EEP European Environmental Press

Model Chinese neighbourhood to recycle 100% of wastewater

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Source: EEP European Environmental Press

A model neighbourhood which recycles all its waste water and rainwater: whatever their origin, the 10,000 m3 of waste water in Jinhe, a new neighbourhood of the Chinese city of Wuhan (which has an urban population of 5 million people) will be recycled in China.

Jinhe's waste water will be processed in filter beds designed by Phytorestore. The water, estimated at almost 4,000 m3 every day, will be piped directly to an artificial swamp.

This landscaped 'filter park' will purify the water by means of a triple layer of filter lakes: the first with vertical flow, the second with horizontal flow, with a filter substrate of pozzolana.

The third is a large pond filled with local plants, in order to favour biodiversity; the plants are essentially decorative. The clean water is used to feed these damp areas and will be used for watering parks and gardens. Small filter gardens immediately outside apartment blocks will treat grey water at the rate of 6,000 m3 per day.

This water will be used for washing cars, roads and for toilets. Finally, rain water, whose peak volume is estimated at 3,700 m3, will fill canals between apartment blocks before being purified by means of filter gardens on the banks.

Once treated, it will be used to cool floors in homes or will be piped into the lake in the park.   

These gardens should achieve 'savings of 50% in water use in this new neighbourhood, which will house 60,000 people on completion in 2009,' according to Thierry Jacquet, director of Phytorestore.

The first phase is now complete: the filter park is finished, as is the landscaping, and the first blocks of flats have been built: the connections for processing grey water and rainwater should be done in 2008-2009.

At the end of 2007, when the first phase was finished, Jinhe won the model neighbourhood prize from the Chinese Ministry for Reform and Development.

The prize also rewards the changes to the plans, which originally envisaged buildings along the canal banks and a land-use coefficient of 2.5.

This is now 1.4, and energy savings will be made thanks to a natural air conditioning system using recycled water and solar panels. These energy savings have been estimated at 65% compared to the normal consumption of a town of this size. 

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