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Investments in Belarus

Part of Belarus is located in the catchment area of the Baltic Sea. Nutrient loads from this part of the country end up in the Baltic Sea via three routes: The River Vistula, which runs through Poland, The River Neman, which runs through Lithuania and forms the border between Latvia and Kalingrad Region, and the River Daugava, which runs through Latvia. The wastewater treatment infrastructure of the country was built in the Soviet era, and in its current state, nutrients are not removed efficiently. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM has estimated that if nutrient removal efficiency was improved in Belarus, it could be possible to reduce the annual amount of phosphorus entering the Baltic Sea by over 1,000 tonnes.

Within PRESTO, three Belarusian water utilities of Grodno, Molodechno and Vitebsk invested in enhanced nutrient removal at their wastewater treatment plants. Additionally with PRESTO funding, the technical audit, investment plan and recommendations on how to enhance nutrient removal were conducted at the Baranovichi and Lida wastewater treatment plants. These proposed investments are ready for implementation in the future.

The Belarussian plants were constructed in 1960-70’s, and are designed to remove only suspended solids and organic, oxygen consuming matter (BOD) as well as microbial pollution from the wastewater. Still, to remove nutrients more efficiently chemical based treatment needs to be used in parallel with biological treatment. Since the chemical precipitation was not used for wastewater treatment in Belarus before, the PRESTO project and its predecessor, PURE, were designed so that the transfer of new technology was supported with intensive training of operators and future professionals.

All project investments were funded by the INTERREG IVB Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013 and project partners.

Grodno wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) overall spent budget was approx. 831 000 EUR. Following investments were implemented at the Grodno WWTP:

  • Renovation of sluice gates in two of the aeration blocks to enable wastewater feed in the beginning of each aeration line;
  • Implementation of A2O process for biological nutrient removal in one of the aeration blocks;
  • Replacement of aerators in one of the aeration blocks;
  • Implementation of flow-controlled chemical precipitation of phosphates using iron or aluminium salts.

The potential for phosphorus reduction at the Grodno WWTP was estimated up to 108 tons per year.

Molodechno wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) overall spent budget was 668 000 EUR. Following investments were implemented at the Molodechno wwtp:

  • Implementation of AO process in biological treatment lines;
  • Installation of on-line phosphorous and nitrogen measurement instruments to monitor the secondary effluent quality, and dissolved oxygen measurement instruments in aeration basins;
  • Implementation of flow-controlled chemical precipitation of phosphates using iron or aluminium salts.

The potential for phosphorus reduction at the Molodechno WWTP was estimated up to 36 tons per year.

Vitebsk wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) overall spent budget was 649 000 EUR. Following investments were implemented at the Vitebsk WWTP:

  • Implementation of pumping of primary treated wastewater to two of the bioblocks;
  • Procurement of new air blowers for the above mentioned bioblocks;
  • Implementation of flow-controlled chemical precipitation of phosphates using iron or aluminium salts.

The potential for phosphorus reduction at the Vitebsk WWTP plant was estimated to be up to 56 tons per year.

Detailed investment report can be downloaded here

Investments in Lithuania

Report “Saving the Baltic Sea – Investing in municipal wastewater treatment in Kaunas, Lithuania” describes the investments that were realized in the municipal WWTP in Kaunas as part of PRESTO projects implementation. Kaunas wastewater treatment plant was built in 1998 and currently the plant serves 375 000 persons in the Kaunas municipality area. After the start of the operation plant has focused on optimizations on treatment process and on its actions on reducing nutrient input to the river Neman and to the Baltic Sea. Investments implemented in the PRESTO project where part of the ongoing optimization process.

Investments in Latvia

The reconstruction of Daugavpils wastewater treatment plant was finished at 2009 when the technology of nitrogen and phosphorus removal was implemented and the sludge dewatering process was modernized. Currently treatment efficiency fully complies with the EU Urban wastewater directive and the stricter HELCOM recommendations. Nevertheless Daugavpils wastewater treatment plant, like so many other plants in the Baltic Sea region, has problems with handling of wastewater sludge. There is 80 thousand tons of sludge accumulated at the sludge fields that needs to be utilized. The first step for solving the problem was, within the PRESTO project, among other things to publish a tender for feasibility study for sludge handling. Report “Saving the Baltic Sea – Investing in municipal wastewater treatment in Daugavpils, Latvia” describes the investments that were realized in the municipal WWTP in Daugavpils as part of PRESTO projects implementation.

Technical Audits at Belarusian Wastewater Treatment Plants

Technical Audits at Belarusian partner WWTPs of PRESTO – Grodno, Molodechno, Vitebsk and Baranovichi – were conducted in 2012. The purpose of the audits was to check the current treatment processes of nutrient removal and evaluate the possibilities of achieving the HELCOM recommended level of Phosphorus concentration 0.5 mg / l in the outgoing water.

Technical Audits had been carried out by Finnish company Pöyry Oy, which was tendered by John Nurminen Foundation, and whose work was funded in the framework of PRESTO project by the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013.

All four audited WWTPs were constructed in 1960- 80s. Technological scheme of purification in urban wastewater treatment plants in those years did not foresee nutrient removal. Investments planned in the framework of Belarusian PRESTO, concentrated on improving the biological treatment of wastewater from nitrogen, and creating favorable conditions for phosphorus removal using chemical precipitation process. Eventually, WWTP of Baranovichi did not implement planned investments under PRESTO project.

Technical Audit Report of Baranovichi WWTP

Technical Audit Report of Grodno WWTP

Technical Audit Report of Moldechno WWTP

Technical Audit Report of Vitebsk WWTP

Additional Technical Audit Report of Lida WWTP – an associated partner of PRESTO project.