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CAFE filter, treatment of municipal wastewater and removal of micro-plastics

Cafe filter Results


Tertiary treatment of municipal waste water:

CAFE filter results


June 2019

Edinburgh, UK



The CAFE (Clean Aqua For Everyone) filter was developed to help deliver safe clean water for rural communities in developing countries by Clean Water Wave CIC, a 100% asset locked social enterprise.

The filter was designed to provide drinking water in compliance to the European Directive from almost any water source. This also makes the CAFE filter applicable for the treatment of drinking water in Europe, or indeed any country around the world.

From the European Commission, there are 85,000 rural water systems in Europe serving 65 million people; 30% of the systems are non-compliant to the drinking water directive. More than 20 million people in Europe therefore receive potentially contaminated water.

In order to stress test the CAFE filter, a unit was installed on a municipal wastewater treatment site near Edinburgh, Scotland, for the tertiary treatment of the final effluent. The water samples were taken and analysed by Scottish Water accredited laboratories twice a week for a period of eight weeks, with a one week gap in the sampling.

There are many drinking water sources in Europe and around the world where the drinking water abstraction point is down-stream of a municipal waste water discharge. In order to ensure protection of the drinking water and public health, as well as the environment, tertiary treatment should be mandatory for all municipal waste water.

Tertiary treatment of waste water was not the intended end application for the CAFE filter; however the stability, reliability and performance of the filter at the testing site demonstrated that the process was applicable for the application of polishing the effluent for the removal of priority substances such as micro-plastics and priority chemicals including endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals and POPs (persistent organic pollutants).  The filtered water produced by the CAFE filter was essentially in compliance with the European drinking water directive, confirming that a simple low energy solar powered filter using no chemicals or consumables has the potential turn municipal waste water effluent into drinking water.

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About the author

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Dryden has unique knowledge combination of biology, chemistry and technology and is the inventor of the activated, bio-resistant filter media AFM®. Dr. Dryden is one of the world`s leading experts in sustainable water treatment.

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Life on earth depends upon healthy Oceans, we have 10 years to stop toxic chemical pollution, or life on earth may become impossible

Dr. Howard Dryden, CSO

Goes Foundation

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