Potable Water for Baco in Ethiopia

Potable Water for Baco in Ethiopia

Water Supply with MENA-Water SafeDrink Package Plants

Ethiopian cultural landscape

The city of Baco (also called Bako) is located on the edge of the Ethiopian highlands in the northwest of the state of Oromia in an agricultural region. Oromia itself extends around the capital Addis Ababa from the highlands to the Rift Valley and the lowlands and is the largest Ethiopian state. Since the surrounded Addis Ababa is considered a separate federal state, there were always regional conflicts in which the rural regions felt neglected. A major issue is the water supply. This region is crossed by many rivers that carry water all year round. The heavy rainfall during the rainy season, however, causes the water levels to fluctuate greatly and the water turbidity is extreme due to the massive erosion. Drinking water from rivers must therefore be transported far and cleaning is necessary. Therefore, until recently, local wells were mainly used for the water supply. However, their water is very salty and e.g. loaded with iron and manganese. The river water in the region has a composition that is more suitable for drinking water and therefore those responsible planned to make greater use of these resources.

Delay of original Concept

Raw water with high turbidity

For the rapidly growing city of Baco, a regional planning concept provided for the construction of a large stationary drinking water system on a nearby ridge, which in turn was to be fed with river water from the mountainous region. A location near the river bank was not possible due to the regular flooding and the topographically narrow valley with steep slopes. For the raw water supply, channels with a distance of 7 km should have been bridged on a very steep hillside. After years of planning, the construction of the drinking water system should take several years again. These delays already led to an upset in the urban population and in order to avoid unrest, a quicker solution to the drinking water supply had to be found.

Package Plant as Solution

This is where the construction of a prefabricated container system came into play. The MENA-Water compact systems of the SafeDrink series are designed to treat 1500m³ / day of river water in an ISO container and thus supply up to 30,000 inhabitants. These facilities require very little foot print, so a hillside location can also be considered. Since the process-important parts of the plant are arranged within the prefabricated compact plant and only a few civil works are necessary on site, the implementation time of even large plants is very short. The simple truck transport of the standard ISO containers further reduces the time frame.  

MENA-Water SafeDrink

SafeDrink Package Plant with storage pond

After contacting MENA-Water, the local situation in Baco was re-examined and a location close to the city could be found for the compact system. At this location there already existed an old agricultural irrigation canal that could gravitationally direct river water to the site and this was renovated at short notice. A storage lagoon at the plant site serves to buffer the raw water supply. From there water is pumped into the container treatment system. The cleaned pure drinking water then is conveyed by high-performance pumps to a high tank on the mountain above the site and from there the city is supplied by a gravitational network. The capacity of the plant currently is 2400 m³/d and serves to supply the 40,000 inhabitants. An expansion of the plant to triple throughput already is prepared.  

Quick Realization to supply 40,000 Inhabitants

This concept then could be implemented within less than 9 months from the first survey to commissioning. This start up was very well recognized within the Ethiopian press. Further package plant supply systems for other towns will follow
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