Tenerife Island Council and Canary Islands Government implement solar sludge drying at Adeje-Arona WWTP

The Island Council of Tenerife, through the Tenerife Water Council (CIATF), and the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Water of the Government of the Canary Islands entered into a collaboration agreement on April 4th to implement a solar sludge drying system at the Adeje-Arona Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The new system will used for intensive dewatering of the sludge generated at the plant and was chosen due to its economic, environmental and social benefits.

At the signing of the agreement, Carlos Alonso, president of the Island Council of Tenerife, pointed out that “the new sludge drying system represents an innovative departure in wastewater management”. He emphasised that this drying technology would enable the volume of sludge to be reduced and allow the plant to gain in sustainability. The president also highlighted the value of using the wastewater treated at this WWTP for agricultural purposes. The facility is managed by the Island Council by virtue of a cooperation agreement entered into by the municipal councils of Adeje and Arona.

First vice-president and councillor for Municipal Cooperation, Housing and Water, Aurelio Abreu, underlined the importance of facilitating the speedy completion of this project and the fact that the contract had to be awarded within a maximum period of 6 months, because it would mean “the reuse of water for the primary sector, so omnipresent in the south of the island. It will close the global urban water cycle on this part of the island, whilst costs will be reduced through the implementation of the sludge drying system”

For some time now, the CIATF, as the organisation responsible for the management and operation of the Adeje-Arona District Sanitation System, has been analysing the suitability of different sludge treatment technologies that might be implemented in the district. The sludge is currently collected and sent to the Arico Environmental Complex for management. This system has very high transport and management costs. Moreover, it is inefficient from the energy perspective due to the high moisture content of the sludge.

Due to these shortcomings, the CIATF considered it vital to set the priority objective of increasing sludge dryness at the WWTP in order to minimise transport and disposal costs, improve the energy and environmental efficiency of the treatment process, and achieve compliance with acceptance requirements (dry matter content) at the Arico Environmental Complex.

Subsequent to signing the agreement, the authorities present at the event visited the facilities at the WWTP and witnessed the progress being made in the work to extend the plant. The extension work has been officially declared as a project of General Interest and is included in the collaboration agreement entered into by Central Government and the Government of the Canary Islands in the area of water. The work is expected to be completed in September of this year, according to project manager, Javier Martínez.