The city of Araraquara in Brazil's southeastern state of São Paulo has kicked off operations of the state's first wastewater sludge treatment and drying plant.
The facility was developed by the city's water and sewerage department Daae and researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP) at São Carlos, local news service O Globo reported.
The plant receives 500l/s of wastewater. After treatment, 95% is returned to the Cruzes river while the remaining sludge is stored in tanks. The waste is then sucked up from the tanks through a dredger and mixed with chemicals so it can be turned into a paste.
Thereafter, it is transferred to a drying machine where 80% of its humidity is removed. The leftover water is used to clean equipment and water the gardens of the treatment facility.
The remaining waste, which is now a dirt-like substance, no longer needs to be brought to the Guatapará landfill, according to state environment authority Cetesb.
Daae is expecting to develop partnerships regarding the reuse of the material.