The initiative developed by Fundación Chile along Infraplast and Polpaico, consists in a wastewater treatment technology that works with microorganisms that grow in large reeds (totora) roots, that feed on organic compounds contained in the water, and are subsequently filtered by gravel. The process continues disinfecting the waters to reach irrigation parameters.
Currently, the district of La Ligua is in a critical situation regarding both potable water supply and access to irrigation, due to the persistent drought in the area. This brings serious consequences to the area, given it affects the quality of life for people, increases unemployment, and reduces agricultural production.
In this scenario, Fundación Chile along with Infraplast and Polapico, developed a project at the Carlos Aristía School, located in Trapiche, in La Ligua. This initiative consists in the installation of a passive system of rural wastewater treatment with BioTreat technology, allowing its use for the irrigation of the educational establishment.
This artificial wetland allows wastewater to be treated by microorganisms that grow in large reeds roots that feed on organic compounds that the water may contain, and are then filtered by gravel. Once this phase is ready, the water is disinfected, obtaining suitable parameters for irrigation use.
Fundación Chile’s Sustainability Assistant Manager, Ulrike Broschek, stated the importance of developing this project in Trapiche’s school. “Before this serious water shortage that our country is facing, it is essential to promote projects to really improve the quality of life of people that is currently deteriorating by the lack of this important resource” says Broschek.
Carlos Ariztía’s School at La Ligua uses around 6 thousand liters of water per day. With this initiative it is expected to recover 3.000 liters of the resource through reuse. In other words, the system manages to use wastewater used in sinks, showers, and kitchens to then use it for the irrigation of the school.