The DOMUS_CW project proposes the adoption of a simple, cost efficient and highly effective practice for the treatment of domestic/household wastewaters in rural areas of Balkan and Mediterranean (BalkanMed) countries, i.e. treatment via constructed wetlands (CWs). Two free surface flow CWs that have already been constructed in one Greek and one Cypriot community, will be modified and upgraded and will serve as case studies to be further optimized based on the model that has been previously developed by the team of Lead Partner of the project, FORTH/ICEHT. Through the systematic and detailed monitoring of the two CWs their operational efficiency will be evaluated, and the response to operational factors that have not been extensively studied yet, such as supply variations and re-circulation, will be recorded and incorporated into the model. In addition, the effect and fate of xenobiotics, the interactions among plants and microorganisms, the toxic potency of effluents, the cropping frequency etc., will also be evaluated aiming to the better understanding and thus further improvement of the operation of the systems. An exploitation plan for CW effluents and plant biomass will also be investigated, aiming at the recovery of water and nutrients, contributing thus to the European goals for Sustainable Development.
The main outcome of the project will be the creation of a generic assessment tool, a model platform via which the feasibility of CW technology application in different sites could be evaluated based on minimal initial data. This optimized model will be freely distributed so as any final recipient such as local authorities or even private initiatives in BalkanMed countries or any other country where the proposed technology is applicable at community level to be benefited.
The partnership consists of six partners coming from Greece, Cyprus and Albania that will cooperate closely in order to achieve the goals of the project. Those include the improvement of local capacity building in the BalkanMed countries in terms of sustainable infrastructure creation and also the introduction of wastewater treatment in isolated areas with no access to central wastewater plants, ensuring thus a better quality of life and sustainability. Communication of project goals and results to stakeholders, local communities and the general public of BalkanMed countries inside and beyond the Projects area of activities.
Among the top priorities of DOMUS_CW is the transfer of know-how and good practices in other Balkan countries, which will be achieved through targeted education, training and publicity actions. Thus, the project is expected to serve as the basis for developing common approaches and new cooperative schemes and also for the development of more progressive water use/efficiency regulatory measures and policies.