The CWP organises a conference on the life cycle of the WWTP and addressing its future challenges

On June 19, the conference “WWW 360º was held. From the construction to the operation of WWTP, sludge management and review of the new regulatory changes” organized with the support of the Consorci Besòs Tordera and with the aim of exploring its life cycle and all those areas that they affect.

Xavier Amores, director del CWP

The conference provided a holistic view of WWTPs, accommodating all phases and areas of impact. Thus, it began with a welcome by Xavier Amores, director of the CWP, and Albert Solà, manager of the Consorci Besòs Tordera, who gave the opening speech under the name “New challenges, new illusions ” where he emphasized that “the current and future challenges of the sector are framed by the climate crisis in which we are immersed: drought and regeneration”. Then, the first block of the session was focused on the challenges and new regulatory context. There was a presentation by Irene Morante, head of the sanitation and purification area of ​​the Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico, who emphasized that “the revision of the regulations is based on 3 key aspects: address remaining pollution, overcome new challenges and improve governance”. Afterwards, Marc Moliner, head of the department of strategy and regulation of the wastewater treatment area of ​​the Agència Catalana de l’Aigua, also touched on this regulation where he said that “the challenges of the sector have to do with the drought, which affects the environment and supply, regulations, sludge management but also recruitment and talent“.

In the second block of presentations, the design and construction of WWTPs were addressed, where you could listen to the presentations of Oscar Soria, head of projects and customer manager of ABM‘s sanitation and supply area, Emma Parpal , manager of Aquatec‘s urban technical office and Miguel Rodriguez, delegate of Catalonia from Alsina. The third block revealed success stories and experiences related to the maintenance and operation of WWTPs, including sludge management, where the participants were Lucía Fernández, assistant director of sanitation at Aigües de Catalunya, Olga Herrero, technical director at Ciclagua, Jordi Palatsi, head of the Lleida WWTP plant from Aqualia and Elvira Cesar head of operation and maintenance at Sorigué.

After the presentations, future challenges in the management of WWTPs were discussed in a round table. This was moderated by Andreu Iglesias, director of engineering, operation and maintenance of Sorigué and with the participation of Marc Moliner, head of the department of strategy and regulation of the wastewater treatment area of ​​the Agència Catalan de l’Aigua, Xesco Granés, sanitation director of Aigües de Catalunya, Emma Parpal, head of Aquatec‘s urban water technical office, Pere Aguiló, operations director of the Consorci Besós Tordera and Jordi Palatsi, head of the Lleida WWTP plant from Aqualia. In the round table, opinions and points of view could be exchanged on the paradigm shift in the management of sanitation systems, going from treating and purifying water to return it to the environment in the best possible state, to being global systems capable of producing valuable resources, energy, contributing to the mitigation of climate change, detection of new pollutants, etc. It requires the collaboration of all levels of the sector, fixing the talent and improving the mechanisms to do so.

Round table participants (from left to right): Emma Parpal (Aquatech), Xesco Granés (Aigües de Catalunya), Marc Moliner (ACA), Pere Aguiló (Consorci Besòs Tordera), Jordi Palatsi (Aqualia), Andreu Iglesias (Sorigué)

To end the day, a pitch was held on innovative technologies and R&D projects focused on the theme of the day. First, the BIODAPH2O project was presented, which consists of the treatment of waste water with a technology based on nature, presented by Victòria Salvadó, professor at the University of Girona. Secondly, the AtmosphAIr project, consisting of the study of the generation, prediction and minimization of atmospheric pollutants in WWTPs using artificial intelligence, presented by Adrià Luque, software engineer from SPIN. Thirdly, the uses of digital twins for the management of EDAR, with Albert Mestre, CEO and co-founder of Intemic. Finally, solvent-free flocculants to save or revalue WWTP sludge: HIMLOC Technology, with Guillem Solé, commercial director of Derypol.

The day brought together more than 130 experts in the water purification sector in the municipal sector and it was possible to contrast opinions and visions regarding the implementation of the new regulations as well as the future challenges of the sector.

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