Aquapolo

Aquapolo is the largest enterprise for the production of industrial reuse water in South America, and fifth largest on the planet. Result of a partnership between Brookfield and SABESP (Basic Sanitation Company of the State of São Paulo), provides for a contract 650 liters per second of reuse water for the Petrochemical Complex of the ABC Paulista Region. This is equivalent to supplying a city of 500 thousand inhabitants, such as Santos, for example.

Modern and sustainable design, Aquapolo is able to produce 1,000 liters per second of reuse water, using the most advanced and complex technological processes available. With every liter of water produced in its facilities, another liter of drinking water is saved.

Highly mechanized, the work developed by Aquapolo begins at Sabesp Elevation Stations that pump to sewage treatment plant of the Metropolitan region of Sao Paulo. In these places, sensors were inserted that determine the level of toxicity of the cargo that will reach the sewage treatment plant in the short term. After the treatment process, the flow that would be destined to Córrego dos Meninos (water course to where the water is sent after the treatment in the sewage treatment plant) would be 2,000 liters per second. Aquapolo, however, deviates 650 liters per second for its operation.

The parameters and water quality that should be reached at the end of the whole process were determined by the Petrochemical Complex itself, which uses it to clean cooling towers and boilers, mainly. For the conduction and distribution of the water produced, a 17km adductor was built, which leaves São Paulo and passes through the municipalities of São Caetano do Sul and Santo André until reaching a distribution tower in Capuava, Mauá, where the Pole is. From there, a 3.6 km distribution network delivers water to each of the customers. The adductor was designed to allow derivations, enabling the attendance of possible customers present along its route.

Aquapolo industrial water production station, EPAI, with a treatment capacity of 650 L /, and its pumping and preliminary treatment process (disc filters), tertiary biological system, with aerated and anoxic chamber, which has as its main principal. Of ammoniacal nitrogen, nitrate and organic load, followed by ultrafiltration by submerged membranes, aiming to reduce suspended solids and turbidity.

In order to guarantee adequate salinity for boilers and cooling towers, part of the water is treated by reverse osmosis and then blended (water ultrafiltration and osmosis). Before final pumping the water is disinfected by chlorine dioxide. Following is the Aquapolo process flow chart in Picture 1.

Picture 1 – Flow diagram of Aquapolo’s industrial water production process

The water after being treated in the EPAI is sent to the Equilibrium Chimney, located at Braskem UNIB 3, by an adductor, through three sets of motor pumps from the Elevation Elevation Station. This pipe, made of carbon steel with a coating of 900 mm in diameter, covers 17 km and passes through the municipalities of São Paulo, São Caetano do Sul and Santo André, as can be observed in picture 2.

Picture 2 – Aquapolo adduction system

After the chimney, the industrial water is distributed according to picture 3, in a distribution network of 3.5 km.

Picture 3 – Industrial water distribution system of the Capuava petrochemical complex