Canal allocates €9.7 million to treat wastewater from Madrid city centre

Canal de Isabel II, the publicly owned utility with responsibility for water supply and treatment in Madrid, is to allocate €9.7 million for the operation and maintenance of the La China Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), one of the region’s largest sewage treatment plants.

The Governing Board has been informed of the proposal to put the contract out to tender. The contract will have a duration of two years with an option for two one-year extensions. The proposal must now be ratified by the Board of Directors of Canal de Isabel II.

The La China facility has the capacity to treat the wastewater of a population equivalent of 1.33 million. It is located alongside the Manzanares River basin near the Caja Mágica tennis centre in the south of the city and it treats the water from Madrid city centre. It can treat over 320,000 cubic metres of water per day, a volume equivalent to that of the Torre Picasso high rise office building. The facility is owned by Madrid City Council and has been managed by Canal de Isabel II since 2006.


Some of the water treated at this facility undergoes tertiary treatment, enabling it to be reused for both the irrigation of Madrid’s large parks and for street cleaning. The tertiary treatment process at La China produces the region’s highest volume of reclaimed water, which in 2017 amounted to 4.3 cubic hectometres, accounting for 27 % of all water reclaimed in the Autonomous Community of Madrid.

Reclaimed water production from the facility enables a saving in drinking water consumption equivalent to that of a town such as Colmenar Viejo, which has a population of 50,000 people.

In addition to contributing to the saving of drinking water, the WWTP can also produce renewable electricity from the biogas generated during the treatment processes. Last year alone, the facility produced 14,700 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity and prevented over 3,900 tonnes of CO2 emissions that would have occurred had the energy been generated by means of fossil fuels.