recommendation for combining nature based and technical solutions
In the European joint project AquaNES, various combinations of nature based and technical systems were investigated for their suitability for wastewater treatment from 2016 to 2019. The results were described in a handout for planners and operators describing such and comparable systems. The recommendations show the potentials and reasonable applications of such combinations.
The first part of the document deals with soil filters as part of combined systems and describes possible combinations with technical pre- and post-treatment. The different possible applications of constructed wetlands as primary, secondary or tertiary treatment as well as dual use for combined sewer overflows and as a tertiary treatment stage are highlighted. Important design parameters, in particular the German code of practice DWA A-262 (2017) for the dimensioning, construction and operation of constructed wetlands for municipal wastewater treatment are summarized here and combined with the results from the demonstration sites and the experience of the authors.
In the second part, the five AquaNES sites in Greece, Germany, and Great Britain, their different applications, design and operation data, and monitoring results are presented. The two Greek sites, the Antiparos and Thirasia WWTPs, are both located on tourist-oriented islands in the Aegean Sea. The solution at Antiparos focused on creating a robust, nature-based system that could handle fluctuating hydraulic and organic loads and meet the Greek standard of water reuse for irrigation. At Thirasia, a soil filter was integrated into a number of different engineering processes. Here, photocatalysis via TiO2 was also experimented with and downstream membrane filtration was tested. In Germany, an innovative retention soil filter was constructed in Rheinbach (Erftverband) for the combined use as a fourth treatment stage and for treating combined sewer overflows. At the Schönerlinde wastewater treatment plant, the combination consisted of an ozone plant and a downstream soil filter. Here, the retention of organic micropollutants such as pharmaceutical residues and metabolites in the effluent of the wastewater treatment plant was also demonstrated. Finally, the effectiveness of soil filters with reactive filter material made from blast furnace slag was investigated in long-term operation at the Packington site (UK).
Further information: Heribert Rustige
Again - Global climate strike on November 29th
Mankind is facing “unprecedented suffering”, according to scientists from all over the world, if it does not seriously fight against global warming. 11,000 scientists warn against a “Continue like before”. Scientists warn that three quarters of the 184 pledges submitted to save greenhouse gases are not ambitious enough. Measured against the goal of reducing emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030, only the 28 EU states and seven other countries are on the right track (quote: ARD, Tagesschau 5.11.2019).
Already on 20 September the AKUT partners joined the call of commercial enterprises with Entrepreneurs For Future. It demands an ambitious climate protection law from the Federal Government of Germany.
However the federal government has passed a probably ineffective climate law, which will not reach the goals. We share the protest of the students of Fridays For Future.
Few days before the world’s governments meet in Madrid for the World Climate Conference, we need to reaffirm our commitment to effective climate legislation so that there are no more excuses for policy makers not to act effectively.
The Federal Government justifies its hesitant measures with the fact that it cannot impose consistent climate protection on people. However, climate protection and social policy must not be played off against each other.
For the first time, climate activists, environmental, development, social and welfare organisations are joining forces. We show: Climate protection and social justice belong together indivisibly. People in the Global South and future generations must have a climate-friendly future! A social-ecological turn is a huge chance for a fairer society – here and worldwide!
For more than 30 years AKUT has been working on technical solutions for environmental protection. We can no longer solve the global problem without a strong climate protection program also of the German government and a change of awareness among each individual.
Go out with us and with millions of people this Friday 29 November 2019 to the streets and demand effective climate protection now and for all.