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East Arraiján wastewater treatment plant in Panama

East Arraiján wastewater treatment plant in Panama

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Carlos Martínez Bustelo
Carlos Martínez Bustelo International and Business Development Director

Drafting of studies and detailed design for the Arraiján East wastewater treatment plant, its trunk system and its interconnections

FCC-Aqualia awarded to the ICEACSA Group the technical assistance contract to draw up detailed designs and studies for the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) project in Arraiján Este, its trunk system and its connections with existing systems.


The project consists of the construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 6 km of sanitary sewage networks in Burunga, three pumping stations, two load-break chambers in the pressure network, 6,227 m2 of built area to house the operation and maintenance services, general administration and laboratory services, workshops, industrial buildings for the treatment process, buildings for electrical installations, a guardhouse for surveillance of the pumping stations and civil works for site development: dirt roads, roads, lighting, rainwater system and landscaping, all within a budget of 85 million euros.

The Arraiján Este treatment plant is designed with a water line composed of:

  • Raw water elevation
  • Raw water feed and general bypass by 40” GRP piping.
  • Removal of fines by self-cleaning sieve filter
  • Grit removal and grease separation in aerated channel
  • Flow measurement by bypass and electromagnetic flowmeter system
  • Active sludge biological treatment including nutrient removal, with nitrification and denitrification and removal of phosphorus.
  • Secondary decantation
  • Filtering by 20-micron mesh discs
  • Disinfection by UV radiation in channel
  • Treated water tank and clean water tank
  • Flow measurement and disposal of treated wastewater into the Aguacate River.

The excess sludge line consists of: screening on a rotary sieve drum, thickening on thickening tables, mixing pond, pumping of mixed sludge for anaerobic digestion, ferric chloride dosing for phosphorus removal, pH regulation with slaked lime and digested sludge buffer tank. Production and storage of gas in a diaphragm gasometer, excess gas combustion flare, gas blowers to conduct the digester gas to the boiler, sludge heating system consisting of a hot water boiler with a dual gas and gas-oil burner, spiral heat exchangers and gas suppressors are also included in the design brief.

The contract includes the design of both the first construction phase of the wastewater treatment plant and its projection to 2050. The plant’s treatment capacity for this horizon year will be 86,400 m3/day (1 m3/sec) in five active sludge treatment and anaerobic digestion modules. The contract also includes calculation and design of the trunk conduit system and its connection with existing networks. Aqualia will take care of the construction of phase one — composed of three treatment modules with a capacity of 53,568 m3/day (0.62 m3/s) — and O&M of the same for the first 10-year concession period.

The plant will be located in Nuevo Chorrillo in the township of Cerro Silvestre on the right bank of the Aguacate River, on a plot of land with an area of approximately 19.5 hectares.

The Fundavico, Montevista, Altos de Cáceres II, Brisas del Sol, Colinas del Sol, Nuevo Chorrillo and Lluvia de Oro 1 housing estates, which are currently endowed with a sanitary sewerage system, will be the first to connect to the new WWTP by the interconnection collectors and the newly designed trunk system (pressure network). The estimated construction period of the plant is three years.

This project was financed by the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and the Government of the Republic of Panama.

Provided Services

FCC-Construcción América contracted ICEACSA Consultores, S.L.U. to provide engineering services and drafting of the construction engineering plans both for the treatment plant (with the collaboration of TPF-Getinsa) and the trunk network including its interconnections, and more specifically: topography, geology and geotechnical engineering, hydrology, hydraulics, earth movements, urban development, design of treatment processes, structural calculations, architecture and complementary works.

The construction plans to be drawn up were divided into four packages and involved the following main work units:

  • Cartography and topography
  • Geology and geotechnical engineering
  • Climatology, hydrology, and fluvial hydraulics
  • Population and flow-rate studies
  • Earthmoving (earthworks for the WWTP and the pumping stations)
  • Architecture of the operational buildings (WWPT and pumping stations)
  • Study and design of the treatment process: water line, sludge line and gas line
  • Structures
  • WWTP conduits: water, sludge, evacuation, compressed air, sewage, rainwater, irrigation, drinking water (aqueduct) and fire detection and extinction system
  • Electrical installations and communication facilities (inspection and instrumentation)
  • Deodorisation of the pre-treatment and sludge areas and of the pumping stations
  • Design of the buildings’ facilities
  • Roads in the WWTP and over the conduits (networks)
  • Landscaping
  • Supplementary works
  • Study of easements
  • Cadastral study of the existing network

Key Figures

  • 2.8 km under pressure (from 16” to 40”)
  • 3 km by gravity (from 8” to 18”)
  • 6,227 m2 Auxiliary buildings
  • 3 Pumping stations

Wastewater treatment plant details

  • 86,400 m3 Flow per day
  • 1.23 m3/s Maximum flow
  • 243,504 inhabitants WWTP design population
  • €85 M Investment budget

Have any questions?

Contact us to discuss your water needs.

Carlos Martínez Bustelo
Carlos Martínez Bustelo International and Business Development Director

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