Research outline

In this page, our research activities are described in summary.

Latest reseach actvities (excerpt from NILIM Annual Report 2014)

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Risk management of pathogens in wastewater effluent

In recent years, large scale outbreaks due to pathogenic microorganisms such as E-coli O-157 or cryptosporidium have occurred. And public anxiety on pathogenic risks such as norovirus has arisen. This study aims at assessing the risk of the emerging pathogens based on survey of wastewater influent and effluent and receiving waters, proposing schemes for management of pathogenic risks in sewerage such as source control and efficient removal, and setting technical standards of treated water quality in Japan.

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Risk management of chemical substances in wastewater effluent

In recent years, public anxiety on the effect of chemical substances such as endocrine disruptors (e.g., Nonylphenol, estradiol) to human health and ecosystems in water has arisen. This study aims at assessing the removal efficiency of these chemical substances in wastewater treatment plants, and proposing schemes for management of chemical risks based on PRTR (Pollution Release and Transfer Register) data communicating among stakeholders in watersheds.

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Effect of wastewater effluent to aquatic ecosystems

Due to the high prevalence of sewerage systems in Japan, aquatic ecosystems in receiving waters are significantly impacted by wastewater effluent. In addition, the need for enhancing environment to restore habitats using reclaimed water has increased especially in urban areas. This study aims at assessing the effects of quality of wastewater effluent such as residual chlorine and nutrients to aquatic ecosystems based on experiments and field surveys.

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National guidelines for reuse of treated wastewater

Treated wastewater is reused for various applications such as toilet flushing, snow melting, and environmental usages in Japan. In addition, new applications such as road sprinkling for heat island mitigation in urban areas are expected. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) set national guidelines for reuse of treated wastewater based on the results of studies of Wastewater and Sludge Management Division in 2005. In addition, benefit-cost analysis of water recycling is carried out.

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Watershed management for reduction of pollution loads

In Japan, goals and allocation of reduction of pollution loads from wastewater treatment plants in watersheds to meet water quality standards in surface waters are set based on gComprehensive Basin Wide Planning of Sewerage Systemsh. Wastewater and Sludge Management Division carries out studies on efficient allocation of reduction of pollution loads using water-quality trading to revise the Guidelines for Surveys Concerning the Comprehensive Basin Wide Planning of Sewerage Systems.

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Assessment of greenhouse gas emission from sewerage systems

Reduction of greenhouse gas emission from sewerage systems is required due to the enactment of the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. This study aims at assessing the greenhouse gas emission such as CO2 and N2O from advanced wastewater treatment and sludge recycling processes based on studies at pilot plants and field surveys, developing the LCA (Life-Cycle Assessment) methods of greenhouse gas emission from sewerage systems for energy use efficiency and global warming mitigation.

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Sustainable water quality management in developing countries

Improvement of urban sanitation and water quality is needed in developing countries such as Asian countries due to rapid urbanization and population increase. Wastewater and Sludge Management Division carried out the study on low-cost wastewater treatment methods such as lagoon based on survey at pilot plants at Okinawa, Japan. In addition, Wastewater and Sludge Management Division carries out the assessment of pollution loads to surface waters based on the field survey in the Ganges basin in India to propose schemes for water quality improvement.

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Sustainable sanitaion system development for Sahel region

This theme has been conducted by a cooperative research within the framework of JST-JICA Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) since 2009 (Project title: Improving Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems in Sahel Region in Africa; Principal investigator: Prof. FUNAMIZU Naoyuki, Hokkaido University)

For more information, please refer to project official web site.

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Development and evaluation of water reuse technologies for the establishment of 21st century type water cycle system

This theme has been conducted by a cooperative research with Kyoto University since 2009, within the framework of JST Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) (Research area: Innovative Technology and System for Sustainable Water Use).

For more information, please refer to project official web site.

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