The base tender budget amounts to EUR 12.3 M, including VAT, to be financed on a 50/50 basis by the Port Authority of Bilbao and the Basque Water Agency.
The new system will replace the numerous existing waste water treatment facilities scattered throughout the port area.
The Basque Water Agency (URA), part of the Basque Government Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, has put out to tender the first phase of the new sewerage works for the port of Bilbao. These works will replace the numerous existing standard-compliant wastewater treatment facilities scattered throughout the port area with a new, pioneering and innovative system, and will be a further step towards making Bilbao a benchmark port in sustainable development.
In view of the fact that the port activity area to be serviced stretches over more than 300 ha, the construction of the new sewerage system planned for all the port areas within the municipalities of Santurtzi and Zierbena has been divided into three stages.
The works covered under this tender are limited to the Santurtzi Docks and the Central Breakwater, and consist of the operations and facilities included under Phase I for the collection and diversion of wastewater. The base tender budget amounts to EUR 12.3 M, VAT included, and the works will be financed on a 50/50 basis by the Port Authority of Bilbao and the Basque Water Agency.
Replacement of the present fragmented waste water treatment solution
There are currently numerous treatment facilities scattered throughout the port area designed to improve the quality of sewage and industrial water before it is discharged into the sea. They range in size and type, from septic tanks for the smallest discharges to treatment plants with different primary and secondary treatment processes for larger industrial discharges.
This new system has been designed to integrate the existing sewage treatment facilities through a network of collectors that will transport sewage and industrial water to the Galindo Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), managed by the Bilbao Bizkaia Water Consortium. In this way, the only wastewater to be discharged into the sea will be rainwater and cooling water, the polluting potential of which is lower.
A vacuum sewerage system
The planned solution is a vacuum sewerage system: a wastewater collection system that differs from common sewer systems that use gravity or pressure to remove wastewater. This vacuum system is to be built on a size and scale which is unprecedented in the Basque Country. Basically, at source, the wastewater is channelled by gravity to drainage manholes, then conveyed by vacuum to a vacuum station from where it is finally pumped to the existing network and from there to the WWTP in Galindo.
A sewerage system adaptable to future developments in the port
The new sewerage infrastructure has been designed in such a way as to be capable of servicing future demands. Any activity that may be set up at some time in the future in the port of Bilbao will be able to connect to the new system. To this end, the system has been designed for annual discharge volumes of up to 1.4 million m³, with an average flow of around 45 l/s and peak flows of up to 70 l/s.
The overall project will be part-funded by the European Union through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (Next Generation EU).