North-Pest Wastewater Treatment Plant

Characteristics of the plant

Features of the plant

The plant treats the wastewaters of districts IV, XV, XVI and XVII, part of the wastewaters of districts X,XIII and XIV and their suburbs and, since the summer of 2007, has been treating the majority of the wastewaters of Óbuda coming through pipes under the Danube basin. The daily treatment capacity of the plant is 200,000 m3.

Dewatered sludge, produced in a volume of 108,000 thm3 per year at the plant, is a by-product of wastewater treatment. Since 2008, electrical and heat energy has been produced from the sludge.
The annual volume of inorganic waste produced during wastewater treatment is 882 m3.
The wastewater treatment plant uses environmentally safe, comprehensive treatment waste procession and recycling technologies.

The plant:

• ensures the environmentally safe management of the by-products – sludge and mechanical pollutants – produced during treatment, and their preparation for storage and recycling;
• produces a considerable part of the electricity and heat consumed by it;
• cleans foul air produced during technological processes (2 million m3/day);
• uses storm pumps to drain stormwater (15 m3/sec).

Water quality parameter Parameters of influent (mg/l) Parameters of effluent (mg/l) Thresholds
until February, 2013
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) 441 37 125
Biological oxygen demand (BOD5) 282 10 25
Ammonia-ammonium-N 50,1 1,5 10
Total nitrogen 64,1 10 35
Total phosphorus 6,2 1,4 5
Total floating matter 195 6 35

History of the plant

The North Pest plant was put into operation in 1980. Initially, only mechanical pollutants were removed from the wastewater collected; biological treatment was started later, in 1986.
After the renovation in 1998, the catchment areas in Angyalföld were connected to the plant by pressure pipes. Upon an extension of its capacity between 1999 and 2002, the plant became capable of treating 200,000 m3 wastewater a day. Extension phase I, which was put into operation in 2002, was designed specifically for the decomposition of organic substances.
The sludge thickening centrifuges put into service in 2001 have substantially reduced the volume of wastewater sludge to be dewatered, and led to considerable cost savings.
In order to eliminate odors, the mechanical treatment equipment of the plant were covered and deodorized in 2002.
Since 2007, a part of the wastewaters from Békásmegyer and Római Part has been received by this plant. This means the treatment of an additional wastewater volume of 15,000 m3 per day. With this development, the proportion of treated wastewater was increased to 51% in Budapest.
In 2007, a large-scale environmental and bioenergy project was launched with an investment exceeding two billion forints in order to introduce an energy-efficient and environmentally safe solution for sludge treatment at the plant. Similar to the sludge pasteurizing unit operating at the South Pest plant for several years, this facility produces biogas from sludge. Test operation started in 2008, and operation at full capacity was launched in early 2009.
Phase 2 of the extension of the North Pest Wastewater Treatment Plant has also been started. The purpose of this investment is to remove nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) from wastewater. The new facilities are planned to be commissioned in early 2010.

Leading edge technology

The French and German owners have largely contributed to the modernization of the plant. The plant was fully renewed and its technological processes completed by relying on their knowledge of the latest technology and experience in operating treatment facilities.
Technology and equipment from abroad were used for the sludge stabilizer system which produces biogas from sludge and then electrical and thermal energy from biogas. At the plant, biogas recycling is environmentally safe and energy efficient.
The company pays special attention to the elimination of odors. Several air purifiers are used at the plant. Air is extracted from the majority of closed areas and led through a biofilter. These biofilters treat 2 million m3 air per day. Biofilters play a key role in protecting air quality in the North Pest region as a whole, in particular, in district IV.
Phase 2 of the development project, aimed at the construction of a nutrient removal unit, will be completed by 2010. This investment, being implemented by the Municipal Government of Budapest with World Bank support, will considerably improve the quality of treated water led into the Danube.

Related article (Pál Román: Anaerobe sludge treatment at Pest North, FCSM Newsletter, Jul-Sept, 2007)


Received and discharged water quality parameters (2008)