IWA Water Reuse 2019 in Berlin visits Hobrechtsfelde
From 16 to 20 June 2019, the International Water Association IWA hosted its “12th International Conference on Water Reclamation and Reuse” in Berlin: over 400 experts from more than 40 countries, more than 200 lectures, more than 120 posters, exhibitions, workshops and technical tours on the complex of “Overcoming Water Stress through Water Collection and Reuse”. In times of advancing climate change, water management is becoming increasingly important, as we experience in our daily work.
Part of the program was a tour of the former sewage farms in Berlin Hobrechtsfelde called “Hobrechtsfelder Rieselfelder”. AKUT has organized that tour.
In the information centre “Gut Hobrechtsfelde”, the former warehouse, there is a beautifully prepared exhibition on the history of Berlin’s wastewater treatment, in particular the sewage farms. The model of the agricultural use of the sewage farms around 1920 shown there is designed precisely. The Hobrechtsfelder Rieselfelder were taken out of operation after the commissioning of the sewage treatment plant north (today: WWTP Schönerlinde) in 1985. Both the drainage pipes, which continued to drain the area, and the heavy metals and phosphates, which had accumulated in the soil over the decades, remained in the soil. The reirrigation of the sewage farms was planned and implemented in 2004 by the AKUT / P2M / Spiekermann GmbH working group. A part of the existing drainage ditches including the drainage pipes were sealed, whereby a long retention time was aimed at. Re-irrigation of areas that had fallen dry became possible. This is done with already purified wastewater from WWTP Schönerlinde, which is further purified and hygienised at the request of the Lower Water Authority within the Hobrechtsfelder Rieselfelder. The treatment is carried out without electrical energy demand and with the lowest operating costs, as no operating resources are used. A system consisting of different zones, such as deep water zone, shallow water zone, overgrown zones and ground passages, has been created for the more extensive near-natural wastewater treatment within this so-called cleaning biotope. Since only limited data were available for the effect of the individual components, AKUT had planned pilot filtration plants / test basins for practical evaluation of the possible variants. Within the framework of a research project, not only nutrient degradation rates and hygienization were investigated, but also the removal of pharmaceutical residues and of other micropollutants. After completion of the test operation, the pilot plant has been adjusted for continuous operation. A good ten years after the re-irrigation had started, not only a large number of birds but also beavers have settled in the area. As planned, the sewage farms and the surrounding biotope are used as a silvopasture system where livestock and horses are moving independently with the side effect of low cost landscape conservation.
The conference participants from all over the world were impressed by the near-natural technology of the 19th century with sewage farms for the treatment and agricultural use of wastewater and nutrients. But even in the 21st century, when regional water scarcity is expected, there is great interest in near-natural solutions to strengthen the water balance through water recycling. At the same time, carbon sequestration in wetlands around the world represents an important contribution to climate protection.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank
- DECHEMA and Berliner Wasserbetriebe BWB for support in the organisational handling of the tour;
- the Pankow forestry office and
- the horse farm “Pferdekultur Gut Hobrechtsfelde” for opening the exhibition and the guided tour.
BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues meets AquaNES
The conference “BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues meets AquaNES” will take place in Berlin on 09 April 2019 from 9 am to 5 pm. The conference meets every year to promote cooperation and knowledge exchange across industries. This spring, the research work and innovations of the Horizon 2020 project AquaNES will be specifically presented and debated through lectures, panel discussions and World Cafés.
AquaNES is a research network that investigates and promotes wastewater and drinking water treatment through a combination of near-natural and technical systems through 13 different demonstration projects in Europe, India and Israel. A wide range of climatic and hydrogeological factors will be covered and processes such as bank filtration, Managed Aquifer Recharge, Constructed Wetlands and technical pre- and post-treatment options will be tested and improved.
AKUT has been involved in the research project AquaNES since June 2016. Together with partner companies such as Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB), Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (KWB) and Erftverband, AKUT will present the results and hurdles of the combination of near-natural and technical systems for wastewater treatment and water treatment.
In cooperation with the BWB and the KWB, AKUT has developed a pilot plant at the Schönerlinde site to remove trace substances and pathogens from the effluent of the wastewater treatment plant. For this purpose, two different planted soil filters with upstream ozonation were built and their effect on improving water quality was investigated. Regina Gnirss (BWB) will present the results of the two-year pilot in her lecture “Ozonation combined with natural filtration processes – water quality gains”. In addition, Andrea Brunsch (Erftverband) will present the results of the pilot plant at the Rheinbach site in her lecture “Flexible use of modified retention soil filters to treat wastewater treatment plant effluent and combined sewer overflow”, in which a retention soil filter is used flexibly for the treatment of wastewater from wastewater treatment plants and mixed water overflows.
After the presentations AKUT and AUTARCON will lead the discussion group “Solutions for rural communities, remote locations and emerging countries” and will be available for questions and discussions on the topic.
The exact programme and further information on “BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues meets AquaNES” can be found at http://blueplanetberlin.de/next-event/ .
Successful workshop on solar irrigation in Bolivia
As part of the GIZ project “NEXUS – Water, Energy, Food Security”, a total of 36 participants were trained in a workshop on solar irrigation lasting several days in September 2018. The workshop took place in the Universidad Católica Boliviana (La Paz) and was attended by local and international experts, researchers and students as well as members of Bolivian institutions and authorities (e.g. Ministry of Environment and Water). The participants shall serve as multipliers by integrating the gained knowledge into their daily work.
The contents of the workshop included the topics renewable energies, description of typical photovoltaic applications with focus on agriculture, description and characterization of solar water pumps, irrigation needs and techniques, water needs, planning and design of solar irrigation systems, economic evaluation and financing of solar irrigation systems, description and practical application of the tool box “Solar powered irrigation systems” as well as practical applications and design of solar pump and irrigation systems.
The workshop can be classified as a success. More than half of the participants stated in an evaluation that they could apply the acquired knowledge in their field of work and all participants stated to be satisfied or very satisfied with the results of the workshop. As a result of the discussion between members of various stake holders the potential for solar irrigation in Bolivia could be classified as very high.
The workshop is one of several training cycles within the GIZ project “NEXUS – Water, Energy, Food Security”. This project, which runs from August 2017 to October 2019, includes workshops of this kind as well as the development of management models and financing concepts for two selected pilot projects with Nexus character and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
AKUT has been commissioned to provide advice for a multi-purpose dam project (Misicuni). A water distribution plan is to be elaborated in order to balance out the water use between agricultural use (irrigation), drinking water supply and secure energy production.
The adaptation to climate change (e.g. reduction of the available quantity of water, increased need for irrigation) shall be achieved through the development of proposals for the management of the limited resource of water with the various user groups.
A GIS-based open-source information system is to be set up in order to present and design the water supply and distribution in a transparent manner.
Another important objective of the project is poverty reduction. Solar irrigation should contribute to this by reducing water and energy consumption. In addition, poverty is to be reduced by reforestation and the introduction of agroforestry systems to sustainably improve land use in the upper reaches of catchment areas.
Picture: Group photo at the end of the workshop