Alpine resort leads the way in wastewater treatment

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Courtesy of Air Products

One of the world’s most popular ski resorts, Courchevel in the French Alps, has introduced an innovative wastewater treatment system to manage the sharp increase in capacity needed during the winter months.

During the winter months, the population of Courchevel triples and the traditional aerated wastewater treatment system at nearby Bozel was finding it difficult to meet demand. The local authority, the Syndicat Intercommunal d’Assainissement de la Vanoise (SIAV), was developing a brand new purification plant to serve the area, but needed an interim solution.

Working with Air Products, SIAV chose an advanced wastewater treatment and management solution, known as the OXY-DEP® VSA system, that uses pure oxygen as part of an enhanced aeration process to improve efficiency. As well as significantly increasing the facility’s capacity, the system was easy to install as an upgrade, without the need to drain down treatment tanks.

By using pure oxygen in place of air to aerate the wastewater, the system provides increased capacity due to the faster rate of oxygen dissolution. With two 5.5kW mixer-oxygenators, the enhanced system is capable of reducing oxygen demand by as much as 875kg a day; a population equivalent of over 14,000.

Samy Sablayrolles, Air Products’ environmental project engineer, comments:

“Courchevel and the surrounding villages provided us with an extreme case study for our OXY-DEP® VSA system. Not only does the wastewater treatment facility at Bozel experience massive variations in demand, the climactic conditions and in particular the cold temperatures make conditions challenging for the operation of a biological wastewater treatment plant. The system has proved successful on all counts.”

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