Residents of the Santa Cruz Wastewater Station (WWTP) in the Buenos Aires neighborhood yesterday received first-hand information on the progress of the treatment plant expansion work, which, according to the representative of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, responsible for the work, although it is delayed due to COVID, will be delivered within the scheduled time, which is none other than June 2023. This was explained to DIARIO DE AVISOS by the councilor for Public Services of Santa Cruz, Guillermo Díaz Guerra, who also attended the meeting, together with those responsible for the companies that carry out the work, Emmasa, and the councilor for the Salud-La Salle district, Carlos Tarife.
“The impression that we get is good, because they have given all kinds of details and have promised that, despite the delay that some parts of the work are carrying, which we estimate between four and 12 months, they ensure that they will comply with the planned schedule. ”, Diaz Guerra explained. Among the milestones that the capital values the most is the commitment that, after finishing the work, the treated water will have the same quality as the irrigation water thanks to the application of new technologies.
Regarding the planned schedule, they pointed out that “all the civil works of the Cabo Llanos pumping station are already completed, only the interior installations and the roof remain to be installed, and they calculate that it will be completed in April 2023.” This would be the most delayed part, according to the schedule estimated by the City Council, since it should have started just when the state of alarm was decreed, so the delays it accumulates are more than 10 months.
As for the pipes to carry wastewater from the pumping station to the treatment plant, “the work begins next month.” In this case, the estimated delay is about seven months, although the Ministry insists that the planned deadlines will be met.
Regarding the treatment plant in the Buenos Aires industrial estate, “the Ministry’s forecast is that, even if it is finished before, it can be delivered in June 2023, a sealed indoor facility, closed, which will only open its doors for entry and exit of trucks”, explained Díaz Guerra. In addition, they explained that “the facilities are going to have negative pressure. This means that they are going to have a continuous intake of air so that when the door is opened, odors will be prevented from escaping”, added the first deputy mayor.
They pointed out from the Ministry that the technology to be used is the latest on the market, the so-called MBR, a combination of membranes. “They detailed to us that with this type of instrument the dispersion capacity of water pollutants will be greatly increased,” said the mayor of Public Services. “It has caught their attention -continued Díaz Guerra- that the pollutant load of wastewater in the Canary Islands in general is much higher than that of the Peninsula. They believe that it is due to the fact that a more rational use of water is made on the Islands, so that the pollutants are less diluted in the water that goes through the sewers. That has forced them to oversize the treatment plant”.
Neighbors expressed concern about the smells and noises that they have been enduring for 15 years. The company responsible for the work assured that there is a monitoring plan for both odors and noise, as well as to guarantee the quality of the water that can be poured into the sea, “which will have a treatment that makes it practically to irrigate because the quality will be very similar thanks to the subsequent treatment given to it”.
According to what they assured, Díaz Guerra explained, “the objective is that all the water that comes out of the treatment plant can be used for irrigation and limit discharges to the sea except in exceptional situations, and even what is discharged would have a quality equivalent to irrigation water ” . In practice, this means that the contamination of the environment would be much lower than what is currently taking place due to the obsolete nature of the facilities.
With these premises, the mayor of Public Services recognized that the impression he got from the progress of the work was positive: “When they assure us that the deadlines will be met, or that the latest technologies will be used, with reduction to maximum noise and odours, and that it will have a treatment equivalent to hazardous water, I admit that, for the moment, we are very satisfied and very happy”.