AUA Acopian Center for the Environment Participates in EU-Funded Black Sea Regional Workshop in Tbilisi on Natural Treatment Systems for Wastewater   

TBILISI, Georgia – On September 24 and 25, 2015, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment (ACE)’s Tatevik Vardanyan and Liana Margaryan, as part of a six-member delegation from Armenia, participated in a Black Sea Regional technical seminar entitled “Introducing Natural Treatment Systems and Constructed Wetlands as a Viable Alternative for Wastewater Treatment of Small Communities” in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The Armenian delegation also included Eduard Mesropyan and Vahram Mkrtchyan of “JINJ” Water Engineering Consultants, Arevik Hovsepyan of Country Water Partnership NGO, and Artak Mkrtumyan of Parakar Municipality.

Ms. Hovsepyan presented on “Wastewater Treatment Problems and Progress in Armenia,” while Mr. Mkrtumyan discussed “The Problems of Construction and Operation of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants—Example of Parakar Community.”

Natural treatment systems, such as constructed wetlands or artificial lagoons, are engineered systems that replicate the way nature cleanses water. They are lower in cost, both in construction and maintenance, when compared with conventional wastewater treatment systems.

The seminar was the concluding event for the EU-funded Black Sea Cross Border Cooperation program’s WASTEnet project that started in July 2013. The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment is the Armenian partner on this project, which includes partners from seven Black Sea countries—Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine.

The attendees discussed the current status of wastewater treatment in the region; legislation and regulation of the sector in different countries; technical aspects of natural treatment systems; and shared their experiences regarding the challenges during construction of wetlands and obstacles to overcome during operation of such systems.  For more information on the project visit: http://www.waste-net.info/.

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (AUA ACE) is a research center of the American University of Armenia. AUA ACE promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. AUA ACE’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment.

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WasteNet project members attending the meeting in Tbilisi