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INNOQUA Report Summary

Project ID: 689817
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INNOQUA (Innovative Ecological on-site Sanitation System for Water and Resource Savings)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In Europe there are significant water concerns which are still non addressed. Directive 91/271/CEE, related to the treatment of urban wastewater, establishes criteria and deadlines for the purification of wastewater in all EU Member States, while the Directive 2000/60/CEE (Water Framework Directive) establishes a community framework of action for water policy aspects, which had to be achieved before the end of 2015. Both Directives state the need for an appropriate spill treatment with the purpose of maintaining a good ecological status of water resources. Although 91.4% of EU settlements have less than 2000 inhabitants, making up to 20% of the total population of the EU, a large proportion of these communities still fall short of the standards that were stipulated in these measures in terms of wastewater purification and sanitation.
The percentage of the EU population connected to central water supply systems ranges from 55.6% to 99.3%, depending on the country, whereas the percentage of the population connected with waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) varies from 40% to 90%. Data from individual countries show that EU countries have established target ranges from 75–90% of their populations to become connected to sewerage and treatment systems. Despite the fact that EU Water Framework Directive (EU WFD) obliges all countries to achieve the “good status of all the waters” in their territories, there is a gap of 10–15 % of the population, corresponding to about 20 million rural inhabitants, who will remain without proper sanitation systems after 2015. Worldwide and despite the efforts being made, many countries have still not reached the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) with regards to water. Currently, more than one billion people across the globe do not have access to clean water, while 2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation.
In order to be able to offer a solution that is of practical benefit to rural areas both in the developed world and developing countries, and regions that face serious economic constraints, it is necessary to guarantee the elimination and adequate treatment of wastewater with minimum implementation costs and affordable service costs and also taking into account social acceptance. Decentralised, small-scale systems and non-conventional purification technologies such as those developed in INNOQUA offer a concrete solution to the problem that these communities are facing. The solution proposed is simple, easy to manage, cost effective and combine natural purification processes.
INNOQUA accelerates the path to market of a modular set of innovative and scalable fully ecological sanitation solutions that address wide market needs in rural communities, for agricultural industries, for sustainable home-builders or collective housing owners and for developing countries worldwide. The near zero CO2 life-cycle emissions system is based on the purification capacity of biological organisms bringing ecological, safe and affordable sanitation capacity where it is needed most while fully addressing the thematic and cross cutting priorities of the EIP on Water.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first eighteen months of the project all WP started except workpackage 5. Indeed workpackage 5 is the finalisation of prototype development, leading to the implementation of demonstration site in real conditions. This workpackage corresponds to the last step before obtaining a solution ready for the market and to tackle challenges addressed by INNOQUA.
First period permitted us to achieve the following main objectives:
• Completion of markets study for targeted markets.
• Completion of end users guidelines.
• Collection of inlet waste water quality of the demonstration sites.
• Development of prototype drawings for manufacturing and implementation in Galway and Girona.
• Finalisation of Lumbrfilter and daphniafilter industrial drawings
• Test plan to test efficiency and optimise system.
• First LCC and LCA analysis which highlighed ways to improve sustainability of the system.
• Questionnaire for social acceptance.
• Identification of Exploitable results.
• Communication to scientific audience through conferences and to general public (flyers, poster, website)
• Set up of Special Interest Group which represents potential early adopter
• Set up of Advisory board in order to provide external insights.
• Launch of ETV process to prove efficiency of our claim regarding water quality.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

INNOQUA demonstrates comprehensive technological, economic, environmental and societal benefits of the innovative bio-based modular water treatment system and will:
• Enhance confidence among end-users and stakeholders regarding the long-term sustainable benefits of the system in a range of realistic applications and locations
• Develop widespread market uptake both inside and outside Europe via new business generation
• Economic benefits estimated in 28M€/y increased revenues, 560 full-time jobs and 1000 MWh/y (or 21100€/y) of energy savings
• Promote European leadership in addressing worldwide off-grid sanitation needs
• Generate LCA positive impacts regarding chemical and resources use
• Solutions and stress reduction for the EU aging water infrastructure
• Reduce release of untreated/poorly treated wastewater and avoid CO2 emissions equal to 625 Tons/y
• Improve sanitation and health conditions in both rural and underdeveloped regions.
• Foster the aims of EU strategies (EIP on Water, SPIRE PPP, EU ETV programme)

The INNOQUA system will be highly innovative compared to the existing systems because the solution proposed will have a high impact on public health and environment at affordable price. First of all, it will be 100% based on biological processes, permitting to considerably reduce the use of chemicals in water treatment and thus improving public health and environmental standards. In addition, the combination of the different biological processes will also allow important energy savings and decrease CO2 emissions, playing an important role in global energy challenges. The technology will also enable the reuse of wastewater and will generate less or even no sludge. Such technology providing all these benefits at an affordable price is currenly not available on the market, which conffirms that INNOQUA technology will clearly have an added-value in the field of wastewater treatment.

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