Big and clever – The Wastewater Treatment Plant
BASF’s wastewater treatment plant is one of the largest in Europe and the largest wastewater treatment plant on the Rhine: It purifies a volume of water that would be created by some three million people in private households.
Almost 100 million m³ of production waste water from BASF is purified here annually. The plant also purifies another 20 million m³ of waste water from the cities of Ludwigshafen and Frankental, as well as from the Bobenheim-Roxheim municipality.
The waste water first reaches the main duct in which large rakes take out bulky solid matter from the water. The core of the plant is biological purification: Billions of bacteria transform polluting agents into sewage sludge, carbon dioxide and water. In order to reduce unpleasant smells as much as possible, the biological pools are covered.
The environmental center monitors the inlet and outlet of the wastewater. If there is material in the inlet which would damage the operation of the wastewater e treatment plant, the environmental center diverts the polluted water to a reservoir pool where it is specially treated.
The sewage sludge is transported to the sewage sludge incinerator and incinerated. The steam created is used to generate electricity and stored in the district heating network. The plant can dispose of over 400,000 tonnes of sewage sludge annually, approximately the half of which comes from BASF. The plant also processes municipal and industrial sewage sludge from the neighbourhood. However, it is better to avoid than to process, and between 2010 and 2015, BASF reduced its waste water contamination by around 23%.