Clean water
Treatment of natural radioactivity in water for human consumption
Environmental sustainability
Reduction of environmental impact and GHG emissions
European LIFE project
Development of 3 pilot plants in Spain and 1 pilot plant in Estonia
Dissemination project results
Development a network on sustainable radioactivity treatment

Towards a smart & integral treatment of natural radioactivity in water provision services

LIFE ALCHEMIA addresses one of the current challenges of water for human consumption such as the presence of natural radioactivity. There is a considerable lack of knowledge by the actors involved and it can be stated that, despite the current legislation (Directive 2013/51/Euratom), radioactivity is not systematically monitored at European level. Indeed, this is an environmental problem that cannot be solved at source, as it is generated by the groundwater dilution of minerals rich in radioactive isotopes, mainly from uranium (U), radium (Ra) and thorium (Th) series. Therefore, new systems able to provide sustainable removal of radioactivity from a cost-effectiveness point of view are needed. Reverse osmosis (RO) is the most commonly treatment used for this application; however carbon footprint of this process is very high and generates large volumes of water rejection with radioactivity that needs further treatment. LIFE ALCHEMIA offers a breakthrough in this problem from two angles. First, with the use of removal systems based on bed filters, which will reduce up to five times the cost of the water purification. Moreover, the whole life cycle of the radioactivity will be considered, including the management of the waste generated.

To demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of bed filters that will be optimized to remove radioactivity from water and to minimize the generation of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) exceeding the exemption level...
The structure of the project ensures its successful implementation, since there is an effective interaction between the activities foreseen. The duration of the project will be 39 months, starting on 02/10/2017 and ending on 31/12/2020...
In quantitative terms, LIFE ALCHEMIA will lead to the following results: 4 filter-based pilot plants will provide removal rates of gross alpha and beta activity up to 90%, and reductions in the concentrations of specific radionuclides (U and Ra) between 75% and 90%...

Improving drinking water quality

Building a sustainable future

Project news

Latest activity in LIFE ALCHEMIA

Countdown for the start-up of the pilot plants in Almería

The first steps for the installation of the pilot plants in Almería have already been carried out We keep going […]

Dissemination talk in Gádor college, Almería (Spain)

Our partner José Luis Casas from Ciesol gave a talk in the Gádor college, Almería (Spain), on last February 8th, […]

Start-up the pilot plant at the drinking water treatment plant in Viimsi (Estonia)

Last October, the Estonian pilot plant (Demo) was started at the Viimsi Water Treatment Plant, thus initiating the tasks of […]

The LIFE ALCHEMIA project has been presented at the 1st ENA (European NORM Association) international workshop

Our partners from University of Tartu (Estonia) have attended the 1st ENA workshop organized by Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, […]

LIFE ALCHEMIA will participate in the 1st ENA (European NORM Association) workshop

The 1st ENA workshop organized by Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity, Central Mining Institute and IAF-Radioökologie GmbH, will be held […]

Publication on Open Access Government

Open Access Government is a digital publication that provides an in-depth perspective on key public policy areas from all around the […]


NORM reduction percentage generated during the elimination of radioactivity


Cost reduction percentage in water treatment


Alpha and beta reduction percentage radioactivity in pilot plants


Environmental impact reduction percentage


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DWTP Database

Get access to our database of drinking water treatment plants (DWTP) that treat water with natural radioactivity in Europe