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close this bookSourcebook of Alternative Technologies for Freshwater Augmentation in East and Central Europe (UNEP-IETC, 1998)
close this folderPart A - Introduction
View the document1. Background
View the document2. Definitions
View the document3. Methodology
View the document4. Results of the survey
View the document5. Organization of the Source Book

4. Results of the survey

Progress in the sustainable development of the region is slow and the introduction of new technologies and economic instruments is not as rapid as the decrease in energy and natural resources usage related to economic decline and recession. These latter economic factors have resulted in a decrease in water use, water losses, and water pollution that of sufficient magnitude to reduce overall consumption to sustainable levels. Thus, the main task is to maintain this level of use until at least the year 2000.

The major causes of water losses in the region include widespread use of potable water (both by households and industry) in inappropriate ways (e.g., about one-half of the 4.3 km³ of drinking water consumed annually in Ukrainian cities is used for non-food needs); leakage during transmission through water mains and losses in the water supply systems; user-related losses and waste (amounting to more than 20% of the potable water delivered to households, and 20% to 30% of the potable water delivered to industry); lack of an economic regulatory mechanism to promote the rational use of limited water resources; poor quality of fixtures, fittings, and pipes; shortages of flow-metering equipment, both in households and in industry (to measure water and wastewater volumes); and, shortages of pressure stabilization devices in the water delivery and distribution systems (both system and terminal pressure stabilizers and regulators).

The major causes of water wastage in industry include use of drinking quality water from municipal water supplies in the production processes, where technical quality water would be adequate and is available in sufficient quantities; lack of coordination by regional authorities to promote more efficient usage of water by industrial facilities; use of direct flow-through cooling equipment; lack of water recycling; discharge of relatively pure industrial water as effluent into the sewerage system; widespread lack of water reuse, such as the use of counter-flow cascade washing technology in the electroplating process and the use gun-type nozzles on industrial sites for washing vehicles, equipment, and premises; lack of economic incentives for workers, engineers, and maintenance personnel to promote the rational use and conservation of drinking water; poor maintenance of on-site water supplies (e.g., absence of regular pipe cleaning to ensure maximal mains capacity, pressure regulation, preventive repair, etc.); and, lack of the reserve accumulation ponds which collect water at night to smooth peak water demand during the day in some large cities, which is especially noticeable during summer water shortages.

It is paradoxical that one of the largest sources of "new" water in the region is the water-pipe networks themselves. In the other words, the detection and minimization of leaks is an extremely important method of freshwater augmentation in the region. For example, in Tirana, where the production of water by the waterworks during 1994 was 54.6 million m³, the total volume of water sold totalled only 21.4 million m³, which implies a loss of the water during transmission of 23.2 million m³, or 61%, of production. Annual transmission losses in Ukraine reach about 0.3 km³, or more than 8% of the municipal water supply. In industry, transmission losses reach 18% to 30% of water drawn from municipal water supplies. In Poland, estimated total water losses in water-pipe networks in selected towns amount to 8 000 m³/year/km of network, or, for cities with less than 100 000 inhabitants, to 40 dm³/capita/day of water, and, for cities over 100 000 inhabitants, to 100 dm³/capita/day of water. In Latvia, the City of Riga, which has a water supply network extending over 960 km, must renew at least 70 km of the network which are in a very poor condition. The situation is similar in the other cities of Latvia. It should be noted that the oldest networks, built during the four decades from the beginning of the century to about 1940, are in good condition, with few exceptions. These systems were constructed of 300 mm to 800 mm diameter cast iron pipes with an anticipated lifespan of 50 to 90 years. In contrast, the more recent networks, built between 1940 and 1990 with pipes made in Russia are in poor condition. The main reasons for the failure of the more recent networks include us of a limited selection of materials and lack of internal anti-corrosion coatings; poor quality piping; poor construction of, and foundations under, the pipes; damage to joints and connections; insufficient external corrosion protection (cathode defence); and, generally poor maintenance.

The introduction of water meters in the region has provided the impetus to develop new, water saving technologies and maintain the existing ones effectively. Because it is well known that transmission leaks occur in direct proportion to the pressure in water supply and distribution networks, one of the best ways to decrease the numbers of leaks in large municipal or industrial water supply networks is to optimize and reduce or stabilize operating pressures. Reduction of operating pressure variations in the Ukrainian water supply networks could conserve up to 100 million m³/year of drinking water. This saving could be increased further through the development and introduction of new, low flow-low pressure pipe fixtures and fittings, pressure regulators and stabilizers, pipes, and controlled drive pumps, and, additionally, by the use of ultrasound and electronic diagnostic systems within the network to monitor network conditions and locate and isolate leaks or damages for repair.

Table 1 presents a summary of the results of the survey of technologies in the region, and a brief description of each. Detailed information on each of technologies is presented in Part B. Alternative Technologies. These technologies, however, are only a few examples of environmental friendly solutions for maximizing use and augmenting existing freshwater resources. Nowadays it is indispensable to provide a cost effective, efficient solution for water management.

New direction appeared in the region in the waste water treatment. It is the use of cost effective, renewable natural processes (LEMNA technology, wetlands, ponds, etc.). They are simple, with no need of energy supply, reliable. The government have to support the construction of adequate treatment facilities and moreover the preventive techniques, because environmental protection is far behind economical interests. It is necessary to provide soft loans, subventions, tax reductions. And of course the entrepreneurs, companies, plant operators should change their attitudes with environmental protection like in developed countries.

Most technologies can be recommended for application anywhere in the region without restraints. But usage of some technologies especially based on ecological solutions e.g. hydrobotanical treatment are more efficient in countries with milder climatic conditions.

Implementation of new, best available technologies is very limited according to limited possibilities of financing from enterprises and municipalities and from State budget too. Therefore the high level demands can be addressed only to the new activities of greatest municipal or private projects, but existing activities or enterprises has not possibilities to choose the best available technology and often are working on available technology.

A new system of planning and promotion for urban water supply development should be developed. It is also necessary to develop "The general scheme for drinking water conservation" that is to reflect the strategy of water resource use in short-term and in long-term perspective (up to 25-50 years). In future it would be advisable to prohibit the use of drinking water for industrial needs, in cases there are resources of purified wastewater or unconventional water supply sources. The prohibition is of prime importance with respect the processes, that consume water irretrievably. In other words it is extremely important to develop a fully free market of water with appropriate economic, legal, and informative instruments in all over the East and Central Europe countries. However, it is a need to create new ethic for sustainable living and to translate its principles into practice within educational ecological campaigns for both, the whole of society and specialists, to augment the resources of water.

Humanity must live within the carrying capacity of the Earth. There is no other rational option in the longer term. We must use the resources of the Earth sustainably, prudently and with full harmony with nature and augment water resources above all by strengtening global as the same as local ecosystem capacity with ecological measures - for instance by beaver reintroduction and by efficient and wiser use of it.

TABLE 1. Summary of Alternative Technologies Presented in the Source Book.

Technology

Short Description of Technology

Extent of Use

Capital Costs

Operation and Maintenance Costs

Effectiveness of the Technology

Suitability

Advantages

Disadvantages

Water conservation and saving

Ecological education campaign

Uses consumer behaviour for environmental benefit.

Rare

Low

Low

High

Widespread, but especially in urban areas

Economic

None known

Environmental labelling

Use of labels to identify "safe" products, including water saving products.

Rare

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Widespread, but especially in urban areas

Economic

None known

Water-saving closets

The reduction of the flushing - water volume by using special fittings.

Rare

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Widespread

Economic

None known

Water-saving shower facilities

Uses plumbing fixtures to reduce water consumption in shower facilities

Rare

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Widespread

Economic

None known

Cold and hot water meters

Water meters relate consumer costs to real consumption of water.

Moderate

Low

Low

High

Widespread

Economic

None known

TV inspections

Records the technical state of sewage systems.

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

High

Widespread

User friendly Computer compatible

Skilled technicians required

Non-invasive renewal (enlarging) of drain pipes

Introduction of new pipes of the same or larger diameter.

Rare

High

High

High

Widespread

Environment-friendly

None known

Non-invasive renovation and tightening of pipes

Introduction of liners or sealants to renovate pipes and stop leaks.

Rare

Moderate

High

High

Widespread

Environment-friendly

None known

Computer modelling for freshwater supply system management (OPUS)

Optimizes supply system using graph theory-based computer program

Rare

Low

High

Very high

Widespread

Reduces ineffective distribution

Lacks well-documented information

Rationalization of washing powder dosages

Determines dosage of washing powder according to hardness of water.

Moderate

Low

Low

Moderate

Widespread

Economic Social

None known

Lining of solid waste disposal sites

Protects water resources from contamination from waste disposal sites.

Moderate

High

Low

High

Waste disposal sites

Protects groundwater resources

None known

Water recycling in galvanic technology

Use of closed water cycles in plating and metallurgical processes.

Rare

High

High

High

Metals industry

Cost saving on chemical agents

Sophisticated technology

Recycling of wastewater from a bus transport company

Allows reuse oily wastewater at bus stations.

Rare

Moderate

Low

High

Transportation industry

Simplicity

Sludge disposal required

PURATOR recycling system for car washes

Recycles water used at new petrol stations.

Moderate

High

Low

High

Widespread

A clean technology

None known

Water recycling in thermoelectric power plants

Treats and recycles cooling, process, and wash water.

Rare

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Power generation industry

Prevents thermal pollution

None known

Drip-irrigation system

Water-saving irrigation system.

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

High

Agriculture

Economic

Reduces over-irrigation

NETAFIM drip irrigation system

Water-saving irrigation system for high value edible and ornamental plants.

Rare

High

Moderate

Very high

Agriculture

Economic

Reduces over-irrigation

Wastewater treatment and water reuse

Biotechnology-based wastewater treatment

Biological wastewater treatment using hydrobionts.

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

High

Widespread

Wide range of applications

None known

Ozone/electro-plasma wastewater treatment

Electro-plasma wastewater treatment.

Moderate

High

Moderate

Very High

Widespread

Economic

Highly sophisticated technology

Denitrification treatment for wastewaters contaminated with NH4, NO3 and NH3

Wastewater treatment using biological denitrification and thermal decomposition.

Rare

Very high

High

High

Industry

Reduced nitrogen loadings

None known

Treatment of coking plant wastewater using polyelectrolyte pre-treatment

Wastewater treatment using cationic polyelectrolytes for cyanide removal.

Rare

Very high

High

High

Industry

Reduced heavy metal loads

None known

Treatment of food industry wastewater using polyelectrolytes

Wastewater purification using precipitation, coagulation-flocculation, and polyelectrolyte treatment.

Rare

High

Moderate

Moderate

Food processing industry

Recovery of fatty materials

None known

Slaughter house wastewater purification

Purification of organic wastewaters.

Rare

High

Moderate

Moderate

Food processing industry

Reduced organic loads

None known

Purification of wastewater from the sugar industry

Purification of organic wastewater with activated sludge in one or more aeration stages.

Rare

High

Low

High

Sugar industry

Reduced organic loads

None known

LEMNA wastewater treatment system

Wastewater treatment using duckweed.

Moderate

Low

Low

Moderate

Rural areas

Cost effective

Low level of treatment

Land treatment of wastewater using poplar trees

Controlled application of wastewater to the land surface.

Rare

Moderate

Low

High

Rural areas

Economic value added

Low level of control
Large land area requirement

Hydrobotanical treatment

Treatment of wastewater using natural processes.

Rare

Moderate

Low

High

Widespread

Flexibility of construction

None known

EGALAIR wastewater treatment

Biological sewage treatment plant based on total oxidation.

Moderate

Low

Low

Moderate

Areas with warm climates

Cost effective

Large land area requirement

Bio-clear wastewater treatment system

Wastewater treatment using one or two stage biological treatment.

Rare

Low

Low

Moderate

Rural areas

Cost effective

Low level of control

Bio-system 2000 radical treatment method

Wastewater treatment using microorganisms to produce fertilizers.

Rare

Low

Low

High

Widespread

Low energy consumption

Proprietary process

Packaged wastewater treatment plants

Compact wastewater treatment units for use in small settlements.

Rare

Moderate

Moderate

High

Small towns and villages

Small land area requirement

Sensitive to cold weather

Mechanical separation and dewatering of waste

Screening, pressing, and clarifying treatment.

Rare

Moderate

Low

High

Widespread

High degree of reliability

Highly sophisticated technology

Oxidation and stabilization ponds

Anaerobic, aerobic, facultative, and aerated ponding to treat sewage.

Moderate

Low

Low

High

Rural and suburban areas

Economic Ease of use

Large land area requirement

Reuse of cooling water for fish farming

Reuse of heat-polluted cooling water for fish farming.

Rare

Moderate

Moderate

High

Power generation industry

Reduces thermal pollution

Large land area required

Reuse of wastewater from an edible snail processing factory for irrigation of a snail growing farm

Mechanical and chemical pretreatment sewage for reuse.

Rare

Low

Low

Moderate

Food processing industry

Economic

None known

Oxidation ditch

System for the treatment of domestic wastewater for small communities.

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Suburban areas

Ease of use Simplicity

High energy requirement

Irrigation of agricultural lands with liquid manure

Liquid manure is diluted with surface water and used for irrigation.

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

High

Rural areas Agricultural industry

Economic

Over-fertilization

Agricultural stabilization ponds

Anaerobic, aerobic, facultative, and aerated ponds used to treat raw sewage.

Moderate

Low

Low

High

Rural areas Agricultural industry

Economic

Large land area requirement

Freshwater augmentation

Beaver reintroduction

Beaver-ponds and vertical wells enhance groundwater recharge.

Rare

Low

Low

Very high

Rural areas with suitable beaver habitat

Ecosystem restoration Fur production

Low level of control
Damage to riparian forests
Flooding

Collection and reuse of stormwater

Reuse of stormwater for street cleaning, cooling, watering, etc.

Rare

Moderate

Low

High

Urban areas

Economic

Poor water quality prior to use

Efficient water use in small hydropower plants

Scheduling for more efficient use of water resources.

Rare

Low

Moderate

Very high

Hydropower generating industry

Increased profit

None known

Collection of rainfall and snowmelt water - STERA

Collection of snowmelt and rainwater in the barrels.

Extensive

Very low

Very low

Low

Rural and suburban areas

Economic

Poor water quality

Reuse of clear mine water

Reuses freshwater from mines.

Rare

Low

Low

High

Mining industry

Increased profit

Variable volumes available

Mine water reuse as drinking water source

Reuses freshwater from mines.

Rare

Low

Low

High

Mining industry

Increased profit

Variable volumes available

Ponding

Regulation of natural water circulation using artificial catchments.

Extensive

Low

Low

High

Rural and suburban areas

Simplicity

None known

Rainwater ponding

Rainwater harvesting using small dug ponds.

Extensive

Low

Low

Low

Rural and suburban areas

Improves microclimate

None known

Fire-protection reservoirs

Rainwater harvesting using fire protection reservoirs.

Moderate

Low

Low

Low

Rural and wooded areas

Water for fire protection

None known

Upgrading quality of natural water

Desalination of mine water

Desalination of water from mines with highly saline wastes.

Rare

High

High

High

Mining industry

Reduced salt loads

10-year payback period

Remediation of polluted sites

Treatment of contaminated groundwater

Rare

High

High

High

Polluted sites

Environmental restoration

None known

Lake rehabilitation

In-lake treatment to control eutrophication.

Rare

High

Moderate

Moderate

Polluted lakes

Aesthetic Environmental restoration

None known

Biofiltration

Use of common mollusc species for wastewater treatment.

Rare

Low

Very low

Moderate

Polluted lakes

Environmental Economic

Waste utilization