Control and elimination of biological and chemical risks in the water cycle, CLEAN-CM

Total grant: 1.135.000€
• Project line: 670.000€
• Infrastructure line: 465.000€
Implementation period 1/02/2020 – 31/12/2022

Water and its quality is a growing concern, not only among professionals, but also among the general public. Water is the vehicle for a multitude of pollutants. It is becoming increasingly clear that the risk associated with pollution can be largely avoided by applying to its study the “One Health” concept, which links human, animal and environmental health, to its study.

A clear example is the pandemic generated by the SARSCoV-2 virus, in which, despite not having water as a vehicle of transmission, its analysis for the presence of genetic material of the virus has been of great help in the study of the epidemiological evolution of the virus.

The overall objective of the project line is the study of methodologies to assess and eliminate biological (with SARS-CoV-2 as a model) and chemical risks in different real matrices of the water cycle: wastewater, reclaimed water and groundwater.

The infrastructure line includes the acquisition of two laboratory equipment and a greenhouse:

  • Liquid Chromatography equipment coupled to Mass Spectrometry with a Triple Quadrupole Analyser (LC-MS/MS(QqQ)). This equipment allows to improve quantification methods by detecting compounds at lower concentration levels than those currently measured at the institute.
  • Hollow fibre filtration equipment needed to pre-concentrate samples in order to measure biological contaminants found in low concentrations in the environment.
  • Intelligent greenhouse with climate control system. It allows various experiments to be carried out, including studies for the evaluation and optimisation of the treatment capacity of pollutants using different tree species and amendments in the green filters; bioassays with crop plants for the evaluation of the risk to food and environmental safety derived from reuse in the agricultural environment. These bioassays will allow the determination of the potential transfer of biological contaminants of emerging concern (e.g. viruses, parasites, antibiotic resistant bacteria) into the food chain.

Action funded through the agreement between the Community of Madrid (Regional Board of Education, Universities, Science and Spokesperson´s Office) and the IMDEA Water Foundation for the direct granting of a grant of 1,135,000.00 euros to finance the performance of actions in the field of research on SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 disease financed with REACT-EU resources from the European Regional Development Fund.