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Modular wastewater treatment for aquaponic system

4 June, 2050

Modular wastewater treatment for aquaponic system


Waste water source

A modular research plant including aquaponics and hydroponics was built on the area of the waste water treatment plant “Moers Gerdt”. The waste water treatment plant receives the municipal waste water from 190,000 pe including industrial waste water. The modular research plant receives the waste water from the primary treatment stage.

Distribution System

The initiative is an experimental small-scale set-up. The distribution system is develop in such way that water can be provided to the 3 pilot sections.

Farming system

At the demonstration site, nutrient rich water from pisciculture (fish) is used to fertilise plants in a ebb and flow hydroponics system. After biological treatment, the water is recirculated. The modular research plant can produce various reclaimed water qualities adapted to the farmer’s need. Farmers with interest in aqua- and hydroponics are the main target group of the technology.

Waste water treatment description

Nutrient removal : The combination of an anaerobic baffled reactor, anaerobic filter with an anoxic moving bed bioreactor and a trickling filter concludes the steps for primary wastewater treatment.
Pesticide removal : Micro-pollutants such as pesticides can be removed by the reverse osmosis unit.
Disinfection : UV-disinfection is being assessed, other disinfection technologies are also  ultrafiltration, constructed wetland, reverse osmosis.
Suspended solids removal : Suspended solids can be removed by the following units: advanced trickling filter, constructed wetland, ultrafiltration.
Other :


The installation is a pilot scale plant and can deliver 6m³ per day.

Extent of the agricultural beneficiaries

The initiative’s focus was on the elaboration of a modular pilot plant which can produce different water qualities depending on the field of application. The pilot plant can deliver water for the following purposes: aquaponic fish farm, hydroponic market gardening and agricultural irrigation. The maximum flow rate of the pilot plant was 6 m³ per day.


The initiative’s final report provides no further information on the costs per m³ reclaimed water. Economic efficiency has to be proven in further projects like “WaterReTUNe” started in October 2019 in cooperation with the Tunesian research institute “CERTE”.

Type of agreement

Not applicable seen the experimental character of the initiative.

Scientific results

The final report of the AWAREGIO project is available in German: Go to final report

Additional information

PDF: https://suwanu-europe.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/32_awaregio_flyer_en.pdf

Final report (German only) https://www.fiw.rwth-aachen.de/neo/fileadmin/pdf/fiw/awaregio_Abschlussbericht_176S_de.pdf


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Type of initiative
Research initiative
Waste water source
Waste water treatment
Nutrient removal, Desinfection, Suspended solids removal
Farming system
Application use
Irrigation of food crops to be eaten raw, Other
Irrigation method
Implementation stage