Reduction of losses and focus on reused water

BRK develops projects and initiatives to mitigate water risks for the business, with special focus on the control and reduction of losses, production and expansion of the use of reused water, water quality and effluents and strategic projects for operational efficiency.

One of the highlights is Aquapolo, which provides 650 liters/second of reused water by contract to the Petrochemical Complex in the ABC Paulista region. BRK Ambiental is also the pioneer in Brazil in the use of Nereda technology. Developed in the Netherlands, the system with aerobic granular biomass offers a series of advantages compared to the more traditional methods adopted in the sector, mainly because it eliminates the use of chemical products in the sewage treatment process.

 

Case Aquapolo
Aquapolo is the largest undertaking for the production of industrial reuse water in South America, and the fifth largest on the planet. The result of a partnership between BRK Ambiental and SABESP (Basic Sanitation Company of the State of São Paulo), it supplies 650 liters/second of reused water to the Petrochemical Complex in the ABC Paulista region. This is equivalent to supplying a city of 500,000 inhabitants, such as Santos, for example.

A modern and sustainable project, Aquapolo is capable of producing 1,000 liters/second of reused water, using the most advanced and complex technological processes in existence. For every liter of water produced in its facilities, another liter of potable water is saved.

Highly mechanized, the work carried out by Aquapolo begins at Sabesp's Pumping Stations, which pump sewage to the ABC ETE. In these places, sensors were inserted that determine the level of toxicity of the load that will reach the ETE in the short term. After the treatment process, the flow that would be destined to the Córrego dos Meninos (watercourse where the water is sent after treatment at the ETE) would be 2,000 liters/second. The Aquapolo, however, diverts 650 liters/second for its operation.

The parameters and quality of the water that must be achieved at the end of the entire process were determined by the Petrochemical Complex itself, which uses it to clean cooling towers and boilers, mainly. , which leaves São Paulo and passes through the municipalities of São Caetano do Sul and Santo André, until it reaches a distribution tower in Capuava, Mauá, where the Polo is located. From there, a 3.6 km distribution network delivers water to each customer. The water main was designed to allow for derivations, making it possible to serve potential customers present along its route.

NEREDA: Operational efficiency case

BRK Ambiental is the pioneer in Brazil in the use of NEREDA™ technology. Developed in the Netherlands, the system with aerobic granular biomass offers a series of advantages compared to the more traditional methods adopted in the sector, mainly because it eliminates the use of chemical products in the sewage treatment process.

In addition, NEREDA also reduces operation and maintenance costs, consuming less energy and physical space during its deployment. The technology consists of the use of a sequential reactor, which is capable of carrying out unitary processes such as sewage entry, aeration and decantation in just one tank. This is possible because the technology adopted creates a granular sludge, which is very different from the flocculent material obtained in more conventional processes such as activated sludge. NEREDA considerably reduces investment (CAPEX) and operating (OPEX) costs in the implementation of sewage treatment stations.

The technology uses areas up to 25% smaller in the project and does not require the construction, separately, of primary and secondary decanters, anoxic and aerobic chambers, among other advantages. Operating costs are also lower, as energy consumption is up to 50% lower and no chemicals are used in the process.

Currently, NEREDA is already in use in the cities of Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and Rio Claro (SP). In Rio de Janeiro, the concessionaire Zona Oeste Mais Saneamento, formed by the companies BRK Ambiental and Grupo Águas do Brasil, inaugurated in 2016 the ETE Deodoro (Sewage Treatment Station) to take care of effluents from 22 neighborhoods in the region.

With a capacity to serve 430,000 people, the station, located in the Deodoro neighborhood, is the largest within the Planning Area 5 (AP5) sanitation concession and uses NEREDA technology as a treatment system. Under full working capacity, 65 million liters of sewage are no longer discharged daily into Guanabara Bay – equivalent to the sewage collected and treated in the city of Niterói.

In Rio Claro, last year BRK Ambiental inaugurated the ETE Jardim Novo. Built on an area of more than 50,000 meters, the Jardim Novo ETE receives sewage from a region of 65,000 people and has the capacity to treat up to 272 liters of sewage per second.

With a high level of automation and full-time monitoring, ETE Jardim Novo has already received and treated 6.6 billion liters of sewage since it started operating. This means the same volume as 2,640 Olympic-sized swimming pools or more than 13 million 500-liter residential water tanks. The operation of the ETE has already made it possible to recover and de-pollute one of the springs that cut through the city, the Córrego da Servidão.

Other BRK Ambiental units are in the design and construction phase in the country, in the cities of Sumaré (SP) and Araguaína (TO). The partnership with the Dutch company Royal HaskoningDHV also foresees the transfer of technology for the use of the system by BRK Ambiental in Brazil.

Currently, NEREDA technology is already present in 10 Sewage Treatment Plants located in Holland, Portugal and South Africa. At the same time, in addition to Brazil, plants with NEREDA technology are being developed in Australia, United Kingdom, Poland, France, Germany, in addition to new stations in Portugal and South Africa.

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