A bit of history
HISTORY OF WASTEWATER TREATMENT IN ŁÓDŹ …
... goes back to the second half of the nineteenth century.
With the rapid increase of population between 1820 and 1914, related to the development of craft and industry, the sanitary and health conditions in Łódź deteriorated.
All of the industrial and domestic wastewater from the city was flowing to the rivers, that used to be a source of water.
An architect, Hilary Majewski urged the city authorities to build the water supply and wastewater system, as early as in 1876.
The then, mayor Maurice Taubworcel ignored this initiative.
In 1885, a preliminary waterworks project for Łódź was presented by engineers Słowikowski and Bronikowski. As the local industrialists refused to co-finance the project, the mayor Władysław Pieńkowski decided not to implement it using the city's own resources.
Increasing pressure from the population, doctors and social workers forced Mr. Pieńkowski to tackle the matter, and in 1901, a preliminary project of water supply and wastewater system for Łódź, was commissioned to the well-known engineer William Heerlein Lindley.
After eight years of research, a British engineer submitted a project and a cost estimate. The project failed due to budget issues, or actually the way, the budget was handled by the city mayor. At the expense of necessary local investments, the financial reserves were transferred to tsar authorities, occupying this part of Poland.
The city was flooded by wastewater but the project and cost estimate was simply shelved in the magistrate office.
Regaining independence by Poland in 1918 didn't immediately change the sanitary and health situation in Łódź.
It was only in 1923, that the then mayor of Łódź. Marian Cynarski, made the construction of wastewater and water supply systems his main objective.
The decision to commence the construction was made on 24th September 1924 by the city council.
The Sewerage and Water Supply Department of the City of Łódź was established on 2nd October 1924 and it was headed by Lindley's associate engineer Stefan Skrzywan.
Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP)
It is to Stefan Skrzywan's unique involvement and enthusiasm that Łódź owes the implementation of the W. H. Lindley's water and sewage system.
The topographical layout of Łódź enabled the gravity wastewater flow to the treatment plant, designed by a British engineer in the area of Lublinek, near the Ner River. The city area evenly falls from the north-eastern hills to the south-western river valley and the level difference is 100 m.
The construction of a mechanical part of wastewater treatment started in 1927. The first wastewater was released to the plant on 18th December 1930.
According to the project, the wastewater treatment plant was to consist of a mechanical and biological part, but it was finally equipped just with a grit chamber and Geiger's band sieves.
The installation was removing only grit and the thickest particles in the wastewater.
The crisis of the 1930s, followed by the outbreak of World War II made it impossible to implement all the designed wastewater treatment stages.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant in this form was in operation until 1994.
After the end of World War II, the plant no longer met quality requirements. Highly concentrated wastewater from the industrial agglomeration of Łódź, rapidly deteriorated the quality of the Ner and Warta rivers.
A decision, to design a new wastewater treatment plant was taken in the mid-1950s. In 1955 a new wastewater treatment section was established in the Municipal Design Office in Łódź
Design work: "Studies for the general wastewater treatment project in Łódź. Alternatives I and II. BPBK, Łódź, 1956-1961" lasted from 1956 until 1961.
As part of this study "Analysis of Water and Wastewater Management of the Łódź Industrial District" was carried out, and two alternatives of the wastewater system were analyzed:
- alternative I - concerned local treatment plants for each agglomeration city separately,
- alternative II - concerned one wastewater treatment plant for the whole agglomeration.
The technical and economic feasibility analysis was completed on 15th December 1972 but it was only approved by Decision No. 138/74 of the city mayor on 23rd October 1974. The approval was one of the most important documents in the initial investment process, laying the foundations for the future construction of wastewater treatment plant.
Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Łódź Agglomeration (GOŚ ŁAM)
Formally, the construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Łódź Agglomeration began on 23rd October 1974, and initial works started in 1975.
The construction was divided into the following projects:
Project 1 was completed in 1990, including the construction of the wastewater collector Polesie 15, Grit Chambers, Screens Building, allowing to treat wastewater primary mechanically. There were also, buildings, that currently form the seat of the Company.
At the end of 1994, after the construction of the collector VII, the GOŚ ŁAM was connected with the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Lublinek, which was ultimately shut down.
Project 2 consisted of a creation of a first part of a biological wastewater treatment, containing two lines with flow capacity of approximately 100,000 m3 per day. As of 1997, part of the wastewater was already treated biologically.
Two Closed Digestion Tanks (ZKF), so specific to the treatment plant, were also built. They are 30 m high, have volume 10 000 m3 , and are painted in white and blue stripes. The sludge in the tanks is fermented (stabilized). During the process, biogas is produced in quantities of approximately 1 000 m3 per hour
Project 3 was completed in 2002, including another two ZKF and two following biological lines. Wastewater treatment capacity of the plant increased to 172 000 m3 per day.
A very valuable and important object, the Power and Heat Plant, was put into operation in 2004. Until then, biogas, a by-product of the sludge stabilization, was used in the boiler room and during the summer a surplus of biogas was burned in a flare - a non-productive way. Thanks to the new plant, biogas became a fuel for the production of so-called green energy.
Years 2004 - 2009 were the period of the most intensive development and modernization of the wastewater treatment plant, thanks to Poland's accession to the European Union and financial support intended especially for projects aimed at environmental protection.
The project "Wastewater Treatment Plant in Łódź (Phase 1)" co-financed with the Cohesion Fund and the City funds, included modernization and extension of the plant.
The Screens Building and the existing biological lines, were modernized and three new biological lines of wastewater treatment were constructed.
From that point on, the wastewater treatment technology was changed. The new technology enabled to remove biologically phosphorus and nitrogen compounds from wastewater to a level not causing degradation of the Ner River. The level of biogenic compounds was safe for this receiver, as well as for the Warta River and the Baltic Sea.
Monitoring was installed in the treatment plant. The Central Control Room was equipped with process control installations, and it became the heart of the treatment plant. The electronic flow of information speeded up operation's decision, increasing the safety of the equipment, as well as its employees and enabled constant control over the plant operation.
In 2009, the Incineration Plant (ITPO) was put into operation, and the issue with sludge and screens disposal was resolved.
In Phase II, also financed from the Cohesion Fund, a further modernization of the Inlet Chamber and Screens Building including two screens lines was carried out.
A parallel activity associated with the treatment plant is a cultivation of energetic willow, occupying an area of approximately 65 hectares.
The treatment plant processes 51% of all the wastewater from the Łódź Voivodship.
The completed investment process has a vast impact on the quality and improvement of working conditions at the treatment plant.