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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

A method for waste water treatment in coastal towns

Posted By: Ivan Vesely
Date: Wednesday, 16 February 2000, at 12:12 p.m.

In Response To: "Operationalizing" sustainable coastal development / Alexandria-Egypt. (Samir Riad.)

I would like to draw your attention to a new product that brings another dimension into the topic of waste water treatment around the world.

In most coastal areas there are many settlements and towns where every available square meter of land must be utilized. These metropolitan areas were built step by step during an earlier time when the surrounding land area seemed to be more than sufficient and when an understanding of environmental concerns did not exist. The sewerage system in such settlements was built at the turn of the century, and in most cases empties directly into an adjacent bay.

According to the "COUNCIL DIRECTIVE" of the European Community No. 91/271/EEC and 98/15/ES, concerning urban and industrial waste water treatment, all municipalities are obliged to treat their waste water appropriately.

This new product is a floating waste water treatment plant (FWWTP), it places the waste water treatment plant on a floating platform, anchored a suitable distance from the city or village it serves. Connection between the existing sewerage system and the FWWT is provided by an underwater pipeline.

Most of the built-up areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea are situated such that coastal patterns and historical urbanisation limit the space available for land based sewage treatment facilities. If the city council decides to take proper care of the sewage by building a waste water treatment plant, it must take in consideration the current state of its existing sewerage system. Such systems are usually based on normal gravity flow and the sewage discharges directly into the adjacent bay. Since it is unlikely to find adequate building sites on the tourist promenade, costly diversions of sewerage systems are essential to bring the waste to a sewage treatment plant outside the town. Such diversions can cost more then sewage treatment plant itself.

The FWWTP eliminates these difficulties and offers a new solution that has the following advantages:

1. Annexation of building land is not required, therefore freeing land for other purposes.

2. The period of construction in municipal built-up areas is reduced to a minimum. The FWWTP is fabricated elsewhere and delivered in a near finished state.

3. Generally the price of the FWWTP is lower than land based plants, since there are no expenses with building site reclamation.

4. There are no waste water treatment plants that would fit into the typical seaside image.

5. The FWWTP upgrades the desirable atmosphere of the particular community. The technological part is hidden in a submerged section that is completely sealed. The visible part of the FWWTP provides a base for any useful configuration. It can look and function like a harbor restaurant, a heliport, a base for the harbor-master, customs or the coast guard. The most attractive variation could be a port for recreational vessels, combined with the service and club facilities.

6. The multipurpose function could provide a basis for cost sharing.

7. The latest version of the FWWTP is equipped with an additional ionizing element in its final technological step. This configuration provides for the possibility of recycling up to 88% of the treated waste water and bring it back to the communal utility water systems.

Further information is available at: http://www.skoda.cz/~jad/

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