The solution pathway to treat hospital wastewater represents a very innovative yet easily operable technological approach. The process includes a simple membrane bioreactor (MBR) in combination with a downstream granular activated carbon (GAC) unit. From the experience of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences in previous projects in East Africa, very important aspects here are that the technologies used are simple, robust, sustainable and associated with low costs.
- To build a modular design with additional treatment stages for hospital wastewater treatment
- Implement sustainable energy supply (solar applications) for the hospital of the future
- Flexible and optimal system adaptation to the capacity requirements and seasonal conditions
- Constructing the plant using locally available components in Uganda (except PV systems and membrane module for MBR)
- Very small amounts of by-products and waste generation
Benefits and Environmental Relevance
The planned concept contributes significantly to environmental relief, as a highly efficient MBR is supported by separate stages to reduce organic carbon and nitrogen load to an extent that the treated water can be discharged directly into the environment. Apart from simple, robust and compact design benefits, it offers the following advantages: –
- Saving fresh water by reuse of the treated hospital wastewater
- Removal of finest particles (eg. microplastics, viruses, bacteria etc.) by ultrafiltration membranes
- Removal of significant portion of the pharmaceutical trace substances by GAC
- Driven by regenerative energy (photovoltaics) ensuring reliable and sustainable operation
- Waste generated (like excess sludge and accumulating GAC) can be reused in the process or thermally disposed (as biomass)
Use of photovoltaic system not only contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide emission and greenhouse effect but also appreciably improves operating costs of the plant.