Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2022) | Viewed by 40605

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR/CIMAR), University of Porto, Novo Edifício do Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos, S/N, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
2. Institute of Science and Environment, University of St. Joseph, Rua de Londres 106, Macao 999078, China
Interests: water and wastewater treatment; environmental biotechnology; environmental engineering; phytomanagement; bioremediation; phytoremediation; nature-based solutions; freshwater ecosystem conservation and restoration; education for sustainability
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

New paradigms for water treatment and reuse are needed towards a sustainable water management. This applies to contaminated water bodies or wastewater scenarios. The natural and urban water cycles are interconnected needing of a holistic approach to deal with the concerns related to water availability, water quality and water-related risks.

The current main drivers for development of water treatment schemes are based on water reuse, resource recovery and energy efficiency. Different approaches for water treatment and reuse can be envisioned based on physicochemical or biological processes that must meet the demand of industrialization, demographic constrains and climate change effects. A water wise management lays the foundation for the resilience of circular and resourceful cities to future challenges.

Under this perspective, this Special Issue of Water welcomes research and new insights on technologies for an efficient water treatment and management, through high tech solutions and nature-based approaches at the level of the buildings, urban sites or centralized treatment plants. Submissions are welcome in the format of original research papers, case studies, as well as systematic reviews.

Dr. Cristina Sousa Coutinho Calheiros
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • water quality
  • water cycle
  • water pollution
  • water resources
  • physicochemical treatment
  • biological treatment
  • nature-based solutions
  • circular cities
  • ecotechnologies
  • biotechnology

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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23 pages, 7070 KiB  
Article
Sanitary Sewerage Master Plan for the Sustainable Use of Wastewater on a University Campus
by Bethy Merchán-Sanmartín, Paul Carrión-Mero, Sebastián Suárez-Zamora, Maribel Aguilar-Aguilar, Omar Cruz-Cabrera, Katherine Hidalgo-Calva and Fernando Morante-Carballo
Water 2022, 14(15), 2425; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152425 - 5 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3280
Abstract
Wastewater collection, transport, and treatment systems are essential to ensure human and environmental well-being. The Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), has been implementing various sanitary sewerage systems; however, population growth has given rise to discussion on the installed capacity versus the necessary [...] Read more.
Wastewater collection, transport, and treatment systems are essential to ensure human and environmental well-being. The Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), has been implementing various sanitary sewerage systems; however, population growth has given rise to discussion on the installed capacity versus the necessary capacity for the future population in the sustainable management of water resources. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a sanitary sewerage master plan by analysing the existing situation and applying technical criteria for the sustainable use of wastewater on a university campus. The methodology consisted of (i) evaluation and diagnosis of the area studied through data collection and processing, (ii) design of the sanitary sewerage system considering area-expansion zones, and (iii) SWOT analysis of a proposal to enhance wastewater transport and treatment systems. The proposal contemplates designing a sanitary sewer system that will manage the collection, transport, and treatment of wastewater over 15 years for 5667 inhabitants located in three expansion zones with occupation periods of 5, 10, and 15 years. The sewerage system comprises a pipe network 1.19 km long and 200 mm in diameter, transporting 12.37 L/s of wastewater generated to two treatment systems that guarantee efficient depuration and subsequent reuse. This design was complemented by a SWOT analysis of the existing sanitation system developed by experts in the area, which included optimising existing treatment systems and reusing wastewater for irrigation of green areas as tertiary treatment within the circular economy. The methodology used in the study allows us to offer a tool for efficiently managing wastewater on a university campus, guaranteeing human well-being, and promoting the circular economy of water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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11 pages, 844 KiB  
Article
Economic Assessment of Energy Consumption in Wastewater Treatment Plants: Applicability of Alternative Nature-Based Technologies in Portugal
by Eleonora Santos, António Albuquerque, Inês Lisboa, Patrick Murray and Hande Ermis
Water 2022, 14(13), 2042; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132042 - 26 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3194
Abstract
Understanding how to address today’s global challenges is critical to improving corporate performance in terms of economic and environmental sustainability. In wastewater treatment systems, such an approach implies integrating efficient treatment technologies with aspects of the circular economy. In this business field, energy [...] Read more.
Understanding how to address today’s global challenges is critical to improving corporate performance in terms of economic and environmental sustainability. In wastewater treatment systems, such an approach implies integrating efficient treatment technologies with aspects of the circular economy. In this business field, energy costs represent a large share of operating costs. This work discusses technological and management aspects leading to greater energy savings in Portuguese wastewater treatment companies. A mixed methodology, involving qualitative and quantitative aspects, for collecting and analysing data from wastewater treatment plants was used. The qualitative aspects consisted of a narrative analysis of the information available on reports and websites for 11 wastewater management companies in Portugal (e.g., technologies, treated wastewater volumes and operating costs) followed by a review of several international studies. The quantitative approach involved calculating the specific energy consumption (kWh/m3), energy operating costs (EUR/m3) and energy operating costs per population equivalent (EUR/inhabitants) using data from the literature and from Portuguese companies collected from the SABI database. The results suggested that the most environmentally and economically sustainable solution is algae-based technology which might allow a reduction in energy operating costs between 0.05–0.41 EUR/m3 and 15.4–180.8 EUR/inhabitants compared to activated sludge and other conventional methods. This technology, in addition to being financially advantageous, provides the ability to eliminate the carbon footprint and the valorisation of algae biomass, suggesting that this biotechnology is starting to position itself as a mandatory future solution in the wastewater treatment sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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11 pages, 1986 KiB  
Article
Occurrence of Fecal Bacteria and Zoonotic Pathogens in Different Water Bodies: Supporting Water Quality Management
by Vânia Ferreira, Rui Magalhães, Paula Teixeira, Paula Maria Lima Castro and Cristina Sousa Coutinho Calheiros
Water 2022, 14(5), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14050780 - 1 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
Water contaminated with microbiological and chemical constituents can cause a variety of diseases. Water bodies may become contaminated by wild and domestic animal feces, agricultural runoff or sewage, and are often overlooked as a reservoir and source of human infection by pathogenic microorganisms. [...] Read more.
Water contaminated with microbiological and chemical constituents can cause a variety of diseases. Water bodies may become contaminated by wild and domestic animal feces, agricultural runoff or sewage, and are often overlooked as a reservoir and source of human infection by pathogenic microorganisms. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the presence of the zoonotic pathogens, Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes, in various water bodies located in urban and rural areas in the north of Portugal. Water samples were collected from six sites, including natural and artificial ponds, in two different time periods. Several water quality physicochemical parameters, as well as fecal indicator bacteria, were evaluated. High levels of total coliforms (>1.78 log CFU/100 mL) were detected in all samples, and substantial numbers of Enterococcus (>2.32 log CFU/100 mL) were detected in two ponds located in a city park and in an urban garden. Escherichia coli counts ranged from undetectable to 2.76 log CFU/100 mL. Salmonella spp. was isolated from two sites, the city park and the natural pond, while L. monocytogenes was isolated from three sites: the city garden, the natural pond and the artificial pond, both in the rural area. These data show that artificial and natural ponds are a reservoir of fecal indicator bacteria and enteric and zoonotic pathogens. This may impact the potential risks of human infections by potential contaminants during recreational activities, being important for assessing the water quality for strategic management of these areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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20 pages, 1769 KiB  
Article
Reclamation of Treated Wastewater for Irrigation in Chile: Perspectives of the Current State and Challenges
by Ismael Vera-Puerto, Hugo Valdés, Marcos Bueno, Christian Correa, Jorge Olave, Marcos Carrasco-Benavides, Flavia Schiappacasse and Carlos A. Arias
Water 2022, 14(4), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14040627 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3899
Abstract
Reclamation of treated wastewater is considered a viable option for reducing the agricultural and national water deficit, especially in Mediterranean-type and arid climatic conditions. Given that Chile is a country around 40% of whose territory is classified as semi-arid and desert and 20% [...] Read more.
Reclamation of treated wastewater is considered a viable option for reducing the agricultural and national water deficit, especially in Mediterranean-type and arid climatic conditions. Given that Chile is a country around 40% of whose territory is classified as semi-arid and desert and 20% as Mediterranean, with serious water scarcity problems, and which uses a great deal of the resource in agricultural irrigation, the present paper offers perspectives on the current state of treated wastewater reuse and considers challenges to improving the development of water reclamation for irrigation in Chile as a case study. The methods followed included a systematic literature review to answer two important questions: (a) What is the state of reclamation of treated wastewater for irrigation in Chile? and (b) What criteria/parameters determine the feasibility of reclaiming treated wastewater for irrigation in Chile? The results showed that Chile has been affected by climate change in a short time: a megadrought has occurred over the last ten years, increasing the necessity for the country to secure alternative water sources for irrigation. The country has advanced greatly in wastewater treatment coverage, achieving almost 100% in urban areas, with technologies that can produce quality water as a new water source for irrigation. However, the lack of regulations and limited frameworks could explain the low direct reuse at present—below 1% of total flow. Regarding challenges, the necessity of updates to Chile’s institutional and legal frameworks, besides the inclusion of rural communities and the study of emerging contaminants, will be discussed. By these means, it will be possible to more efficiently utilize recycled wastewater as a new source for irrigation in this country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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17 pages, 1167 KiB  
Article
Diclofenac Toxicity Abatement in Wastewater with Solar Disinfection: A Study in the Rural Area of Brazil’s Central−West Region
by Nathália Sanches dos Santos, Laura Fernanda Marquiza, Cristina Sousa Coutinho Calheiros, Priscila Sabioni Cavalheri, Beatriz Santos Machado, Guilherme Henrique Cavazzana and Fernando Jorge Correa Magalhães Filho
Water 2021, 13(8), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081043 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3501
Abstract
Domestic wastewater has been targeted for the presence of emerging contaminants such as antibiotics, of which diclofenac is one of the most frequently detected. Many studies have focused on the removal of these emerging pollutants. However, the legislation has focused on toxicity monitoring. [...] Read more.
Domestic wastewater has been targeted for the presence of emerging contaminants such as antibiotics, of which diclofenac is one of the most frequently detected. Many studies have focused on the removal of these emerging pollutants. However, the legislation has focused on toxicity monitoring. In search of simplified solutions for rural areas, and to guarantee the safe reuse of effluent in agriculture, this study evaluated the efficiency of a decentralized solar disinfection (SODIS) system regarding the reduction of ecotoxicity, phytotoxicity, and pathogens in domestic wastewater after adding diclofenac potassium. For this purpose, the bioindicators Artemia sp., Allium cepa L. and Lactuca sativa were used, after 1, 2, and 3 h of exposure to solar radiation. After 3 h of exposure to solar radiation, toxicity was reduced and root growth inhibition was noted, which indicates low effluent toxicity after treatment by the SODIS system. It was achieved a reduction of 3 and 2 log units in the concentration of total coliforms and Escherichia coli, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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20 pages, 5385 KiB  
Article
Floating Wetland Islands Implementation and Biodiversity Assessment in a Port Marina
by Cristina S. C. Calheiros, João Carecho, Maria P. Tomasino, C. Marisa R. Almeida and Ana P. Mucha
Water 2020, 12(11), 3273; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113273 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 6268
Abstract
Floating wetland islands (FWI) are considered nature-based solutions with great potential to promote several ecosystem services, such as biodiversity and water quality enhancement through phytoremediation processes. To our knowledge, the present work is the first to scientifically document the in-situ establishment of an [...] Read more.
Floating wetland islands (FWI) are considered nature-based solutions with great potential to promote several ecosystem services, such as biodiversity and water quality enhancement through phytoremediation processes. To our knowledge, the present work is the first to scientifically document the in-situ establishment of an FWI in a seawater port marina. The establishment and performance of a cork floating platform with a polyculture (Sarcocornia perennis, Juncus maritimus, Phragmites australis, Halimione portulacoides, Spartina maritima, Limonium vulgare) was evaluated. The diversity of organisms present in the FWI was undertaken based on the macrofauna assessment, taking into consideration marine water characterization, with a focus on hydrocarbons. Microbial communities were assessed based on metabarcoding approach to study 16S rRNA gene from environmental DNA retrieved from biofilm (from the planting media), marine biofouling (from the submerged platform) and surface marina water. S. perennis was the species with the highest survival rate and growth. The structure of the microbial community showed clear differences between those established in the FWI and those in the surrounding water, showing the presence of some bacterial groups that can be relevant for bioremediation processes (e.g., Saprospiraceae family). Concerning the macrofauna analysis, Mytilus sp. was the predominant taxa. To be of relevance, total petroleum hydrocarbons were detected at the marina up to ca. 6 mg/L. This study gives new insights into broadening FWI application to the saline environments of port marinas and to supporting a management strategy to promote several ecosystem services such biodiversity, species habitat, water quality enhancement and added aesthetic value to the marina landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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31 pages, 5407 KiB  
Article
The Impacts of Climate Change on Wastewater Treatment Costs: Evidence from the Wastewater Sector in China
by Ami Reznik, Yu Jiang and Ariel Dinar
Water 2020, 12(11), 3272; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113272 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3735
Abstract
Treatment of wastewater is expected to become a major development issue in the years to come. We investigate the relationship between climate and costs of wastewater treatment with the objective of examining if changes in climate might have an impact on the costs [...] Read more.
Treatment of wastewater is expected to become a major development issue in the years to come. We investigate the relationship between climate and costs of wastewater treatment with the objective of examining if changes in climate might have an impact on the costs of wastewater treatment. For that purpose, we use a cross-section sample of 163 treatment plants from China to estimate the industry’s cost function. The methodology used comprises an econometric estimation procedure of treatment costs of the wastewater sector, and a simulation of changes in these costs predicted with future climate conditions, policy implementation scenarios, population growth and development trends. Our results find evidence of climate change impact on treatment costs. We also simulate potential impact of future policy and climate scenarios on costs of treatment, and we measure the cost impact of all other cost determinants but climate—as these are indirectly affected by accounting for climate in the estimation procedure. This indirect impact predicts total cost changes of different magnitudes across the range of future scenarios investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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23 pages, 5599 KiB  
Article
Determination of Pollution Loads in Spillways of the Combined Sewage Network of the City of Cuenca, Ecuador
by César Montalvo-Cedillo, Rubén Jerves-Cobo and Luis Domínguez-Granda
Water 2020, 12(9), 2540; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092540 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2603
Abstract
Combined sewer overflow (CSO) is one of the main causes of contamination in receiving bodies during the rainy period. The objective of this research was to evaluate the behavior of three combined sewage discharges into the Tomebamba River in the city of Cuenca, [...] Read more.
Combined sewer overflow (CSO) is one of the main causes of contamination in receiving bodies during the rainy period. The objective of this research was to evaluate the behavior of three combined sewage discharges into the Tomebamba River in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador. For this, the registration of 18 CSO events was carried out. The following water quality parameters were analyzed from the field survey (March 2017 to May 2018): conductivity, turbidity, BOD5, COD, fecal and total coliforms, nitrates, nitrites, ammoniacal nitrogen, dissolved orthophosphate and total phosphorus. The results show that CSOs contribute to the deterioration of the water quality of the Tomebamba River during the rainy season. The analysis of the dynamics of the pollutants determined that the maximum conductivity values occur at the beginning of the discharge, and the maximum turbidity is located near the peak discharge flow. The relationship between rain and the characteristics of the CSO was also analyzed through a canonical correlation analysis and partial least squares regression, obtaining a prediction model of pollutants based on the precipitation parameters. These results can be used for the implementation of integrated ecological models that enable a complete analysis of the city’s sanitation systems, their impact on the receiving bodies and their restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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Review

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30 pages, 1333 KiB  
Review
Removal of Pathogens in Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems: A Review of Design Considerations and Influencing Factors
by Mian Wang, Julia Zhu and Xinwei Mao
Water 2021, 13(9), 1190; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091190 - 25 Apr 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 9846
Abstract
Conventional onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTSs) could potentially contribute to the transmission of infectious diseases caused by waterborne pathogenic microorganisms and become an important human health concern, especially in the areas where OWTSs are used as the major wastewater treatment units. Although previous [...] Read more.
Conventional onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTSs) could potentially contribute to the transmission of infectious diseases caused by waterborne pathogenic microorganisms and become an important human health concern, especially in the areas where OWTSs are used as the major wastewater treatment units. Although previous studies suggested the OWTSs could reduce chemical pollutants as well as effectively reducing microbial contaminants from onsite wastewater, the microbiological quality of effluents and the factors potentially affecting the removal are still understudied. Therefore, the design and optimization of pathogen removal performance necessitate a better mechanistic understanding of the hydrological, geochemical, and biological processes controlling the water quality in OWTSs. To fill the knowledge gaps, the sources of pathogens and common pathogenic indicators, along with their major removal mechanisms in OWTSs were discussed. This review evaluated the effectiveness of pathogen removal in state-of-art OWTSs and investigated the contributing factors for efficient pathogen removal (e.g., system configurations, filter materials, environmental and operational conditions), with the aim to guide the future design for optimized treatment performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management: New Paradigms for Water Treatment and Reuse)
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