Scottish Water are using earthworms and water fleas to treat waste water as part of an international study to protect and improve resources across the globe.
The year-long pilot is currently being rolled out in the small rural community of Littlemill, near Nairn, after being selected based on its size, remote location and exposure to the Scottish climate.
Officials feel the community is the “perfect place” to test the reliability and adaptability of the technology.
Project Manager Anna Baran from Scottish Water’s Research and Innovation Team said: “This is a really exciting project for us to be part of and has the potential to have a real impact on the way waste water is dealt with around the world. The technology we are trialling basically replicates a process which happens naturally within soil but we are using it to clean waste water.
She added: “The objective of the project is to provide a decentralised, ecological waste water treatment for use in rural communities like Littlemill, as well as industries such as agriculture and aquaculture.”
The EU funded project is currently being trialled in 11 different countries including Scotland, measuring the effectiveness of earthworms, water fleas and microalgae as a potential method to treat waste water.
The project will be run alongside the company’s existing treatment plant to ensure the local environment continues to be protected.