River systems given the royal treatment in Bulgaria

The Danube River has often seen untreated domestic and industrial wastewater discharged into its waters. To work towards putting an end to this and to ensure that the Danube River and surrounding tributaries remain protected in the future, the Gorna Oriahovitza Regional Wastewater Collection and Treatment project saw the construction of a treatment plant to handle wastewater coming from three nearby settlements.

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Danube River benefits from new wastewater treatment plant Danube River benefits from new wastewater treatment plant

"Through construction of the treatment plant, the benefits for the population in the region include reduced risk of pollution of soil, groundwater and rivers, thus less risk to human health etc., as well as improved utility infrastructure enabling increased economic activities, improvements in the quality and range of services for the population, better conditions for developing tourism and agriculture, and the creation of new employment opportunities."
Jordan Mihtiev, Mayor of Gorna Oryahovitsa Municipality

This project was seen as vital to local communities given the high level of concern for protecting both the environment and residents. The facility benefits the environment in terms of the cleanliness of water flowing into local rivers, and consequently flora and fauna habitats, and residents in the region and visitors to the region in terms of public health and an attractive, clean natural environment. With a full tertiary treatment, reductions in nitrogen and phosphorous will meet the requirements for sensitive areas.

Nearby cities causing less environmental damage

The wastewater collection project was one of the 36 priority projects of the ‘National Programme for construction of urban Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in the Republic of Bulgaria’. In addition to treating wastewater from the cities of Gorna Oriahovitza (pop. 45 000) Liaskovetz (pop. 12 000) and Dolna Oriahovitza (pop. 4 000), and protecting the Danube River basin, the facility has been designed to meet the requirements of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive for agglomerations with population equivalents of over 10 000.

Efforts channelled towards clean flowing rivers

This particular project was significant in that it was considered to be a pilot project in the water sector in Bulgaria – it was the first project to finance a tertiary treatment WWTP in the fragile area of the Danube River basin. Apart from construction of the plant, several elements of the collection system were also financed. The Yantra River, which is a tributary to the Danube River, also sees pollution from untreated sewerage discharged into its waters, however this trend looks set to reverse with the new facilities. By 2030, the domestic, commercial and industrial wastewater of some 102 000 people will be treated.

Draft date