New Water Treatment Process Created in Danemark

New Water Treatment Process Created in Danemark

Copenhagen Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have invented a treatment method to process dirty runoff urban street water, polluted groundwater and pressures systems. At the research facility the stormwater runoff is process into clean resource water without the use of power or chemicals.

It is the first of its kind wastewater treatment facility. The large facility located at Ørestad, Copenhagen, uses a new green technology to clean up 110 liters of urban stormwater per second.

The facility has been established by HOFOR (Greater Copenhagen Utility) and CPH the City & Port development. The purification technology is the brainchild of professor Marina Bergen Jensen of the University of Copenhagen. After several trials in smaller facilities, professor Bergen Jensen’s process has been used on a larger scale. In partnership with Rambøll, Watercare and HOFOR. The facility processes urban stormwater runoff from Ørestad than released directly into the Amager Nature Park.

“We have invented a green technology inspired by the way substances are transported through layers of soil in Denmark. The double porosity filter we have developed cleans stormwater runoff entirely without power or chemicals,” explains its inventor, Professor Bergen Jensen.

The water is diverted through a pipeline system to the treatment facility, where leaves, plastic caps, bags and other large particles are captured. The water flows into a sandwich-filter system where the double porosity filtering takes place. Using gravity, the water travel through the wastewater facility, where microscopic particles and other pollutants are captured. After the water is cleaned the water is released into the Amager Nature Park.

The new storm water treatment facility is a major win for nature and climate. By diverting the water that is polluted by microplastics, heavy metals and nutrients to the new treatment facility it prevents to contaminate lakes, groundwater and waterways.

The treatment system can be established in close proximity to cities, it reduces the amount of rainwater that flows into the sewer systems. It can ease pressure on sewers during heavy rains.

“Engineers and developers from around the world are being challenged to make climate renovations in cities in preparation for the type of increased rainfall that we have experienced in recent years. Since the beginning of our development in Ørestad, we have succeeded in locally managing rainwater that falls onto “clean” surfaces like rooftops or bicycle paths. Now, the dirty runoff from Ørestad can be cleaned locally as. It is a major gain for climate preparedness,” says Anne Skovbro, CEO of CPH City & Port Development.

With increasing rainfall, it is necessary to keep the water locally to be cleaned before entering the aquatic environment.

According to Professor Berger Jensen, “As a society, we have become increasingly aware of the need to protect aquatic environments, but environmental authorities have lacked the means of controlling urban discharge. I hope this solution paves the way for climate resilient cities equipped with a high level of environmental protection, both across Denmark and abroad.”

Marina Bergen Jensen is currently focusing on further applications for this technology. After being treated by the double porosity filter, water quality if so good that runoff can be used for toilets, car washes and similar purposes.

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