Incatema opts for sustainable natural lagooning technology to treat wastewater in Titanyen (Haití)

27 July, 2021

Incatema Consulting & Engineering will execute the works to rehabilitate and improve the sewage treatment plant in Titanyen (Haiti) having been awarded the contract for a total value of € 1,661,140 by the National Directorate of Drinking Water and Supply of Haiti (DINEPA). The purpose of this project is to remodel the existing, currently unused, plant, to adapt it to the zone’s current requirements for treating excreta, within a timeframe of 8 months. Once in operation, the sewage plant will have a flow rate of 250 m3 of wastewater from the drains of septic tanks and latrines in this region of Port-au-Prince. Rehabilitation of the Titanyen sewage station involves, among other actions, the installation of a hydraulic connection line between ponds, with a green filter and drying beds, a well for the self-supply of industrial water, and a photovoltaic installation for self-supply of the plant.

Organic waste elimination by natural lagooning

Given the nature of the waste to be treated at the sewage plant, with high concentrations of organic material, a treatment process by natural lagooning has been selected comprising a water line and a sludge line. This technology involves linking various basins of water, artificially reproducing what would be the course of a river, gradually reducing the depth of the ponds so that, once they receive and grind the waste, the flow passes from one pond to another and the anaerobic treatment eliminates solids in suspension and organic matter.

Specifically, the Titanyen plant comprises 4 ponds for the anaerobic treatment of a volume of 1,735 m3 in each, functioning in parallel. This process achieves the elimination of 70% of the solid waste in suspension and of 65% of the organic matter. In addition to these ponds, a facultative pond with a volume of more than 9,700 m3 is provided as a secondary treatment, to decompose remaining organic matter by means of an anaerobic process (at the bottom of the pond) and aerobic process (on the surface), achieving a reduction in accumulated organic matter of up to 85%.

Finally, the process is completed in the maturation pond, with a volume of almost 3,000 m3 where the tertiary purification treatment takes place to achieve a reduction of 95% of germs and pathogens thanks to the action of the ultraviolet rays from solar radiation.

Commitment to sustainability: self-supply with photovoltaic power and system circularity

Treatment of the flow of wastewater ends in a sludge line comprising five drying beds with drainage through sand and gravel, plus another drying area with an installation of 503 m2 where the sludge from the anaerobic ponds is deposited for subsequent composting. In a complementary manner, Incatema has moreover designed a 19,500 m2 green filter whose function is to produce the plant material that can be used as a structuring agent in the composting process of the sludge generated during purification of the water, thereby enhancing the system’s circularity. Furthermore, circularity is also achieved by obtaining purified water as a result of the entire process, which can be used subsequently for irrigation.

Finally, the Titanyen sewage plant has its own photovoltaic installation for self-supply. This installation consists of a total of 50 solar panels of 340 W each, to guarantee the plant’s power supply both sustainably and efficiently.

‘Sanitation for all’, UN sustainable development goal of the 2030 Agenda

Haiti is one of the Caribbean region countries with the lowest levels of access to potable water. 110 million Latin Americans do not have access to sanitation.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contemplates achieving fair access to adequate sanitation and hygiene services for all. As pointed out by Incatema Consulting & Engineering’s Director of Infrastructures, Fernando Díaz, ‘achieving this SDG requires projects that improve both access to drinking water and to treatment systems and sanitation networks, which avoid, among others, open defecation and paying special attention to the needs of women, girls and people in vulnerable situations’. Incatema’s project in Titanyen pursues this goal and has the support and participation of local communities to improve the management of water and sanitation.