New Scottish Water trial uses earthworms, water fleas and microalgae to treat waste water

19 November 2019

Article: 53/4608

Scottish Water is taking part in an EU-funded international study, which uses earthworms, microalgae and water fleas to treat waste water in a carbon neutral way. The aim is to protect and improve water resources around the world. 

The 12-month Scottish Water pilot is taking place in the rural community of Littlemill in Nairnshire. This area was chosen based on size, remote location and exposure to the Scottish climate, as it is believed the area is an ideal place to test the reliability and adaptability of the technology.

The system uses a two-stage process. The first involves filling a tank with earthworms which eat the larger particles of organic matter in the waste water. The remaining water is then added to a second tank containing water fleas and microalgae which remove the finer pieces of organic matter. After this process, the water should be in a condition that allows it to be returned back to the natural environment.

Source: Scottish Water, 12 November 2019