In our changes magazine 2017 we already reported on our participation in the Atotonilco wastewater treatment plant project, in which about 90 percent of the instrumentation comes from us. Water has been bubbling through the clarifiers since December 2017. That’s why we wanted to have a closer look at the plant, which is designed for a capacity of 10.5 million people.
The new water treatment plant in Atotonilco, north of Mexico City, is setting new benchmarks: The plant will treat the wastewater of ten million people, water 80,000 hectares of farmland and in one fell swoop boost the country’s water treatment capacity from 42 to 62 percent. The plant was built through an agreement with Conagua, the national water commission, at a cost of around one billion US dollars. To ensure efficient, safe and economical operation, reliable instrumentation is needed – this is where we come in: Hundreds of measurement points with dozens of different devices for level, flow, pressure, temperature and liquid analysis were integrated in the plant.
The region’s farming operations have long used wastewater from the megacity to water and fertilize the fields. The water was supplied for free, but was untreated. For environmental and health reasons, the plant operator wanted to improve the quality of the water, eliminate pollutants and preserve the nutrients.
The focus is now on fine-tuning the process parameters. “Endress+Hauser helped us continually optimize the processes, even after commissioning,” says Roberto Villanueva, Technical Director at Atotonilco. One unique challenge is related to the seasonal fluctuations of the water amounts. In order to manage peaks during the rainy season, in addition to the biological systems – which encompass 18 lamella separators, 42 aeration tanks, 24 secondary clarifiers and disinfection chlorinators – the plant has five additional chemical treatment lines available. Although more expensive to operate, they can be started and stopped at any time.
“We’ve already demonstrated our expertise at numerous systems across the country. Now we can show that we’re also in a position to successfully manage large-scale projects across all phases,” says Miguel Revilla, Director of Marketing at Endress+Hauser Mexico. “We’re proud to be the main instrumentation vendor for one of the world’s largest water treatment plants.” A maintenance and calibration services contract is currently under negotiation.
Apart from treating water, Atotonilco produces also power and fertilizer. Read the complete article including client comments in the 2018 edition of changes.