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Startup Challenges Met for Award-Winning 41-mgd Wastewater Treatment Plant in Medellín, Colombia

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The Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EEPPM) in Colombia, South America, is embarking on a major program for environmental enhancement for the City of Medellín. The San Fernando Wastewater Treatment Plant is the first major plant to be constructed in the program. The sophisticated 41 m3/s plant features primary and secondary treatment. Solids processes include egg-shaped anaerobic digestion and centrifuges for both thickening and dewatering. The plant has received national awards in both the United States and Colombia for the concept, design, and scope.

Construction on the plant began in December 1996 and partial startup occurred in December 1999. This paper describes the planning for startup of the San Fernando Wastewater Treatment Plant and the results of startup of the wastewater and solids handling facilities. Planning included training for the operations and maintenance staff, preparation of a Web-based on-line operation and maintenance manual, development of staff, and coordination with the contractors. Separate startup activities occurred for the wastewater and solids handling facilities.

Results of the wastewater and solids handling facilities startup are presented showing the length of time required to obtain stable operation. Procedures are described to overcome some of the challenges encountered.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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