Aquifer recharge is a technique widely applied in order to store water for coping with seasonal fluctuations of water demand and to prevent the degradation of groundwater resources due to overexploitation or saltwater intrusion. During recharge through the vadose zone and transport through the aquifer, water quality improvements occur that are described as Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT). These physical, chemical and microbiological processes include filtration, adsorption, dissolution/precipitation, cation exchange and microbially mediated reactions. Although those processes have been observed and monitored in various MAR sites, little is known about the parameters controlling them and implementing man made technologies for enhancing those attenuation processes is not a common practice.
The ENSAT Life+ project aims at enhancing and optimizing this technology, progressing from laboratory studies to a pilot field scale study (located at the recharge site of Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona).
Results obtained and lessons learned will be able to be implemented to transfer sites in Europe to improve the operation of the trial and full scale Aquifer Recharge plants.