October 2021 / Water covers more than 70 % of Earth’s surface. Water is a vital need, a home, a local and global resource, a transport corridor and a climate regulator. It has become the end of the journey for many pollutants released to nature.
prof. Jiřina Jílková
Ing. Lucia Gharwalová
Wastewater monitoring is in some countries used for the purposes of SARS-CoV-2 detection. It is a cost-effective way to monitor large populations, and helps to understand the prevalence of infection and to identify the areas of concern. The Czech Republic started a pilot project on wastewater sampling for Covid detection in April 2020. The vision is to create a wastewater monitoring network for detecting the spread of infectious diseases.
doc. Ing. Josef Trögl, Ph.D
Pharmaceuticals in water are micro-pollutants that have high biological repercussions and toxicity, and might be one potential reason for the current increase in infertility. Wastewater treatment practices aim at only partial elimination – through the process of biodegradation in the biological stage. The regulatory framework does not set any legal limits on this kind of pollutant. Innovative approaches are needed – for example, sorption (the binding of ions and some neutral molecules to charged surfaces of minerals or colloids in sediment in contact with an aqueous solution), photooxidation/photocatalysis, electrocoagulation and the immobilisation of microorganisms.
Jaakko Kapanen, Senior Project Manager
Finnish Water Forum
Wastewater services belong among the key elements in the framework of the circular economy. When using recycled water, users need to know the cycle of concentration in order to avoid leaving too high levels of harmful components. It is important to manage impurities –they disturb the normal cleaning process. Policy instruments – including environmental impact assessment, cost and risk assessment – should be implemented. Advanced wastewater technologies that enable the reuse water are in place, but they require a high level of expertise.
doc. Ing. Jan Bartáček, Ph.D.
University of Chemistry and Technology
“Grey-water” reuse is a cost-effective option for the purpose of toilet flushing and clothes washing. But there are significant barriers, and the relevant legislative framework is unclear. In family houses, the outdoor use of treated grey-water is illegal. The Czech Ministry of the Environment has initiated a study aimed at reviewing the relevant legislation and technical norms regarding grey-water reuse in the Czech Republic and worldwide, and at identifying the technical and legislative documents and parameters that will be needed in the Czech Republic in order for grey-water reuse technologies to be used for future funding calls.
doc. Ing. Josef Trögl, Ph.D
Innovative approaches to wastewater treatment include various methods – non-conventional sorbents of pollutants, photocatalytic oxidation, biological treatment, immobilised microorganisms and electrocoagulation. The research community is very active in this field.
Various methods of municipal sludge treatment are widely known and commonly used. Two groups of final sludge disposal methods are thermal applications and land applications. The European Union’s Sewage Sludge Directive regulates the conditions under which sludge is used in agriculture. It prescribes conditions of such use, the relevant reporting obligations, and limits relating to the presence of heavy metals in such sludge. The limits and requirements differ among countries.