Last July, a team from the Douro Hydrographic Confederation and CARTIF, partners of the Aquamundam project, visited the Flores de Ávila treatment station, an WWTP based on the technology of artificial wetlands that will be a starting point for the constitution of one of the project’s pilots.
The construction of this artificial wetland is part of one of the project’s main activities and aims to demonstrate that the products developed, in this case, the wetland, participates for the efficient management of the integral water cycle. This case study will integrate wetlands as a relevant infrastructure for implement a strategy to diversify the purification models and verify their suitability for the removal of emerging pollutants in the treatment of urban waters in sensitive areas, providing other environmental services.
During the visit, the project technicians were able to evaluate in situ the characteristics of the current wetland and its state, propose the necessary remodelling, as well as the monitoring that will be carried out in the pilot to follow the wetland’s operation.
The new non-superficial artificial wetland will have five different plant species, located in 10 cells, separated by zones with free water. One area will be populated with the species Phargamites australis and the other zone will be planted with 5 different species to study and evaluate the purifying potential of each species.
The treatment station will have flow meters to estimate the inlet, outlet and evapotranspiration flow rates, as well as a weather station that will allow to collect climatological data during the pilot’s execution.
During the development of the project, physical-chemical and microbiological data will be collected. Cell monitoring allows the verification of the effect of plant biodiversity on the diversity of microbial communities responsible for the treatment, as well as the metabolic diversity and its effect on the efficiency in the removal of priority and emerging pollutants.
With the development of this task we intend to gather information about the utility of this type of sewage and smooth solution, integrated in the natural ecosystem.
The choice of this municipality also intends to investigate the integration of artificial wetlands into river ecosystems under extreme conditions, such as the Trabancos basin, which contains the temporary endemic species achondrostoma arcasii (bermuejuela), which will serve as an indicator of the integration of this type of purification in a natural environment.