Pre-treated, post-treated and socially acceptable

The novel holistic conceptual treatment system of LOTUSHR has been developed in co-creation with a broad consortium of NGO’s, governmental agencies, universities and research institutes, companies and end-users in both India and The Netherlands.

The technologies used in LOTUSHR have been chosen carefully to ensure they could be rapidly implemented due to their high Technology Readiness Level and offer opportunities for cost-effective innovations and fundamental scientific research. Additionally, the treatment systems are designed to be compact and robust to fit in densely populated urban environment.

The research is realized in (overlapping) two stages: laboratory and small scale pilot studies in India and in the Netherlands (year 0-4) and pilot studies in India (year 3–5). The research in LOTUSHR is divided in three research lines:


Towards socially accepted and safe water reuse

Safe and socially accepted water reuse is going to make LOTUSHR successful. Therefore, socially acceptable water reuse safety strategies, suitable for megacities are being developed. Water reuse strategies and guidelines can be formulated by exploring and understanding the institutional boundaries, human perceptions and health risks associated with water reuse.

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Given the complexity of the New Delhi urban water networks, technology alone cannot provide a comprehensive solution. Therefore, ‘Water Reuse Safety Plans’ (WRS plans) will be developed that incorporate the safety aspects of water reuse. For short and long term water strategy and policies the WRS Plans are extremely valuable. They combine the socio-economic and legal impact with health impact assessment of the produced water qualities and the associated risk reduction by applying specific water treatment technologies.

As the social perceptions may differ for different utilization purposes, socio-economic status, gender and age classes, the study will make use of a diversified sample. These perceptions will be related to the implemented hygiene practices of the end users in order to assess if potential health risks are minimized or increased for the particular reuse application.

Another aspect of the WRS plans is the effects semi-closed water cycles have on the quality of the produced waters, in respect to the potential accumulation pathogens and the accumulation of trace contaminants such as metals and other micro-pollutants. The reduction of health risks by multiple engineered barriers (as proposed in LOTUSHR) is hardly explored. This subsequently hampers smart decision making regarding the selection of appropriate treatment technologies, strategic positioning in the urban water cycle, and handling procedures.



Sewage pre-treatment and energy recovery

The first important step for water reuse is removing the organic particles from the water. Robust separation technologies are combined with anaerobic digestion basted systems that can adapt to the ever changing qualities in urban water systems. The anaerobic systems will produce biogas that can be used to generate energy to partially power the pre-treatment.


Post treatment: effluent polishing and nutrient recovery

The second step is the production of high quality water, from the pre-treated water that is fit for reuse. The pre-treated water contains a lot of nutrients that can be and should be recovered. The Vital urban filters and Algae photo bioreactors are developed to biologically remove contaminants, pathogens and nutrients from the water. Nutrients can be recovered in the form of fertilisers and plant based materials generated by the installations.