Ecuador’s 2016 national sectoral strategy established that universal and equitable access to potable Water and Sanitation Services (WSS) should be reached by 2030. Guayaquil concentrates the largest population and business activities of Ecuador. However, seven of every ten people have access to contaminated drinking water and 12% of households in the southern (and poorest) area of the city, lack piped sewerage. Wastewaters with high organic loads from more than 80% of industrial companies are discharged untreated into the sewage networks, or to rivers. The soil in the areas where two new wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) will be built, is formed by a mixture of clay and sand, which in addition to generating settling issues, require a vibro-substitution method with tamping to minimize liquefaction problems. An environmentally adequate treatment of wastewater generated in Guayaquil’s basins, is fundamental to reduce health problems from contamination and pollution among the most vulnerable, as well as to mitigate climate change risks.
IBRD provides technical and financial support to enable sustainable wastewater management in Guayaquil. Along with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Guayaquil’s Municipal Water and Sewage Company (EMAPAG EP), the IBRD financing is focused on providing the infrastructure required to treat 100 percent of domestic wastewaters collected in the southern and northeastern wastewater basins of the city of Guayaquil. This includes improving and completing two full sanitation service chains, i.e. installing more than 35,000 new intra-household sanitary connections; improvements in the sewerage networks, and the construction of the Los Merinos and Las Esclusas WWTPs. Both WWTPs incorporate a cogeneration facility transforming biogas derived from sewage sludge digestion into electricity, with the potential to generate up to 35% of their energy needs. Using innovative methods and technologies, this Project builds on the efficiency gains brought by the PPP, while minimizing disruptions and negative environmental impacts. One of the technical innovations brought into the Project design is the use of innovative and cost-efficient methods such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) technology and robotic equipment in the rehabilitation of the sewerage system, which helped minimized social and environmental impacts during works. Video camera inspections and trenchless rehabilitation works generated minimal disruptions on surrounding communities, surface traffic and business activities while increasing safety and reducing costs and execution time.
As of July 2019, 8,166 residents have directly benefitted and 39,197 people in urban areas have been provided with access to improved sanitation services under the Project. As of July 2019, the La Pradera pumping station showed 93% of physical progress, the Las Esclusas WWTP showed 48% of physical progress, and the La Chala sewerage network rehabilitation works were 90% completed.