LIFE_NEWEST - New urban wastewater treatment based on natural coagulants to avoid phosphorus pollution allowing mud’s agrivalorization

LIFE16 ENV/ES/000156

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Contact details:

Contact person: Jose F. Cabeza
Tel: 34901501013
Fax: 34964253418
Email: jfcabeza@servyeco.com

Project description:


Phosphorous and nitrogen pollution reduces oxygen levels in rivers and lakes, leading to eutrophication. Phosphorous is widely used in agricultural fertilisers, detergents, household cleaning products and industrial processes. As a result, the incorporation of phosphorus in water bodies has increased significantly in recent years.

Urban wastewater typically contains phosphorous concentrations of 10-30 mg/l. Tertiary treatment is often necessary to reduce these concentrations below legal thresholds. Further efforts are needed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of methods to remove phosphorous from wastewater before discharge into the environment.


The LIFE NEWEST project will demonstrate a cost effective new wastewater treatment technology at industrial scale. Sludge from the process will be shown to be suitable for agricultural use.

The project’s specific objectives are:

  • Replacement of inorganic coagulants (which have corrosive and hazardous properties) in wastewater treatment with new natural-based products developed and manufactured by the project;
  • Design and construction of an industrial-scale production plant which will be demonstrated at two urban and two industrial wastewater treatment plants in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands;
  • Development of a business plan for market introduction of the new coagulants; and
  • Evaluation of the use of the generated sludge in biomethanation and agricultural applications.
  • The project results will support implementation of the EU’s Water Framework Directive and Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive as well as contributing to the accomplishment of the Directive on environmental quality in the field of water policy that establishes limits for the discharge of priority substances and other chemical contaminants into water bodies.

    Expected results:

  • Demonstration of a new process for wastewater treatment using natural-based coagulants in tertiary treatment;
  • Reduction of the phosphorous content (35-45%), suspended solids (55-65%) and turbidity (45-55%) in wastewater - compared to currently used inorganic products;
  • Reduction in the use of inorganic products (coagulant + pH neutraliser) in the wastewater treatment plants (65-75%) and total removal (100%) of toxic and corrosive coagulants (e.g. aluminium sulphate or ferric chloride) and pH neutralisers (e.g. hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide);
  • Removal of 350 tonnes/year of corrosive products during the project lifetime and removal of 40 000-60 000 tonnes of inorganic products in the three years after the project;
  • A 4-8% reduction of the treated water cost (€/m3) throughout the project’s implementation and 8-12% reduction after its implementation at a larger scale;
  • Reduction of waste production and associated management costs;
  • Production of sludge with lower content of metals and chlorides that can be re-used in agriculture, with a reduction in management costs by up to 80%; and
  • Production of sludge that can be biomethanated in anaerobic digesters with the same efficiency as traditional coagulants.

Technology replication and transferability will be based on industrial-scale implementation in wastewater treatment facilities of three Member States: Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. The project will also apply a business plan, ensuring the marketing of the coagulants used in the process. Sales of €80 000-€120 000 are forecast by the end of the project.



Environmental issues addressed:


Water - Waste water treatment


waste water treatment‚  water quality

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 91/271 - Urban waste water treatment (21.05.1991)
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)
  • Directive 2008/105 - Environmental quality standards in the field of water policy (16.12.2008)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Serviecologa y Tratamientos de Aguas S.L.
Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description SERVYECO designs and manufactures chemicals and equipment for water treatment and provides a range of support services for industrial and domestic wastewater treatment plants, including maintenance and analysis of water quality.


Project reference LIFE16 ENV/ES/000156
Duration 01-SEP-2017 to 31-AUG -2021
Total budget 2,260,073.00 €
EU contribution 1,347,627.00 €
Project location Comunidad Valenciana(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version