The San Pantaleón Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Arnuero will go into full operation at the beginning of 2015, probably in February, according to president of the Autonomous Community of Cantabria, Ignacio Diego. Speaking during a visit to the facility, the president explained that the San Pantaleón plant is the central WWTP for the entire protected area of the Marismas (wetlands) de Santoña, Victoria and Joyel. The plant is now at the commissioning stage, a period during which the entire system will be optimised.
Once the testing period has been completed, the facility will initially treat wastewater from the municipalities on the left bank of the River Asón. When work on the Laredo underwater infrastructure is completed (this work has yet to commence), the plant will also treat wastewater discharges from the right bank of the river.
A total investment of over €180 million will be made in the restoration of the Marismas de Santoña. 85% of this will come from the state, while the remaining 15% will be funded by the Autonomous Community. The Laredo underwater infrastructure will be funded entirely by the Spanish government.
€22 million of the €180 million budget corresponds to the construction of the San Pantaleón WWTP. Work on the facility commenced in 2006 but the plant has yet to go into operation. It will be Cantabria’s second largest WWTP after the San Román plant, which treats all the water from the Bay of Santander. The new WWTP will be larger than the Vuelta Ostrera plant in terms of both size and capacity.
The plant will also have the capacity to treat the sludge from wastewater treatment, which was previously treated at another facility that has been closed due to high costs. The digesters will enable methane to be extracted from the sludge and this will be used to power the WWTP’s electricity system, thereby reducing the energy costs associated with water treatment and pumping.
The entire wastewater treatment system for the Marismas de Santoña, Victoria and Joyel comprises over 85 kilometres of piping, 21 pumping stations and 22 storm tanks.