Project budget4 189 796 €
ERDF amount2 513 877 €
The common challenge tackled by DOC2C's is the existing low-technology infrastructure for drinking water production, soon inadequate to ensure supply of excellent water quality while adapting to pollution and climate change.
Production of safe drinking water is increasingly under pressure in the area. The main concern is the growing concentration of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in surface water. DOC reduces the efficiency of all treatment steps and threatens water quality due to emerging substances, formation of harmful disinfection by-products and lowered biostability in the network.
The project main objective is to develop new environmental technologies for efficient, future-proof drinking water production in coastal areas, able to cope with mounting levels of DOC. The rapid uptake of the R&D innovation will be ensured through intense collaboration of different utilities, research institutes and technology providers, as well as through abatement of the exorbitant investment costs associated with production plants and pilot research.
- 4 integral pilot plants ready for R&D
- Pilot testing of several innovative technologies to prove their efficacy, leading to rapid market uptake
- A cross-border testing facility open to pilot new innovations from technology providers and to test surface water from several production sites.
Contractors and technology providers will profit from preparation of the pilot sites. The latter will also benefit from access to the cross-border testing facility.
Utilities and the citizens will benefit from sustainable, cost-efficient drinking water treatment, and ultimately from better water quality.
Cross border approach
Increasing DOC in surface water is a serious threat for drinking water in the coastal 2 Seas area. Within a single country, the total number of drinking water facilities relying on surface water is rather limited but the investments in R&D and full-scale treatments are huge. This makes innovation slow and location-specific. Promising technologies exist but are not validated yet in an integrated process. Scientific knowledge is fragmented and exchange of experience cautious. Cross-border cooperation within 2 Seas areas is therefore essential to create critical mass and reach the intended change.
The DOC2Cs project's main focus is research into innovative ways to improve water treatment by removing, controlling, and monitoring DOC in water. As such, an intensive research program has been followed in the first three years of this project, and continues into the final year (2019).
Some specific highlights include:
- three workshops have been provided thus far, with most recent being at the PP2 water treatment plant which uses some of the innovative technologies for treating water, and it was attended by 75 observers or interested target groups;
- the research and data summaries continue, and PPs present their findings at conferences and workshops to disseminate the information;
- knowledge video clips and some excursion site videos have been produced and are on the project's website;
- feasibility study outlines have been prepared, and these will be completed in 2019;
- operators have been trained on the innovative technologies, and this will continue into 2019;
- we are planning a final workshop at PP6 in the spring of 2019 and a final projects meeting for dissimination of information in the autumn of 2019 at the LP facilities.
In terms of research findings, the innovative technologies such as in-line coagulation and ion exchange perform well for DOC removal, and the characterization techniques being performed at PP6 are a potentially helpful tool for water utilities in managing DOC. PP4 continues to make progress with the ceramic nanofilter prototypes, and PP3 continues work with ion exchange evaluations and potential re-use of brine. There has been a high level of collaboration between PPs, with some team members serving on PhD committees, samples from sites being sent to other PPs for trials or experiments, shared study work on some of the deliverables, team work for the feasibility study writing, and even some intern programs between PPs. The workshop in November at PP2 was a highlight for 2019, due to the number of attendees, the outreach to water utilties who attended, and to the interest in the project (specifically dealing with problems caused by DOC in water).