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Full Title

IWA-10748-Poster_Vallvidrera WWTP_Optimization of a Membrane Biological Reactor


IWA Regional Conference on Membrane Technology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

R. Estany*, P. Aguiló**, R. Brown***

Vallvidrera and Sant Feliu WWTP.

Metropolitan Organization of Water and Sanitation (EMSSA),

Sant Feliu del Llobregat 08980,


restany@emssa.com ;




The original Vallvidrera WWTP, built in 1974, is located in a natural fragile and very sensitive environment. Its effluent discharges to a stream, in the Collserola Mountain Range, declared Natural Park by the Government in 2010 (Decree (RD) 146/2010, 19th of October). The protection of this stream is essential; since it is the only permanent water course in the mountain range. Due to the legislation changes and the increased population connected to the plant a completely new installation was projected. Due to lack of space a compact installation was needed, and as such Membrane Biological Reactor (MBR) technology was chosen.

The MBR was commissioned in 2009 with a treatment capacity of 1.100m3/day (290.600 US gallons per day) designed to produce a high quality effluent. The required limits for the effluent from the MBR plant are SS<8mg/l, BOD5<8mg/l, NT<15mgN/l and Turbidity <2 NTU

The main advantages of MBR technology are the production of consistently high quality effluent, which can even be reused according to RD1620/2007, and the smaller footprint required. The main disadvantages are the increased complexity of their management, operation and maintenance, compared to a conventional activated sludge treatment, with its increased costs; the necessity of a stringent pre-treatment due to the fragility of the membranes; and the increase in power consumption. This work is based on the experience managing and operating a MBR plant in a sensible area. During three years of operation, several changes were made to improve the process and energy efficiency, many of them motivated by the problems encountered during these years.


IWA-10748-PosterVallvidreraWWTP.pdf 453.82 Kb application/pdf
Created by RUT ESTANY on 2013/02/25 16:18

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