H20forAll Project: Innovative Technologies to Protect and Treat Drinking Water from Disinfection Byproducts


Water purification and disinfection are crucial processes to provide safe water to citizens, but the low quality of water sources due to soil/freshwater increasing contamination makes this goal very challenging. Disinfection byproducts (DBPs), produced when chlorine disinfectant reacts with organic matter in water, have a serious impact even at low concentrations on the environment and human health, still not well understood. Effects on human’s liver activity and neurotoxicity were already reported. In this context, the H2OforAll project aims to assess main DBPs sources and fate through the development of fast, cost-effective and accurate sensor monitoring devices and also by modelling their spread through drinking water distribution systems. In addition, DBPs toxicity and environmental impact will be studied in this project and measures will be proposed to protect drinking water chain. On the other hand, breakthrough water treatments to remove DBPs or avoid their formation during water disinfection processes will be developed, paying attention to their life cycle analysis, costs and risks. A central knowledge base with reliable data on the occurrence of DBPs in Europe and their effects will be created to increase awareness of society and governmental organizations about these drinking water contaminants in order to draw new policy responses and guidance.

In the H20forAll project, the SuPerWorld group will work on the development of cost-effective sensor monitoring devices to detect DBPs, employing spectrometry and advanced AI/machine learning techniques for more accurate detection of contaminants. It will create a digital twin of the water infrastructure of Coimbra (Aguas de Coimbra), offering optimized solutions to the problem of intelligently placing sensor devices for detecting DBPs more efficiently.

Techniques used: Pervasive computing, Internet of Things, GIS and geospatial analysis, Machine Learning, Open hardware, 3D modelling.

Collaboration with: University of Coimbra, DHV MED Ltd., University of Ulm, Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (IABC), IRIS Technology Solutions, University of Leicester, University of Haifa, Gdanski University, KTH Stockholm, University of Leeds, SPI Portugal, University of Twente, ADVENTECH, Water Europe, ATLANTIUM Technologies LTD, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Aguas de Coimbra, Wetsus European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology.

Started: November 2022

Status: On-going

Funding: H20forAll is funded by the European Commission's Horizon Europe programme the via the HORIZON-CL6-2022-ZEROPOLLUTION-01 (Clean environment and zero pollution) call. The project is coordinated by the University of Coimbra.