IWA Publishing

Reclaimed water for the Tarragona petrochemical park

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The Camp de Tarragona Water Reuse Project is an emblematic example of how regional water scarcity can be overcome by considering reclaimed secondary effluent, which would otherwise be disposed of in the Mediterranean Sea, as an essential component of integrated water resources management. An advanced water reclamation plant (AWRP) was completed in 2011 to reclaim municipal secondary effluent from Tarragona and Vilaseca-Salou wastewater treatment plants. The reclaimed effluent is used for cooling and process water at the nearby Tarragona petrochemical park. The AWRP's current (2014) capacity is 19,000 m3/d (Phase I), and further expansions are planned to produce 29,000 m3/d (Phase II) and 55,000 m3/d (Phase III) in coming years. This locally available additional water supply will replace surface water supplies currently transferred from the Ebro River for use at the petrochemical park; as a result, an equivalent volume of surface water will be available for urban water supply in the coastal areas of Tarragona province. By developing this new and locally available water supply source, industrial growth in a water scarce region has been supported, while promoting local industry's sustainability. This industrial water reuse project provided 0.20 hm3 of water from September to December 2012, its first operational year, and 1.37 hm3 in 2013. The paper presents and discusses the planning, design, construction and operation phases of this water reclamation and reuse project, including start-up and commissioning, facilities preservation protocols from construction completion to servicing start-up, and the operational, management and economic arrangements adopted to provide a reliable source of reclaimed water for cooling water systems and demineralized water for boiler feed at the Tarragona petrochemical park and a nearby cogeneration power plant.

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