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The global contribution of HIGHWET project is to improve the knowledge or technological process of Constructed Wetlands (CWs) as Wastewater (WW) treatment alternative. It is meant to develop holistic configurations combining hydrolytic anaerobic digester (HUSB) and vertical and horizontal CWs. The configurations should be capable of operating at high loading rate of about 20-50 g BOD5/m2•d (for the overall system and according the configuration). Herewith the land requirements are being reduced by a factor of 2 to 4 regarding conventional CWs. The overall configurations and their components will maintain the simplicity of construction and operation of classical anaerobic digesters, HCW and VCW units, but increasing the overall performance of the system through limited artificial aeration and optionally through effluent recycling. The behaviour of the configurations in relation to solids accumulation and energy consumption will be investigated in order to determine its lifetime and general sustainability.

The project starts with WP1 “Specification of field applications and potential market” within all partners of the project will discuss and deliberate different opinions about the technical aspects related to both HIGHWET configurations. So that, the definition of different configurations will be discussed by all partners.

In WP2 “Design and construction of HIGHWET systems” is to design, construct or adapt and test the combined technologies from anaerobic and CWs in order to provide the HIGHWET configurations as competitive technology alternatives for organic and nutrient removal from WW. The innovative aeration system to be implemented in the units will be developed and the specifications of the natural material will be defined. Finally, a survey about design and construction procedures for the guidelines of decentralised application of the HIGHWET systems will be elaborated.

In WP3 “Start-up and steady-state operation of systems”, the main objective is to experimentally prove both HIGHWET configuration operations at design parameters of HLR and OLR. Organic matter and nutrient removal efficiency will be the control parameter to evaluate the operation of the systems.

In WP4 “Validation of HIGHWET configurations”, the main objective is to optimise and validate both HIGHWET configurations in order to achieve a suitable operation. Optimization and validation is referred to maintain or even increase the removal efficiency at the highest OLR and HLR stable operation and also to reduce excess sludge production and minimise CH4 production on CWs. Unstable operation is showed by washing-out biomass from anaerobic digester, flooding of CWs and by decreasing of removal efficiency.

Knowledge transfer, dissemination and exploitation actions are planned in WP6, while all management and coordination activities of the project are included in WP7.

Pert diagram of the HIGHWET project

Figure: Pert diagram of the HIGHWET project.