Publications in focus

UWMH is especially committed in the development and dissemination of new knowledge and its uptake by the scientific community as well as practitioners. As such it strives to publish new breakthroughs in peer review journals

Sewer-mining: A water reuse option supporting circular economy, public service provision and entrepreneurship

Authors: Makropoulos C., Rozos E.,Tsoukalas I., Plevri A., Karakatsanis G., Karagiannidis L., Makri E., Lioumis C., Noutsopoulos C., Mamais D., Rippis C., Lytras E.
Journal: Journal of Environmental Management
Issue / Pages:
Vol. 216, 285-298
Publisher:
Science Direct-Elsevier
Publication Date: 2018
Title: Sewer-mining: A water reuse option supporting circular economy, public service provision and entrepreneurship

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ABSTRACT

Water scarcity, either due to increased urbanisation or climatic variability, has motivated societies to reduce pressure on water resources mainly by reducing water demand. However, this practice alone is not sufficient to guarantee the quality of life that high quality water services underpin, especially within a context of increased urbanisation. As such, the idea of water reuse has been gaining momentum for some time and has recently found a more general context within the idea of the Circular Economy. This paper is set within the context of an ongoing discussion between centralized and decentralized water reuse techniques and the investigation of trade-offs between efficiency and economic viability of reuse at different scales. Specifically, we argue for an intermediate scale of a water reuse option termed ‘sewer-mining’, which could be considered a reuse scheme at the neighbourhood scale. We suggest that sewer mining (a) provides a feasible alternative reuse option when the geography of the wastewater treatment plant is problematic, (b) relies on mature treatment technologies and (c) presents an opportunity for Small Medium Enterprises (SME) to be involved in the water market, securing environmental, social and economic benefits. To support this argument, we report on a pilot sewer-mining application in Athens, Greece. The pilot, integrates two subsystems: a packaged treatment unit and an information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. The paper reports on the pilot’s overall performance and critically evaluates the potential of the sewer-mining idea to become a significant piece of the circular economy puzzle for water.

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