(Smart Decentralized WATer Management through a Dynamic INtegration of TECHnologies)


WATINTECH proposes a combination of novel sewer mining technologies with urban run-off treatment in decentralised facilities to enhance the local recovery of valuable resources including water, methane (heat, energy) and value-added chemicals, either extracting or producing them from the fluxes inside a sewage pipe, in addition to harvesting stormwater. It is also postulated that this combination improves the management of centralised wastewater infrastructures under variable weather events (such as heavy rain episodes combined with long dry periods) reducing detrimental combined sewer overflows and untreated wastewater discharges into natural water bodies.

The impact of sewer mining and wastewater characteristics on downstream WWTPs will also be analysed. In an ideal scenario, besides generating the value-added products for local reuse, decentralised treatment will also be designed in a way to impact positively on the existing centralised sewage collection and treatment facilities, an aspect rarely taken into account in the design of decentralised infrastructure.


In the past years the concept of smart cities attracted the attention of governments and urban planners seeking to increase sustainability and resilience of our cities. In a nutshell, the concept could be described as enhancing the connectivity and information exchange among different urban sub-systems leading to increased reactivity and efficiency. In the context of water, energy and waste management, the integration of decentralised solutions with centralised systems has been proposed as a valuable option.

Yet, while technological solutions are gradually emerging for the water sector, an intelligent integration of decentralised and centralised infrastructures to foster our transition towards smart cities has not been defined clearly. Specifically, and closely related to this proposal, the number of sewer mining projects based on off-the-shelf treatment technologies such as membrane bioreactors is constantly growing. However, energy and monetary costs of these projects per m3 of treated effluent are considered high thereby hampering their implementation.

The Project

WATINTECH summons an inter-disciplinary consortium offering capabilities that cover the whole value chain - from fundamental research to market uptake - around wastewater and urban run-off and entails four different areas of research including modelling of the individual sub-systems:

1. decentralised water reclamation from sewage

2. decentralised energy recovery from sewage

3. production of value-added chemicals for controlling detrimental emissions in sewers

4. impact of altered sewage quality on centralised nutrient removal and recovery.

The project pursues the technological development of individual sub-systems and at the same time it will work towards proving technological solutions for an effective and optimized integration of decentralised and centralised technologies in all activities. 

WATINTECH Project Website

For more information, please the WATINTECH website.


Krist V. Gernaey
DTU Kemiteknik
45 25 29 70


Xavier Flores Alsina
DTU Kemiteknik
45 25 29 67