Hesse: Removing germs: Pilot project for wastewater treatment

Wiesbaden (dpa/lhe) - In a pilot project in Wiesbaden's main sewage treatment plant, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, drug residues and microplastics are almost completely removed from the water.

Hesse: Removing germs: Pilot project for wastewater treatment

Wiesbaden (dpa/lhe) - In a pilot project in Wiesbaden's main sewage treatment plant, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, drug residues and microplastics are almost completely removed from the water. "It works. The microplastic is completely gone and the rest is mostly gone," said Susanne Lackner from the Technical University of Darmstadt on Monday, who accompanies the project, which is unique in Hesse.

Not only the antibiotic-resistant bacteria would be largely removed from the water with the method developed by a company, but also their much smaller genetic material. For this purpose, after conventional cleaning, the water goes through two further stages in which activated carbon and membrane filters are used. This additional cleaning takes about two to three hours.

The introduction of this process for the entire sewage treatment plant would cost around 30 to 35 million euros, explained Christoph Seelos from the Wiesbaden waste disposal companies, which are involved in the research project. For the consumer, this would mean a maximum of ten euros per year in additional costs.

The project started two years ago and, according to Lackner, work is currently being carried out on optimization. "For example, we check which activated carbon is most suitable and deal with the questions of what else passes through the membrane filter and why," she said. The pilot project will run for another nine months.


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