The Girona pilot site of the University of Girona (UDG) is located at the Quart wastewater treatment plant, where managers are open to research in their facilities. The site has already been used for other UDG wastewater treatment testing projects. Quart is a little village of around 3.500 inhabitants that is located 2 km from Girona, a city of 100.000 inhabitants, not far from Barcelona.
UDG is one of 20 partners in the INNOQUA project consortium.
In the initial phase, INNOQUA’s pilot site is testing the treatment of secondary wastewater using two Daphniafilters with different reactor designs. Both reactors have been connected to the effluent of the wastewater treatment plant, simulating the effect of tertiary treatment. The main objective of these first tests, which are expected to have a four-month duration, is to determine which is the best reactor design for implementation under INNOQUA’s framework.
The two Daphniafilters went into operation on 25th April, with the first objective of developing a biofilm that allows nutrient polishing. Three weeks later, on 14th May, both reactors were inoculated with Daphnia, which has started to reproduce inside the reactor and provide the first results in terms of nutrient removal and pathogens disinfection. The typically variable spring weather in this Mediterranean village has already allowed visualising the activity of the two Daphniafilter designs under different environmental conditions, including a variable temperature range and periodic showers.
In the months to come, different operational conditions will be applied to both Daphniafilters to observe their performance under normal and stressful conditions. For example, the effect of overloads, poor maintenance or reactor shut-down will be evaluated to determine the Daphniafilters’ robustness.
Last but not least, Girona’s pilot site will welcome the INNOQUA project team on 11th and 12th July, as a key component of the project meeting that will be held in Girona.
In the photos below, you see Narcis Pous taking the first probes. He is a postdoctoral researcher at LEQUIA, the University of Girona’s Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.