Water Quality describes those industrial-scale processes used to make water more acceptable for a desired end-use. These can include use for drinking water, industry, medical and many other uses. Such processes may be contrasted with small-scale water sterilization practiced by campers and other people in wilderness areas. The goal of all water treatment process is to remove existing contaminants in the water, or reduce the concentration of such contaminants so the water becomes fit for its desired end-use. One such use is returning water that has been used back into the natural environment without adverse ecological impact.
The processes involved in treating water for drinking purpose may be solids separation using physical processes such as settling and filtration, and chemical processes such as disinfection and coagulation.
This Main theme can be splitted into two subsystems:
WQP&M- Water quality planning and management
In the area of water quality planning and management at the watershed level, research ranges through the simple study of the pollutant sources and pollution pathways, up to the application of decision support tools for the management and planning of water resources. Key issues are the assessment of the pollutant source apportionment, the development of a knowledge-based decisional framework of the pollutant control and restoration actions, and the cost-effectiveness analysis of the alternatives. In this area we provided our scientific support to different territorial authorities. We supported the scenario analysis and the knowledge framework for the Piano di Tutela e Uso delle Acque of the Regione Lombardia and, within the framework of the Progetto FIUMI, lead by ARPA Lombardia, our analysis will be part of the Piano di Gestione del Distretto Idrografico del Fiume Po. We have been also consultants of ARPAV concerning the management of the Venice Lagoon watershed.
W&WWTT - Water and Wastewater Treatment Technology
The research area in water and wastewater treatment technology is strongly active within the Environmental Section of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, both on the side of primary water treatment and on the side of wastewater treatment technology. The main objectives are: to provide a better knowledge of newly proposed treatment systems and evaluate their potential and their actual field of application; to study operational problems and to find operational solutions to improve the management of water and wastewater treatment plants. Within the Hydroinformatics Lab research in this area will be mainly focused on the following major axes:
- Advanced treatment technology. Main research programs deal with: newly developed technologies such as advanced processes for nitrogen removal; innovative processes for sludge minimization and dewatering
- Efficient operation of wastewater treatment plants: this topic covers monitoring techniques for treatment processes by means of sensors and probes, development of indicators and indices to monitor the management of wastewater treatment plants; bio-processes modeling and simulation; evaluation of efficient sludge treatment and disposal options.