Successful pilot test with AUTARCON disinfection system for wastewater treatment plant effluent


AUTARCON was developing a solar driven electro-chlorination pilot unit (ECl2) and operated it for about 18 months at the El Toyo wastewater treatment plant (wwtp) in Almeria. The target was to completely disinfect the effluent to allow its reuse in applications that go beyond irrigation. In future applications, this would substitute limited drinking water resources in water scarce areas. For wastewater reuse, chlorination applying Cl2 gas or sodium hypochlorite dosing is common practice in Spain. This, however, requires a constant supply of such chemicals and certain security measures limiting its application in small scale applications < 2000 PE.


Within the INCOVER project, the by AUTARCON developed an online sensor controlled station converts the chloride naturally present in the wwtp effluent to disinfectant. In combination with solar generated electricity, the system operates completely independent from chemical and energy supply und thus is ideally suited for remote and/or off grid treatment applications.

The pilot station was operated in combination with a constructed wetland and supplied water that was completely free of pathogen indicators throughout the trial period. There was no need for system maintenance during the pilot period, making it an ideal solution for off grid applications. In any case, the integrated online water quality and operation control unit would remotely notify the station operator before any technical issues occurs. During the trial period, the small pilot system disinfected 1000 m³ of water and supplied it for safe water reuse. In a next step, the system will be further optimized with regards to disinfectant production capacity so that it can treat wwtp effluent for small communities with up to 500 PE. With that, AUTARCON plans to enter the wastewater reuse market in Southern Europe.


For further information please contact AUTARCON: Philipp Otter,, +49 561 5061 868 92







The pilot site on the STP El Toyo in Almeria, the ECl2 process and an excerpt of disinfection performance