Demonstration strategy & sites


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.

INNOQUA system schematic - all modules

INNOQUA pilot sites provide a robust platform for scientific research under controlled conditions and act as a focus for local training and dissemination activities.

Ireland National University of Ireland Partner: NUIG
Spain University of Girona Partner: UDG

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.