Event #JornadaEnviro: Technological Applications for Sludge Treatment

The 1st Conference on Technological Applications for Sludge Treatment was held on September 24th. The Conference enjoyed great success and was warmly received by leading experts in the water sector, who discussed the latest sludge treatment technologies as well as current legislation.

On September 24th, Enviro Networking, in cooperation with technical publication FuturENVIRO, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs (MAGRAMA), Canal de Isabel II Gestión and the AEAS (Spanish Association of Water Supply and Sanitation) held a technical conference at the College of Civil Engineers in Madrid on technological applications for sludge treatment.

WWTP sludge management is highly influenced by the nature of such sludge, which makes control and characterisation so vital. Final disposal of sludge has to be carried out in a controlled manner, seeking maximum recovery, and minimising or preventing any health risks arising from toxicity.

Sludge is a by-product of the wastewater treatment process and requires the implementation of the latest, leading edge treatment technologies as well as well planned management in order to reduce its impact.

This first edition of the conference was held in response to the growing volume of sludge currently being produced, a trend that is set to continue in the future. The event was warmly received and very well attended by professionals from the water sector, who availed of the opportunity to look at current legislation as well as the latest sludge treatment technologies.

The conference was inaugurated by Pedro Catalinas, Senior Advisor in the Governmental Area of Environment and Mobility of the Madrid Municipal Council. Subsequent to the opening speech, Joaquín Aguilar, Coordinator of the Sludge Management Unit of the AEAS and Head of Water Treatment at the EMACSA, presented a paper entitled “WWTP Sludge Management: Legal Framework, Production and Destinations”. In his presentation, Mr Aguilar pointed out that 65.18% of sludge is treated by means of mesophilic anaerobic digestion at average temperatures of 35 °C and retention times of 25 days. This type of treatment is considered to be conventional in the 3rd draft of Directive 86/278, which means that there are great restrictions on the use of such sludge for agricultural applications. Adaptation to the provisions contained in this draft standard would mean great investment in order to maintain the agricultural model and such investment is not envisaged in the current National Plan.

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Article published in: FuturENVIRO September 2015