Bluewater Bio Pilots HYBACS Technology in Spain

Bluewater Bio International, the provider of HYBACS, has installed its first wastewater treatment pilot plant in Spain, according to a July 29 press release.

The company is developing the project with Aqualia Gestiόn Integral del Agua S.A., a leading water company in Spain, and a subsidiary of multinational utility company Grupo FCC.

The project is supported by grant funding of nearly €90,000 to Aqualia Infraestructuras, an engineering subsidiary, from the Spanish Environment Ministry (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Medio Rural y Marino; MARM). The plant installation is part of an exclusive agreement with aqualia to promote the HYBACS technology.

The pilot plant, now commissioning at a municipal site in Ávila, approximately 100 km north-west of Madrid, is expected to serve as a reference for the subsequent implementation of this system in other aqualia facilities. The HYBACS (Hybrid Bacillus Activated Sludge) technology uses the naturally occurring bacteria bacillus to remove nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter from various wastewater streams to produce a very high-quality, odorless water resource that can be reused in many applications, such as agriculture and industry.

Daniel Ishag, chief executive officer of the company, said: “The Spanish wastewater treatment market has immense potential for expansion and represents a key market for Bluewater Bio. Aqualia is one of the world’s largest wastewater companies, and we are delighted to have achieved this latest milestone for HYBACS as aqualia’s first unit is installed in the Ávila plant. We are looking forward to working with aqualia to roll out the technology throughout Spain, a country with a severe requirement to conserve and reuse water.”

Fernando Moreno, director general of aqualia, said: “Aqualia operates wastewater treatment plants across the globe and, therefore, the ability of Bluewater Bio’s HYBACS process to significantly reduce both our capital and operational expenditure is extremely attractive to us. In addition, the technology can potentially be retrofitted into many of our current plants, enabling aqualia to comply more cost-effectively with the increased nutrient removal requirements in Europe. We see tremendous potential for the use of HYBACS both in Spain and further afield, and are excited to work with Bluewater Bio to bring this leading technology to our plants.”

HYBACS produces treated effluents with average biological oxygen demand (BOD) values typically less than 10 mg/l from domestic sewage and removes at least 98 percent of the BOD from concentrated industrial wastewaters. It also consumes up to 50 percent less energy than conventional technology.

Spanish municipalities are required by law to remove pollutants and organic matter from wastewaters, but legal action from the European Commission alleges that treatment practices in more than 400 cities and towns across the country are currently below the EU standard for nutrient removal. Under a current EU directive treatment plants must now be equipped with proper removal technologies that meet the most stringent quality and nutrient standards in sensitive zones at risk of eutrophication.

Bluewater Bio is the holding company of a group of companies that have developed HYBACS.

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