Comaigua leads pilot project to recharge Baix Camp aquifer with treated wastewater

The REMAR project seeks to return treated wastewater to the environment through a pioneering, sustainable aquifer recharge management technology. The project is scheduled to start in December 2021, once the grant agreement with the EU LIFE programme has been formalised, and will continue until 2025. 

Comaigua is a leading urban water cycle management company and provider of environmental services in Baix Camp. Set up by the Consell Comarcal del Baix Camp and Sorea (Baix Camp and Sorea District Council), Comaigua is coordinating the REMAR project, a pilot study with the goal of recharging the Baix Camp aquifer with treated water from the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Cambrils. 

REMAR is an initiative that seeks to address water scarcity by returning this primary resource to its environment in optimal conditions. To do so, the project will implement a pioneering aquifer recharge management technology called Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). This technology will implement a system of artificial ponds to infiltrate water into the Baix Camp aquifer.

The project has successfully passed the two phases of the European Union’s LIFE programme call for proposals and is currently awaiting signature of the grant agreement. The project is scheduled to start in December 2021 and will run for four years, until November 2025.

Aquifer recharge process 

After undergoing all the required processes, part of the water treated at the Cambrils WWTP (400 m3/day) will be channelled to the two artificial ponds that will be used to infiltrate the water into the aquifer, to facilitate regeneration and continuity of the natural processes of the aquifer. A reactive layer on the floor of each pond will facilitate the removal of emerging pollutants (pharmaceuticals, personal care products, sunscreens, etc.), pathogens, antibiotic-resistant genes, microplastics, etc. Continuous water quality analysis will be carried out with multi-parameter sensors installed at different points of the process.  Enzyme activity will also be measured to monitor biodegradation activity in the reactive layers and emerging contaminants, microplastics, pathogens, antibiotic-resistant genes, as well as conventional chemical and microbiological parameters will also be analysed.