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Consorzio Aquarno s.p.a.

Centralized Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) of Santa Croce Sull'Arno

Consorzio Aquarno S.p.A. has been founded on 1983 with the aim to solve the wastewater problem within Tuscan's Leather district; but the premise's activity started on 1974 (five years before the emanation of the first national environmental law) due to the high pollution potential of tannery's wastewaters. In the last thirty years, the wastewater plant has been continuously revisited. Dimensional enlargements and technological up-grading have been done trying to reach best environmental results with less environmental impacts as possible. The current Aquarno's wastewater treatment plant capacity is almost 2Mlns of P.E. and 20 000 m3/d of municipal and industrial wastewater incoming from Santa Croce sull'Arno, Fucecchio and Castelfranco di Sotto, three of the four main towns of the tannery pole. Its treatment capacity makes Aquarno one of the biggest WWTP in Europe.

To support the treatment capacity increase on early 90's inside Consorzio Aquarno’s plant were built two different lines of wastewater treatment:

1) the municipal line

2) the industrial line

While municipal wastewater treatment is quite standardized, more efforts and solutions have been experimented on industrial wastewater treatment line; this due to the particular composition and recalcitrance to depuration of this kind of wastewater which cause also a lot of problems related to unpleasant odours. Thanks to constant internal research combined with publicand private contributions, Consorzio Aquarno has developed an optimized biological treatment (so called “Tutto Biologico”)without large consumption of chemicals, consisting of two optimized biological-oxidation steps followed by a small tertiary treatment (Fenton- + clari-flocculation). This assessment has provided a drastic reduction of sludge production with respect to the two analogues chemical-physical steps.

The depuration process is strictly monitored both at maintenance that process analysis level.

The centralized PLC permits a constant control of all operative machines in the premise, recording and evaluating all the data in real time; while the modern chemical laboratory provides the characterization of all incoming, internal and outcoming fluxes, ensuring a detailed and efficient control of the whole depuration process.

Despite the good performance obtained Consorzio Aquarno has always collaborated and continues its collaboration with major research institutions such as the Polo Tecnologico Conciario, University of Pisa, University of Florence and other accredited companies to find new engineering solutions even more effective and efficient, with the target of further reduce the production of sludge and odor emissions as well as improve depurative’s yields of some stages.

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