The untapped potential of greywater: Decentralised treatment and use for blue-green public spaces
In this project we investigate methods for greywater treatment and develop an overall concept for their large-scale application. The work is funded by The Swedish Research Council (Formas) and the water utility NSVA.
Greywater is a household wastewater originating from the use of showers, kitchens and laundry and has great potential to be used for attractive blue-green design of urban spaces. This project aims at providing treated greywater as a continuously available water source for urban blue-green spaces, via the investigation of three innovative and aesthetic treatment technologies, their design and implementation into the public realm and development of an overall concept for their large-scale application. We will evaluate a pilot-scale green wall design using greywater, a full-scale urban greywater treatment wetland focusing on long-term performance and membrane filtration as a low-footprint treatment option for providing high-quality water. The treatment efficiency will be assessed regarding BOD, nutrients, pathogens, selected micro-pollutants and micro-plastics. Further, we will study how blue-green greywater infrastructure can be designed and integrated successfully into the public realm, how barriers to implementation and management can be overcome as well as stakeholders’ perceptions of such systems. Furthermore, we will investigate whether local greywater treatment is practically feasable and what savings to the sewer system this can result in. Finally, a concept for large-scale application of decentralised greywater treatment will be developed.
The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration of Luleå University of Technology (Urban Water Engineering and Architecture), Monash University (Australia), the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the Swedish water utility NSVA.