Impact in Aquifer media and Soils of non-conventional water (treated-desalinated) use and sewage sludge application: laboratory and field investigations

The project aims to investigate the effects and the extent -along the unsaturated zone, and also on underlying aquifers- of the use of treated wastewater and sludge on soil porous media in areas where reuse of water usually take place.

The study will cover some potential elemental pollutants such as arsenic, selenium, antimony, tin and chromium, which at now are not included in the regulations of the European countries. Also we consider the emerging contaminants (PPCPs, i.e., anti-inflammatory drugs, antiscalants and antimicrobial agents) and its degradation, retention or mobility in irrigated and sludge amended soils. From operational point of view, the study will cover join analytical and simulation experiences at laboratory and also at experimental field sites. On-site research activities will be mainly performed at several places of NE Spain (water and sludge reuse for agriculture and recreational areas), at SE of Spain (Alicante University, desalination plant) and NE Tunisia (wastewater for aquifer recharge). Laboratory experimentation includes the use of soil columns for batch and kinetic experimentation and the development of analytical procedures for the evaluation of contaminants at ultratrace level. The effects and processes taking place in the non-saturated/saturated zone will be characterized by the join use of chemical/isotopic tracing (for modelling) and geophysical approach (identification of vulnerability factors in porous media).

  • Ignasi Queralt, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain, Investigador Principal
  • Eva Marguí Grabulosa, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • Oscar González Fernández, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • Josefina Tapias Pantebre, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain
  • Carlos Antonio de la Fuene Cullell, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain<
  • Gallardo Hernández, Helena, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • María Luisa Carvalho (Universidad de Lisboa), Portugal
  • Andrés Venturino, CONICET/Universidad del Comahue, Argentina
  • Azucena Bongiovanni Guillermina, CONICET/Lab. Investg. Químicas y Medio Ambiente Comahue, Argentina


  • Project Leader: Ignasi Queralt

  • Years: 2011-2013

  • Funding

    Project Financed by PNIDI-CGLI - CGLI22168-C03-01


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