Moldova is struggling with a sludge problem, a big black hole containing inter alia pathogens, microplastics, pharmaceuticals, hormones, microfibers, and toxins. In Moldova, an overall majority of the sewage sludge is still being illegally dumped, causing leakages into soil and waters. Unfortunately, the proper deactivation and upcycling of the sewage sludge exceeds the financial capacities of the Local Authorities in Moldova, compounded by the amount of the sludge. This is not safe as it couldn’t be used directly as a fertilizer. This problem can be solved by implementing PROTE-MOS: a technology that will significantly reduce the amount of sewage sludge. A pilot of smart and versatile sewage treatment in Moldova will be implemented through the project entitled “PROTE-MOS: Ecosystem Neutral Excess Sludge Minimization Tech for Moldova”.

Together with AMPELOS-PLUS and Congress of Local Authorities in Moldova, this project aims to adjust and transfer a Polish bio-industrial water treatment patented know-how. This project will pilot and mainstream a smart and versatile sewage treatment in Moldova to curb the amount of unwanted waste with PROTE-MOS. PROTE-MOS doesn’t require investment in hardware or infrastructure at the plant and it does not interfere with the design of the sewage treatment plant. It is universal and applicable to the majority of biological WasteWater Treatment Plants (WWTPs). It creates optimal conditions for micro-flora and intensifies its metabolism right in the bioreactors.

Supported by the Polish Challenge Fund, this project will be implemented in Moldova from October 2021 to September 2022. The project will bring substantial financial savings to local wastewater treatment plants’ owners and operators stemming from the reduction of the amount of sewage sludge, and a mirroring cut in operational expenses of the WWTPs, as well as environmental benefits resulting from the improvement of the quality of effluent and reduced WWTP’s negative impact on the environment, including lower power consumption and reduced carbon footprint.

Polish Challenge Fund has the objective to facilitate the transfer of the Polish know-how, technology, and innovative solutions in the area of green technologies and ICT to partner countries of Polish Aid such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The transfer is to help to address complex development challenges in those countries, while contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Polish Challenge Fund, with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.