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WATER MANAGEMENT


Overall, in this case, a highly advanced


on-site waste water treatment plant is cost competitive compared to a public sewer and conventional treatment alternative.


More sustainability In addition to direct potential savings on effluent cost, there are a number of added benefits, which can increase the sustainability and economical feasibility of an on-site waste water treatment plant.


More life in local water streams: On-


site treatment will often lead to discharge into smaller, near-by streams, as opposed to a public sewer network (which will often transport the waste water over a long distance to a discharge point near the seaside). This helps to sustain life in the local


water streams. At the Herlev Hospital the waste water will be discharged into the nearby small water stream Kagsåen, which used to suffer from low water levels during summer periods. Water re-use: In addition, the


reclaimed water can be re-used for technical purposes like cooling towers or for other uses such as irrigation – this can result in potential savings for drinking water resources. At the Herlev Hospital re-use of 15,000 m3


per year for cooling


towers is under planning/construction. Heat recovery: In Denmark a significant amount of energy is used for heating the building and for producing hot water. A part of this energy leaves the building again with the waste water. The waste water at Herlev Hospital has an all year round temperature between


DHI Water expert in front of Membrane Filtration Units.


16-25˚C, which is suitable for heat recovery. The potential has been calculated to around ¤1/m3


in saved energy cost.


Other benefits Monitoring the state of health of the hospital operations: Herlev hospital is part of a project led by DHI together with Herlev hospital doctors, running until 2019, where the waste water is being sampled on a weekly basis and tested for resistant bacteria. By combining DNA results from the waste water samples with results from inpatients, the early warning system makes it possible to go back and identify the sources. This, in turn, leads


to faster and more appropriate actions – for example, isolation of patients or increased hygiene levels can be initiated and the number of hospital infections featuring antibiotic resistant bacteria can be reduced – which will ultimately save lives.


Eliminating odour: Placing a waste


water treatment plant near a hospital and other residential buildings presents no problems with odour. The closest residential building is only 50 metres away, yet there have been no odour complaints received since the start of the project. Scientists from the Danish national research centre for working environments, NFA, and Danish Technological University (DTU), have further tested and concluded that the air emissions do not pose any threat to public health.


Closing comments The project at Herlev has been highly successful in demonstrating that on-site waste water treatment is an effective approach – enabling hospital management to take responsibility and protect the environment against the negative impact of their operations. At the same time, they can reduce the risk of spreading antibiotic resistant bacteria via waste water. In addition to this, the project has


GAC tanks. 22


shown a number of added benefits, such as more life in local water streams, water re-use, heat recovery and an early warning system to reduce the risk of hospital infections with resistant bacteria. This helps ensure hospital operations are even more sustainable. Finally, this approach may be more cost effective for the hospital than using public sewer and waste water treatment services.


IFHE IFHE DIGEST 2020


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