Welcome upgrade for a city’s water and sewage network

The largest city in north-eastern Poland is planning to modernise and extend its water and sewage system. Once completed, the project will benefit several thousand people in Białystok and a town some eight kilometres to the north.

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The work addresses a series of problems with the area’s water and sewage system. It will result in the construction or rebuilding of a total of some 112 km of pipeline.

Work on 112 km of pipeline

Capital of the Podlaskie region, Białystok has a population of some 295 000. In August 2009, Poland submitted a major project to modernise and extend the city’s water and sewage system as well as to upgrade the sewage canal that links it with Wasilków, a small town to the north.

The EU co-funded project will tackle various problems detected in the existing water supply and sewage system. Among them are a lack of water supply and sanitary networks in parts of the city and the poor condition of the existing sewage system – which often results in breakdowns, sewage seepage and water infiltration to the canals. Further challenges include the poor condition and insufficient capacity of combined sewer pipelines, the poor condition of water supply pipelines (built from inappropriate materials and therefore subject to regular breakdowns), and secondary contamination of drinking water in the pipeline network.

In terms of pipeline length, the majority of the work under this multi-year project will concern the sewage pipeline network. In total almost 70 km will be either constructed or modernised, including some 10 km of the rainwater network. The project will also upgrade or build the associated infrastructure, such as intermediate pumping stations and separators, and devices for pre-purification of residual water.

As for the water supply network, this will include work to modernise or build a pipeline network with an overall length of 42 km. Associated infrastructure will also be included, such as pumping stations and measuring chambers that transmit information about the water supply by radio.

EU-standard network

It is hoped that the project will enable a further 5 400 inhabitants of the city to use the city’s sewage system and for another 1 450 people to link up to the drinking-water supply system. This would mean an increase in the city’s sewage network coverage from 96.3% to 98.1%, and an increase in the water supply system coverage from 99.1% to 99.5%.

Thanks to improved water and sewage infrastructure by the project’s end, the city will be in line with the latest EU standards in this field. Further expected benefits will include an improved quality of life for people living in the city, enhanced economic growth prospects and better environmental protection.


Draft date

22/09/2010