Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controlling Water Pollution By Isolating Urine

Date:
March 8, 2007
Source:
EAWAG - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
Summary:
Although urine makes up only 1 percent of the total volume of wastewater, it accounts for 50-80 percent of the nutrient content. Nutrients have to be removed by resource-intensive processes at wastewater treatment plants. In the absence of these processes, nutrient discharges pose a risk of eutrophication - threatening in particular coastal waters and fish stocks.

A modern NoMix Toilet: wastes collected at the back of the bowl are flushed into the sewers with water in the nomal manner. In the front compartment, urine is collected and drained with a small amount of flushing water -- or undiluted -- into a local storagew tank.
Credit: EAWAG - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

Although urine makes up only 1% of the total volume of wastewater, it accounts for 50–80% of the nutrient content. Nutrients have to be removed by resource-intensive processes at wastewater treatment plants.

In the absence of these processes, nutrient discharges pose a risk of eutrophication – threatening in particular coastal waters and fish stocks. Many problematic substances, such as residues of medicines or endocrine disrupters, also enter wastewater via urine and may subsequently be released into the environment.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) has now shown that separate collection and treatment of urine could make significant contributions to water pollution control and nutrient recycling worldwide. The “NoMix” technology thus represents a major opportunity for urban water management.

Novaquatis tested various methods of processing urine. Ideally, treatment should permit recycling of nutrients as fertilizers and, at the same time, removal of problematic micropollutants. For example, 98% of the phosphorus in urine can be recovered by precipitation with magnesium. The product – struvite – is an attractive fertilizer, free of pharmaceuticals and hormones. In Switzerland, nutrients from human urine could serve as substitutes for at least 37% of the nitrogen and 20% of the phosphorus demand that is currently met by imported artificial fertilizers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by EAWAG - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

EAWAG - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. "Controlling Water Pollution By Isolating Urine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070308085444.htm>.
EAWAG - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. (2007, March 8). Controlling Water Pollution By Isolating Urine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070308085444.htm
EAWAG - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. "Controlling Water Pollution By Isolating Urine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070308085444.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins