Technological Centre

LIFE DrainRain tests the viability of a sustainable drainage system and in situ treatment of runoff water for reuse

LIFE DrainRain project has entered its validation phase with satisfactory initial results. The general objective of this project, co-financed by the European Commission under LIFE Program, is to test the treatment of runoff waters through a new integral system of permeable pavement and in-situ treatment of water for reuse.


Since September 2016, the project consortium has carried out work on two main lines: laboratory tests to develop the correct formulation of photocatalytic porous concrete – which, poured into esplanades, needs to filter the runoff waters and purify them through the photocatalytic activity while maintaining its mechanical resistance properties-, and the design of an insitu treatment system for these waters to guarantee their quality of reuse. The construction of the two pilots, in the port of Ferrol (Galicia) and in Calasparra (Murcia) will allow its validation. These locations were chosen by the consortium in order to guarantee the replicability of the system in different climatic contexts.


In more detail, in LIFE DrainRain pilots, porous concrete drains rain and runoff water and also incorporates photocalitic characteristics. To the base cementitious mixture was added titanium dioxide, so that when the sunlight strikes, hydroxyl radicals are formed that trigger a series of chemical reactions that completely oxidize both organic and inorganic compounds that contaminate water and air. Thanks to the joint work of Proyfe, CyE Control y Estudios, CETIM and COPASA has achieved a porous concrete, mechanically resistant and with photocatalytic activity.


Then, the runoff water is treated by a multicomponent system, passing through a hydrodynamic separator that removes oils, fats and thick solids that can drag the water, and then passes through a pre-filter that eliminates smaller solids and a filter , based on activated carbon, for the removal of heavy metals. Finally, the waters are stored in a tank with antibiofouling properties for later reuse.


LIFE DrainRain pilot-site in the Port of Ferrol.


Currently the LIFE DrainRain consortium is testing the first of the pilots, in the port of Ferrol, before beginning the construction and testing of the pilot of Calasparra (Murcia). The water is expected to meet the requirements of the European legislation on reuse, both for use in beacons and cleaning, and for irrigation. In addition, this system will contribute to reducing the impact of floods through increased water infiltration.


Future tests on the Murcia driver, on a road, will confirm if the system is valid in areas with different climatic conditions and polluting characteristics.


Thus, the consortium formed by Proyfe SL, Port Authority of Ferrol-San Cibrao, CYE Control y Estudios SL, COPASA and CETIM expects to test on a real scale a system that would allow the recovery of rainwater and runoff in a multitude of locations -explained, vials, parking lots, logistics platforms, etc.- for reuse. With this, LIFE DrainRain is positioned as a rainwater harvesting system that would help reduce the water stress suffered by many areas of Spain and the world.


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