Urban Water Cycle technology

prof. Luuk Rietveld

Drinking water technology is part of the urban and global water cycle. After being consumed the waste water is transported, treated and discharged to water bodies that can, again, serve as a source for drinking water production. When the entire cycle is considered, synergetic advantages can be obtained and innovative solutions can be developed. The research in this field is new and stimulated by Waternet, the first water cycle company in the Netherlands. In 2008 special attention was given to the emerging substances, like endocrine disrupting compounds and pharmaceuticals, in the water cycle. These compounds enter the water cycle through human activity (e.g. domestic waste water, agriculture, hospitals and industry). Some of them are small and polar and are difficult to be removed. Research is carried out to characterize the compounds and predict their behaviour in treatment processes (adsorption, biodegradation, oxidation, retention) and their effect on aquatic flora and fauna. In this way it is not needed study every compound individually, but will it be possible to develop efficient treatment technologies that are needed to guarantee the water quality in water systems and drinking water.

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