Optimization of Aqsur’s water treatment plants in …

The South Atlantic Waters ESP (Aqsur) is currently available Optimizing its water treatment plants in the Department of Atlántico Sur. The ongoing project, which began over four years ago, is being rolled out in a partnership between the multinationals Idrica (Aguas de Valencia) and Naunet (Saur).

The project started with a preliminary assessment of the operating conditions of each plant through visits and verification of operating parameters. Aqsur has five conventional plants in the municipalities of Luruaco, Repelón, Campo de la Cruz, Santa Lucía and Manatí, and two compact plants in the cities of Compuertas and Rotinet.

This differ in their process units (flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection) and in their supply sources, “which made it necessary to monitor operations individually,” it says Alfredo Castro, production manager of Idrica Colombia.

The inflow quantities, the concentration, dosage and quantity of chemical products as well as the quality attributes with regard to pH value, colour, turbidity and the presence of chlorine in the water were evaluated. Similar, The operating conditions of each plant were checked according to the water intake conditions, pumping hours and total output.

According to Castro, the three main measures taken to optimize these water treatment plants were the review of the technological and technical operation of the infrastructure, the optimization of chemical dosing parameters and the continuous training of personnel. “In order for systems to function properly, the operators must be prepared. This requires constant trainingincluding hands-on workshops to help those in charge make good decisions, apply the concepts learned, and even suggest ideas for improvement,” Castro pointed out.

Operational savings and improved water access and quality

In economic and financial terms Plant operating costs have been reduced by 32% per month in the municipality of Repelón and by 20% in Luruaco. Similarly, operational savings of up to 42% per month have been estimated at Manatí through the implementation of the proposed measures.

The project has also significantly increased the number of users joining the main water supply network, from 16,653 in 2018 to 24,404 in July 2022, an increase of 46.5%. Access to the main sewer system has also increased from 4,349 users to 11,438, which corresponds to a growth rate of 264%.

In 2018, access to running water and sanitation in these seven communities was 69% for tap water and 19% for sewerage. Currently, these indicators are 99% and 47%, respectively. This equates to a 30% improvement in access to potable water and a 29% increase in sewer connections.

Originally, these communities had access to running water for four to a maximum of 12 hours a day, but the average was less than six hours a day. But through the improvements Campo de la Cruz, Santa Lucía and Luruaco now have 24-hour running water.

Efficient and sustainable drinking water treatment is the key to water resource management

“Achievement of the targets for access to drinking water has been demonstrated the need to generate solutions that ensure efficient and sustainable water treatment processesas part of an integrated water resource management,” concluded Alfredo Castro, Production Manager at Idrica Colombia.

Water is the key to the economic and social growth of countries. For this reason, various international organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations have emphasized that utilities must make the necessary investments and interventions strengthen their ability to provide safe and sustainable drinking water. “These interventions must be accompanied by measures to promote water efficiency and improve water allocation” (World Bank, 2021).

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