Five-year-old Wally has built a wastewater treatment plant with Lego. Watch him explain how it works.
Five-year-old Wally has built a wastewater treatment plant with Lego. Watch him explain how it works.
Costa Rica’s state water utility AyA will invest US$270mn to start treating the 2,800l/s of wastewater currently produced in the greater metropolitan area in and around capital San José, local paper La Nación reported.
The project involves the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the sewerage networks in nine municipalities in San José and one in Cartago province. A total of 360km of secondary pipelines will be installed and four trunk sewers will be repaired.
A wastewater treatment plant will also be built in the La Uruca municipality.
A US$17.4mn tender to carry out studies and draw up the master plan for the underground network was awarded to a consortium formed by Japanese NJS and the French firm Sogreah on January 22.
Pending contracts include the construction of the underground network and for the wastewater treatment plant. Two Spanish firms and a French firm are participating in the tender process to build the plant, the report said.
The initiative is being financed with a US$130mn loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Another US$140mn will be provided from the country’s own resources.
Upon completion in 2015, wastewater produced by the 1mn people living in the San José municipalities of Desamparados, Goicoechea, Alajuelita, Vázquez de Coronado, Tibás, Moravia, Montes de Oca, Curridabat and Central will be treated. La Unión municipality will also benefit.
Currently, wastewater from these municipalities is disposed of without treatment in the rivers Torres, María Aguilar, Rivera and Tiribí.
Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 25 Jan 2010
Although levels of wastewater treatment are still quite low in Latin America compared to developed countries, notable progress has been made over recent years and opportunities abound, according to the January BNamericas infrastructure intelligence series report . Some Latin American countries have managed to reach wastewater treatment levels of over 80%.
Historically a low priority in comparison to water capturing and distribution, wastewater treatment is finally making it onto the agenda of the region’s biggest economies.
Attractive markets for investors include Mexico, Brazil and Peru, where governments are promoting public works programs not only to increase potable water and sanitation coverage, but also to clean up and preserve resources.
At the same time, the effects of climate change are causing drought throughout the region, prompting authorities to worry more about their dwindling resources. The need to reduce pollution levels in rivers, lakes and along the coast has wastewater treatment plans in full swing.
The Peruvian government is actively looking for private sector investment and a plan to raise wastewater treatment from the current 15% to 100% by 2015 is underway. In addition, last year the national standards for water quality were approved, setting new levels for treated wastewater.
Meanwhile, in Mexico authorities have set the goal of treating 60% of wastewater by 2012 and recently awarded a tender to build one of the largest wastewater treatment plants of its kind in the world, Atotonilco.
Brazil, on the other hand, has been making slow progress. Despite government investments of 4.5bn reais (US$2.5bn) a year over the last three years, only 32% of collected sewage is currently treated. Experts agree that the only way to revert this situation is by handing over more concessions to the private sector.
 Stok, G. (2010). Wastewater treatment makes it onto the agenda (Intelligence series). Santiago, Chile Business News Americas. Order details and summary (price US$ 239).
Source: Greta Bourke, BNamericas.com [subscription site], 20 Jan 2010
Honduran national water authority Sanaa may reject the EU’s donation of a wastewater treatment plant for capital Tegucigalpa due to faults in its design and construction, Sanaa director Jack Arévalo told BNamericas.
“The plant does not fulfill the expectations specified in the contract,” Arévalo said.
“It has several flaws, mainly in its design,” Arévalo added.
The wastewater treatment plant was designed by an Italian firm and built by an Italian-Honduran consortium, and was financed by a 26.7mn-euro (US$38.9mn) donation from the EU, according to Arévalo.
The plant has still not been officially received by Honduran authorities, as the project, which began in 2007, is still not complete. Sanaa expects the plant is to be finished by mid-2010.
An inspection carried out recently revealed that the plant is currently working at 35% of its total capacity. Although not complete, the plant should be capable of working at 100% capacity, Arévalo said.
Located in the San José de la Vega district, the plant is expected to treat 20% of Tegucigalpa’s wastewater, and serve some 200,000 inhabitants.
Source: Indiana Corrales, BNamericas.com [subscription site], 16 Dec 2009
Nicaraguan national water and sewerage utility Enacal needs to invest some 120mn córdobas (US$5.78mn) to repair and remodel 25 wastewater treatment plants throughout the country in 2010, local paper La Prensa reported.
The repairs and upgrades are required to avoid a collapse of the sanitation system in several departments. In some cases, the plants have received no maintenance work over the last 10 years, according to Enacal head Ruth Selma Herrera.
The initiatives are included in Enacal’s 2010 investment plan. However, the utility currently lacks the resources to carry out the works, and is requesting financing from several international organizations and cooperation funds.
Enacal has presented its plan to Japanese organizations and IDB, and hopes to receive a loan or donation as soon as possible, the report said.
Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 16 Dec 2009
The Asian Development Bank is helping to fund the [Greater Colombo Sewerage System] project to improve wastewater disposal in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo under which only treated effluent will be discharged into the sea. The 135 million dollar project covers the Colombo municipal area as well as suburbs to the north and south of the city. Defunct wastewater treatment plants at the two outlets to the sea will be replaced with modern treatment plants under the project.
The project is being handled by the state-owned National Water Supply and Drainage Board, and the Colombo municipal council.
Source: Lanka Business Online, 21 Oct 2008
The special environment commission of Costa Rica’s legislative assembly approved a bill exempting wastewater treatment plants from paying taxes as a means to mitigate contamination and improve the quality of national water resources. The bill also declares wastewater treatment “a matter of national interest.”
Implementation of the bill is being coordinated by the finance ministry and Costa Rican aqueducts and sewerage institute AyA.
Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 30 Jun 2008
Peru’s government has declared a 60-day state of emergency in the sewerage system in capital Lima and neighboring Callao, to speed up repairs and new construction works. The executive decree will allow the La Perla pipeline to start operations, in spite of the local population’s protests; works to stabilise the retaining walls of the San Miguel pipeline; works to reduce the smell of the sewage; and once La Perla is working, authorities will close the interceptor norte pipeline for repairs. Additional works will include construction of a jetty to guide an underwater pipeline that will connect the San Miguel and La Perla ducts. The wastewater will receive biological pre-treatment before its disposal on the coast.
The emergency situation in Lima’s sewerage network was provoked by state-owned water utility Sedapal‘s inability to prevent the collapse of the Costanero sewage pipeline, in San Miguel district, in February 2008. The pipeline channels sewage from almost 24 districts in Lima and, since its collapse, the sewage is being dumped directly onto the beach. Sedapal has been accused of poor management by spending money on badly planned new wastewater projects and did not investing in improving the treatment plants that were already in operation.
Earlier, the president of national environmental council Conam, Manuel Bernales, said that a remediation plan to solve the pollution of Lima’s coastal waters by untreated wastewater, required an investment of about US$ 1 billion. The plan would be based on the wastewater treatment and reuse of part of the treated effluent to irrigate public areas.
Hetauda: The Water Treatment Plant, constructed two years ago by Environment Area Assistance Programme (ESPS)* with financial aid worth Rs. 550 million from the Danish Government, is not in full operation. Only 15 per cent capacity of the treatment plant is under operation as some of the big industries producing wastewater in the industrial area are closed and some industries have not constructed underground sewerage to send their wastewater in the plant. Most of the industries connected with the plant produce little wastewater.
Read more: Kantipur / NGO Forum, 23 Apr 2008
* “Environment Sector Programme Support (ESPS) came to an end on 30 June 2005 as the government to goverment agreement expired. However, Danida confirmed its support for the operation and maintenance of Waste Treatment Plant (WWTP) and Air Quality Management (AQM) Components of ESPS in a sliding scale of 70%, 50% and 30% for their sustainability for the period of three years i.e. until February 2009″. [Source: Embassy of Denmark, Kathamandu]
Villagers of the small fishing town of Vunisinu, Fiji were at a mad scramble to find out why their catch was diminishing by the day, only to discover that the causes were of their own making. Household wastewater pollution, over-fishing, and mangrove destruction were pushing the sea’s resources to its limits. What prompt actions did Vunisinu residents engineer to stop the destruction of their environment and source of livelihood?