SWIM Packaged Solutions will be important for solving Phosphorus challenges. Phosphorus, the key element which triggers algal growth in freshwater systems, leading to reduced light penetration and low dissolved oxygen levels in sediments and bottom waters (eutrophication). This also causes aesthetic degradation of surface waters and decreases the survival of many aquatic species.
The SWIM project aims to develop an innovative solution for small-scale residential wastewater treatment based on novel recyclable filter materials. The SWIM solution is based on a series of filters that can remove 100 % of the phosphorus, 50 % of the nitrogen and 99.9 % of the bacteria. At the same time, it opens possibilities to recycle valuable nutrients, particularly phosphorus.
The SWIM solution is based on a series of filters that can remove phosphorus, nitrogen and bacteria according to legal requirements and facilitate the recycling of nutrients. The SWIM solution is a passive treatment solution that is simpler, cheaper and safer to install and maintain than other solutions on the market. This makes it the solution of choice for upgrading or installing the 20M of European on-site residential systems that are required to reach the EU Water Framework Directive goal Good ecological status in European waters.
A majority of residential wastewater treatment systems are based on soil treatment units that can filter residual suspended and organic matter but have a poor capacity to remove nutrients. More advanced systems such as “packaged wastewater treatment plants” rely on chemical precipitation of phosphorus, which has a number of drawbacks: toxicity, energy requirements, difficulties to recycle the phosphorus once precipitated, and prohibitive installation and maintenance costs for a single household. In practice, over 50% of the households that are not connected to a municipal sewer system are not contributing to the EU Water Framework Directive goal as their sewage system lacks effective nutrient removal capabilities. Calculations show that the phosphorus emissions from rural households in many countries, for instance Sweden, can be equivalent or supersede those from all the municipal wastewater treatment plants.
The Baltic Sea eutrophication is a European issue, and a Swedish-Polish consortium has been established to tackle the problem of capturing and recycling nutrients in small-scale decentralized wastewater treatment systems: four SMEs in Sweden and Poland (Ecofiltration, Dot-Eko and POMInnO), and a leading edge university (KTH – Royal Institute of Technology) focusing on environmental technologies.
The SWIM solution is a passive treatment solution that is simpler, cheaper and safer to install and maintain than other solutions on the market. This makes it the solution of choice for upgrading or installing the 20M of European on-site residential systems that are required to comply with the aims of the EU Water Framework Directive. The project impact is twofold:
- Reduced nutrient discharge to waters, leading to less eutrophication and therefore protection of aquatic life and water quality.
- Increased recycling of phosphorus that can reduce the use of mineral fertilizers, ease the pressure on the limited mineral phosphorus resources, and provide cost-savings to the farming sector.