Leipzig. One of the biggest ecological challenges facing the growing global population is the economical use of resources. That is also the main theme of the TerraTec environment trade fair in Leipzig. It showcases current developments in environmental protection and water resource management that help in coping successfully with resource problems. At the eleventh TerraTec from 27 to 29 January, the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) will be presenting four examples. At the DBU stand in Hall 2.2 (Stand M 19), project partners of the DBU will exhibit technical innovations in the field of wastewater treatment and closed-cycle water systems. The DBU will also be presenting its grants programme for central and eastern Europe.
Sustainable sanitation and wastewater concept for Romanian village
“In some parts of Europe, rivers, lakes and streams are still used as open sewers. The water is often polluted by harmful substances that can cause dangerous illnesses and represent a permanent threat to residents,” says Dr.-Ing. E. h. Fritz Brickwedde, the secretary general of the DBU. This is the case, for example, in the village of Fofeldea in Romania (Transylvania): here, wastewater from households seeps out untreated or is drained off in open ditches. Flush toilets are almost non-existent, meaning that “Number 1s and Number 2s” can enter the ground water through unsealed pits in the ground. With the help of the DBU, Büro Holzapfel, a Thuringian company specialising in wastewater treatment, has developed a sustainable sanitation and wastewater concept for the village, including special dry toilets. They separate off the faeces into a closed compost container. The wastewater can be almost completely reused and returned to the natural cycle. The waste from the system can even be utilised as fertiliser and biogas.
Helping people help themselves in Bulgaria
The Chamber of Engineers in the State of Hesse focuses on helping people help themselves. It assists colleagues in Bulgaria to reuse wastewater in an environmentally friendly way. In sparsely populated areas of the country, cheap and decentral wastewater treatment systems are ecological alternatives to large-scale sewage plants. The Chamber runs training courses in which Bulgarian engineers are taught basic knowledge regarding such systems, such as their planning, construction, operation, financing and maintenance.
Biomembranes for more hygienic quality of treated water
The Leipzig-based company Busse has developed a biomembrane technology that can be used in small sewage treatment works. Thin dividing membranes help to filter small particles and suspended solids out of the water. They block even microscopic substances. “If the membranes are used to treat wastewater, the hygienic quality of the treated water is very high,” Dr.-Ing. E. h. Fritz Brickwedde says. He says it can then be reused in the garden or for flushing toilets. “This can reduce the consumption of drinking water in a household by up to a third.”
Chemicals and antibiotics removed from water in fish breeding facility
The Saxony-based company also uses the membranes in a fish breeding facility, thus ensuring a wastewater-free cycle. The chemicals and antibiotics used to rear spawn and fry are removed from the water by a combination of different membranes. Brickwedde: “The water quality achieved in this way means that even the preventive use of medicaments can be reduced.”
Romanian grant recipient works as part of an European network
The DBU’s grants programme for central and eastern Europe will also be presented at TerraTec with a research project. The Romanian grant recipient Diana-Tomina Artene works as part of the European network “Aquaterre”. This network is setting up a database on the available biomass in Europe. The data will probably be published in a so-called “white book”, a guide to biomass production and use, in 2010.
DBU`s contact at the TerraTec: Ulf Jacob, project manager public relations, fon: 0170/ 183 74 13
(AZ 24055), Karsten Holzapfel, Büro Holzapfel, fon: 0049/036200/61719, fax: 0049/036200/61776
(AZ 18579) Ralf-Peter Busse, Busse GmbH, fon: 0049/0341/659840, fax: 0049/0341/6589410