Resilient sewer systems through sewer sociology

2021-06-29 17:33:50

The city of Barcelona and its citizens envision the city to continue being a digital global benchmark to other cities by linking innovation to social and economic justice, solidarity, ethics and gender equality by promoting the interests of its citizens (The Barcelona City Council Digital Plan). 

Barcelona is part of the 100 Resilient Cities project and is currently shaping its strategy to enhance resilience through the Climate Plan of Barcelona. SCOREwater contributes to the enhancement of resilience by collecting new data which allows faster and better-informed decisions. The Barcelona case within SCOREwater will bring together technology and imagination to allow new means of decision making in cities. 

Deployment of the monitoring station 

One of the main developments in the past year is the deployment of the three monitoring stations across three different neighbourhoods within Barcelona: Poblenou, St. Gervasi and Carmel. The three neighbourhoods were carefully selected based on many criteria. Such as making sure that there are no hospitals, and not too many restaurants or other food services in the sampling area. This in order to be able to focus on wastewater derived from residential life and ultimately to ensure the comparability of the data amongst stations. Though the neighbourhoods are comparable, they differ in one important aspect: the average household income. Time will tell if the wastewater of these neighbourhoods will provide us with discernible differences between the neighbourhoods, for now we just started the measurements. 


  • Gathering information from sewage about pharmaceuticals consumption  
  • Gathering information from sewage about citizens’ waste management practices by measuring the presence of oils, greases and wet wipes passing in the sewer. 
  • Better understanding of the consequences of non-adequate habits of citizens (antibiotic resistance propagation through sewers, sewer sediments accumulation and bad odours) 
  • Using the power of digital tools (sensors and artificial intelligence) to enhance the maintenance of sewer systems 
  • Raising public awareness about the importance of adequate lifestyle habits and waste management practices 


Having clear goals is the first step, the second one being …

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This is a preview of the full article published in the SCOREwater booklet dealing with the second year of the project. Among other things you will find: an update on the Amersfoort, Barcelona and Göteborg case study, links to interesting webinars and (scientific) publications, and many more! You can request the full publication here: