Project Bactiwater

It is possible to recover the biological systems after a spill through the use of biotechnological crops, thus reducing the discharge of improperly treated wastewater into the environment

reducción de vertido de residuos”

Around 80% from wastewater treatment plants in the EU have secondary treatment processes using activated sludge. Municipal sewage plants rely on the efficient and continuous processing of effluents to avoid the release of untreated wastewater and subsequent environmental and public health threats. Uncontrolled spills containing harmful substances can damage the biological units, since an increase in the toxic load of urban wastewater reduces the cleaning capacity of the bacterial culture. Such harmful increases come from uncontrolled discharges with excess toxic loads and can be seasonal. Consequently, untreated water can be released, contributing to the loss of biological diversity and degradation of water resources.

When a treatment plant operator detects that the organic or nutrient removal performance is decreasing, most of the biomass has already been damaged. The usual procedure to resume normal activity consists of increasing the air supply to the bioreactor. Considering that aeration systems can represent around 50-70% of the total energy consumption of a WWTP, an increment in energy requirements in the biological process will lead to a considerable increase in the overall energy consumption at WWTPs.

In this context, the general objective of BACTIWATER is to demonstrate that the proposed tools can reduce the environmental impact of failures and malfunctions at biological units after spills.
The whole project, including the experimental phase, will take place in Valencia (Spain).

BACTIWATER is an EU financed project in the framework of the Life Program, which is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU.

Estación depuradora de aguas residualesLIFE BACTIWATER
Project LIFE16 ENV/ES/000390
Budget: 1.141.570 €
EU Contribution: 684.940 Euro (60% total budget)
About LIFE

The experimental and technical phase will take place in a demo plant at the WWTP Quart Benàger in Valencia

Photo Gallery WWTP

Project objectives

The main objective of LIFE BACTIWATER is to demonstrate that the implementation of an innovative and more energy-efficient solution will reduce the environmental impact of failures and malfunctions of
biological units after unexpected spills. This solution consists of the culture and inoculation of microbial communities specially selected to accelerate the recovery of biological processes in case of uncontrolled spills, reducing the consequent environmental impact that would occur if the bacterial population could not adequately degrade contaminants from the wastewater as a consequence of a polluting waste arriving at the WWTP.

BACTIWATER aims to optimize the active sludge process as well as to reduce energy consumption in case of pollutant spills that could reach the WWTP and affect the biological treatment. Considering that aeration systems can represent an important amount of the total energy consumption of a WWTP, an increment in energy requirements in the biological process will lead to a considerable increase in the overall energy consumption at WWTPs. It is expected that the use of BACTIWATER project results will decrease the energy consumption.


The specific objectives of the LIFE BACTIWATER Project are:


Environmental protection from wastewater discharges and compliance with the Water Directive 91/271/EEC, ensuring that the quality parameters in the effluent of the WWTP remain below the limits established by the Directive, avoiding harmful environmental impacts.


Economic and environmental evaluation of the recovery of the biological process through the use of BACTIWATER after several artificial spills on a pilot scale


Validation of an early detection diagnostic kit for malfunctions in the biological process


Elaboration of prevention and correction protocols for biological treatment failures in WWTPs


Promotion of new omics tools as diagnostic methodologies in wastewater treatment control


Reduction of energy consumption in the regeneration process according to the European target of 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020


Protection of Community waters in accordance with the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 / EC


Contribution to the European water innovation strategy


Development of a knowledge base to support beneficiaries and stakeholders with future water treatment regulations


Dissemination and transfer of the project results to the interested parties to ensure the sustainability and transferability of BACTIWATER methods


Elaboration of an exploitation and commercialization plan for the project results

Expected results

The main expected result of LIFE BACTIWATER project is to develop a corrective treatment of biological failures in WWTPs based on bacteria and growth enhancers. Some of the advantages that this treatment will entail are:

  • Obtaining an early detection kit for malfunctions in the biological process that will allow the recovery of the biological system.
  • Anticipation of 20% of biological failures and elimination of the environmental impact.
  • Anticipation of up to 20% of biological failures due to planned anthropogenic actions such as pest control treatments or cleaning operations.
  • Standardization of a prevention and correction protocol for optimization and recovery of the biological system in case of malfunctions.
  • Elaboration of a decision-making system based on the historical database of discharges in WWTPs and its effects
  • Obtaining a corrective treatment for biological malfunctions in WWTPs based on the bacterial population present in the activated sludge and its nutritional requierements.
  • Elaboration of a decision-making system based on the historical database of discharges in WWTPs and its effects.
  • Development of an action protocol for biological malfunctions in EDAR at European level.
  • Reduction of 20-22% of the energy consumption necessary to recover the biological system in case of malfunctions.
  • Optimization of the nitrification process in WWTPs and as a consequence, reduction of the nutrient load of the effluent.
  • Improvement of cooperation and networking between public bodies and stakeholders of the water sector.

Project stages

The BACTIWATER project will run during 30 months, from 1st September 2017 to 28th February 2020 during which following actions will take place:


A1. Spill database and historical analysis

This project phase has a duration of two months (from September to October 2017) and deals with the compilation of discharge events at the Quart Benàger WWTP during the last 10 years, the historical database updating, as well as the determination of the most relevant microbial profile in the nitrification and denitrification process. In order to determine the most favorable bacterial profile for BACTIWATER, the influence of external factors such as climate, season, temperature and geographical location will be strongly considered.


Action B includes the adaptation and commissioning of the demonstration plant for the development of the trials. The duration of actions B comprises from the beginning of the project in September 2017 until the end of project in February 2020. 

B1. Demonstration plant adaptation and commissioning  

The objective of this action is the adaptation and commissioning of the pilot plant where the trials will take place. During the project experimental stage, it is expected to assess how the contribution of different microbiological cultures can improve the biological process considering the effluent quality and energy consumption from the aeration equipment.
The pilot plant is located in the WWTP of Quart-Benàger and was built using the structure of an existing plant, after having checked and adapted the equipment. Furthermore, a new equipment was to guarantee the significance of the results obtained.

B2. Manufacturing of microbial enhancers

In this phase, microbial cultures have been selected as well as the most favorable culture and nutrient medium for the nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria of the biological system.

B3. Experimental phase

According to the historical discharges occurring at Quart Bènager WWTP, spills are divided generically into four types: surfactants, pesticides, heavy metals and organic load increases. Due to this type of compounds and that they usually affect the processes of many other treatment plants (not only in the Valencian Community but also at national and European level), the time reduction for the recovery of the process will be demonstrated through the addition of the bacterial preparations obtained in activity B2.

B4. Implementation of an early detection protocol

The objective of this project phase is to develop an early detection kit of biological malfunctions based on PCR techniques. Specific primers will be designed to detect bacteria or a group of bacteria that can act as markers.

B5. Business plan

A business model will be developed to establish the foundations of an exploitation plan that will take into account current market strategies, profitability and patentability.


This project action deals with the evaluation of the technical-economic viability of the project results with the aim of a future commercialization. The duration of stage C includes from the beginning of the project in September 2017 until the end of the project in February 2020.

C1. Environmental and economical feasibility

This phase of the project deals mainly with the economic analysis that will determine the total costs, as well as the evaluation of the economic viability. Different methodologies will be used, such as Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Techno-Economic Evaluation.

C2. Monitoring and measuring of LIFE performance indicators

During the project impacts monitoring, the following indicators will be considered: reduction of CO2 emissions, better use of natural resources, reduction of the energy consumption, acceptance in the market, communication and dissemination of project results.

Water and energy consumption will be strongly considered during the production of bacteriological enhancers as well as the use of recycled wastewater during the project.


D1. Dissemination planning and execution

During the project development, the dissemination of results, status of the project, as well as the development of social networks will be carried out. Through the dissemination of the main project results and lessons learned at national and international level, it is expected to raise the awareness of stakeholders and demonstrate the effectiveness of BACTIWATER results. These results will be communicated and disseminated to the most relevant stakeholders through different methods.

As a part of the dissemination plan, a Notice Board and several leaflets have been printed and distributed. The first BACTIWATER leaflets were distributed at the EFIAQUA water fair held in Valencia in 28-30 th November 2017.

In the “News and Events” section of this website you can consult our dissemination activities.

The Noticeboard, leaflet and Layman report can be downloaded in the “Project Documents” section.


E1. Project Management Planning

During the project phase E1 the consortium agreement and confidentiality agreement between the partners was agreed and signed. The consortium agreement is based on the directives of the LIFE program and is considered as compulsory.

During this phase a group of experts was formed as backstopping, in order to support our project. 

E2. Overall Project Management

For an optimal project management, some bases of organization, communication and coordination meetings were established, as well as a project management monitoring. 

E3. After-LIFE Planning

In this final phase of BACTIWATER, an exploiting strategy of the project results will be defined considering similar lines of research, as well as stakeholders and sustainability of the proposed solutions or results.

Date actualization: February 2021

Sep 2017 / Dec 2017


Sep 2017 / Feb 2020


Sep 2017 / Feb 2020


Sep 2017 / Feb 2020


Sep 2017 / Feb 2020



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in brief
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News & Events

Article published in Tecnoaqua

In the September-October issue of Tecnoaqua magazine an article entitled “Development of a microbial inoculum for its application in the recovery of the […]

Tatiana Montoya, coordinator of the LIFE Bactiwater project, gave a presentation on the lessons learned in the management of projects, consortia and strategic alliances at the event organized by the Science Park of the University of Valencia on November 4.

Tatiana Montoya, coordinator of the LIFE Bactiwater project, gave a presentation on the lessons learned in the management of projects, consortia and strategic […]

Attendance at the Valencian Community Information Day of LIFE program

Ángela Baeza, researcher at Global Omnium, presented the results of the LIFE Bactiwater project at the Information Day of the Valencian Community of […]

Video of the University of València Scientific Park

The main objective of LIFE BACTIWATER is to reduce the discharge of wastewater incorrectly treated into the environment. They have shown that it […]

Interview in esRadioValencia

The technical coordinator of the project Ángela Baeza was interviewed yesterday in esRadioVancia by María Caballero on the program Es la mañana en […]

Download the presentations of the final conference

We want to thank the participation of the speakers during the final conference held on December 1. It was a pleasure to know […]

Project’s final video


Conferencia final

From LIFE BACTIWATER we invite you to the final conference that will be held virtually on December 1st. Definitive program! Check it out! […]

Radio interview

The COPE radio station in its program Mediodia COPE MÁS Valencia interviewed on 22nd October the researcher Feliu Sempere regarding the Life Bactiwater […]

Newsletter September

Released our second newsletter, which can be downloaded from the documents section of our webpage (Link).

Attendance to Water Pollution 2020 Conference

Our researcher Ángela Baeza made an oral presentation in the 15th International Conference on Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Pollution held also virtually […]

LIFE BACTIWATER attends to IWA Nutrient Recovery & Removal Conference

Last 1-3 Septembere results of the Project were presented in the conference IWA NRR which was fully virtually organised due to COVID pandemic. […]

Monitor visit

Last Friday 29th of June, the consortium had a virtual meeting with our monitor Borja Domínguez from NEEMO EEIG. We presented the progress […]

2nd External Advisory Board meeting

We continue with the execution of the project as far as possible…The second External Advisory Board meeting was done remotely on April 16th. […]

LIFE Platform meeting on waste water treatment

Our researcher Núria Oliver attended this event (link) hosted by CETaqua and European Comission on January 29-30 in Barcelona. This LIFE platform meeting […]

Newsletter December 2019 and Intermediate Noticeboard

We have released the second newsletter and intermediate noticeboard, which can be downloaded at the documents section.

Bactiwater at EU Water Innovation Conference 2019

Life Bactiwater was invited by Life MCUBO to present our project during their LIFE side meeting of the EUWIC held in Zaragoza last […]

Site visit of staff from GoAigua

Today 15th of November, staff from the company  GoAigua visited the pilot plant of Life Bactiwater. The objectives, methodology and main results of […]

Site visit of students from La Nau Gran

Last Wednesday, students from La Nau gran visited Quart Benàger WWTPs. During the visit Bactiwater was also explained. La Nau Gran is a […]

Biopolis attends CPhi conference

Biopolis is present at the CPhi conference, the world’s largest pharmaceutical exhibition, where they are also presenting their participation in the Life Bactiwater […]

Site visits of Environmental Sciences students from the Universitat de València

On 30th of October, students in the 3rd  year of the Environmental Sciences degree of the Universitat de València visited the pilot plant […]

Site visits of Biotechnological students from the Universitat de València

Last 21st of October, students in the 4th year of the Biotechnology degree of the Universitat de València visited the pilot plant of […]

Efiaqua 2019

On October 1-3 the International Fair for Efficient Water Management was held in València (Efiaqua 2019). Global Omnium S.L. y Aguas de Valencia […]

Meeting with the project external advisory board

Last Friday, September 27, researchers from the consortium had a very fruitful meeting with members of the project’s external advisory board. Daniel Aguado […]

Nesletter July 2019

We have released the first newsletter where the project and the results obtained so far are presented. We would be glad if you […]

Video explaining the LIFE BACTIWATER

The video explaining the reasons that originated the LIFE BACTIWATER project, as well as the methodology that is being carried out to achieve […]

Life BACTIWATER was presented during the Regional Infoday 2019

The new LIFE 2019 call for proposals was presented on May 7th 2019 at the Regional Infoday conference organized by REDIT and the […]

Life BACTIWATER attended the Life Newest networking event

The project LIFE NEWEST organised a networking event on 12th April 2019, where the participants could exchange ideas and the results of their […]

XXXV AEAS Congress

The 35th edition of AEAS  (the Spanish association of water supply and sanitation) was held in València during 27-29 March 2019, being Global […]

Site visits of students from Universitat de València

Students of the degree of Biotechnology of the Universitat de València visited the facilities of the pilot plant of the Life Bactiwater project. […]

BACTIWATER was presented during the Regional Infoday

The new LIFE 2018 call for proposals was presented on May 9, during the Regional Infoday conference . The event was organized by […]

First official monitoring meeting with the NEEMO expert

The first meeting with NEEMO, an entity in charge of assisting the EASME agency of the European Commission in the monitoring of the […]

Bactiwater in EFIAQUA fair

During the EFIAQUA Fair that was held on November 28-30, the BACTIWATER project was announced, a Notice Board was presented and the project leaflets […]

Life Program. Kick-off Meeting en Bruselas

On October 17-18, the Kick-off Meeting was held in Brussels, attended by professionals with projects funded by the LIFE program of the European […]




Proyecto bactiwater
Estación depuradora de aguas residuales
Estación depuradora de aguas residuales

GOMSL (Global Omnium Medioambiente S.L. and formerly SEASA) belongs to the Global Omnium group of companies and is in charge of BACTIWATER project management as the coordinating entity .

GOMSL was founded in 1818 as “Sociedad Española de Abastecimientos S.A. (SEASA)” and became part of the Global Omnium group in 1993. The company is mainly specialized in drinking water supply, wastewater treatment and other services related to the integral water cycle including consultancy services.

Currently Global Omnium is a business group composed of 16 companies specialized in different areas related to water management. The main activities of the business group include drinking water supply, sanitation, purification, irrigation, construction and maintenance of hydraulic works.

AGUAS DE VALENCIA S.A. is the core of Global Omnium, a group of companies that focuses its activity on integral water cycle management, developing several complementary lines of business to optimize the water resources. The activities of this project partner range from the catchment, treatment and distribution of drinking water to the collection and treatment of wastewater, as well as the solid waste management.

AGUAS DE VALENCIA has a remarkable respect and commitment to the environment, energy efficiency and innovation in each of its areas of activity, being certified by AENOR for environmental management systems (ISO 14001), energy (ISO 50001) and R & D & i (UNE 166002).

BIOPOLIS, S.L. is a company founded in 2003 with headquarters located in the Valencia Science Park. It focuses on different fields of biotechnology and is a leading provider of microbial technologies with a strong food-ingredients portfolio. The core competency of BIOPOLIS is the development and commercialization of microbial strains and metabolites as well as directed microbial design, proof of concept and scale-up to pilot plants.

BIOPOLIS will be responsible during the project for the production of the bacterial mixture and inoculation in the biological process.


LIFESEQUENCING, S.L. was created by BIOPOLIS S.L. and is the first Spanish company to provide second-generation DNA sequencing technology for large-scale projects.

During the project, LIFESEQUENCING will be responsible for the sludge analysis and the development of a diagnostic kit for early detection of anomalies in the biological process.

About Life

LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU for the 2014-2020 funding period

Its general objective is to catalyze changes in the development and application of policies through the contribution of solutions and best practices to achieve environmental and climate goals, as well as through the promotion of innovative technologies in the field of environment and climate change. It also supports the application of the General Environmental Program of the Union until 2020 “Living well, respecting the limits of our planet”. The LIFE Programme is managed by the European Commission, being the National Authority in the Spanish State the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through the General Directorate of Services.

Programme information:
Website of the European Commission: 


* The European Commission is not responsible for the opinions expressed here 


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