Nature-based solutions that leave no-one behind
The INNOQUA project is challenging the preconception that nature-based wastewater treatment is only suitable for rural and remote populations. Harnessing the combined potential of earthworms, zooplankton and microalgae, INNOQUA’s modular system is currently installed at two pilot sites and 11 demo sites across 11 countries – in both urban and rural environments – where project partners are exploring the treatment efficacy of the system as well as the potential for water re-use.
Due to its modular configuration, the INNOQUA system can address multiple aspects of wastewater treatment and water re-use in water-stressed communities, rapidly expanding cities, and industries – both in developed and developing countries. With varying system configurations, INNOQUA is demonstrating the long-term viability of modular and locally sustainable solutions under real conditions on four continents.
|Ireland||Industrial application – Cattle farming||Partner: NUIG|
|France||Industrial application – Aquaculture||Partner: LBT|
|France||Domestic application – Tertiary||Partner: NBK|
|Italy||Domestic application – Western single family||Partner: DE5-R2M|
|Romania||Domestic application – Tourism||Partner: RMC-ECOIND|
|Scotland||Domestic application – Collective housing in extreme conditions||Partner: SW|
|Turkey||Domestic application – Private residential complex||Partner: EKO|
|Ecuador||Domestic application – Residential||Partner: GYA-UCU|
|Peru||Domestic application – Residential||Partner: UCSM|
|India||Domestic application||Partner: BORDA|
|Tanzania||Domestic application – Tertiary & Single family||Partner: BORDA|
INNOQUA is also investigating social acceptance, usability and affordability. Although the system is designed to be low-tech and robust, it does require supervision and occasional maintenance. Community ownership of the process is essential for long-term viability, but prevailing social attitudes can hinder community involvement. The project team are working with local partners to understand and address these potential barriers, while rolling out a training programme that encompasses broader principles of WASH and wastewater treatment – as well as the specifics of day-to-day operation and maintenance of the INNOQUA solutions.