UPM to modify wastewater treatment process following concerns over effluents

Friday, January 14, 2011

Uruguayan pulp mill UPM, formerly known as Botnia, is modifying its wastewater treatment process following a request from Argentina's national environmental authority Dinama, the head of the Uruguay river's binational administration commission (CARU), Gaston Silbermann, told BNamericas.

In November, CARU's Argentine delegation submitted an observation regarding the temperature of the treated wastewater that UPM releases into the binational Uruguay river, arguing that effluents at over 30°C could harm the river's ecosystem.

Despite denying Argentina's allegations that the effluents violate local laws, the firm is planning to adjust its thermal conditioning process, Silbermann said.

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The issue is being handled by Dinama and the delegations from both countries, CARU's technical secretary, Alejandro Arcelus, told BNamericas. The entity is responsible for making sure that the 24 issues the two countries agreed on last year regarding the management of the river are met.


In the meantime, CARU is preparing to begin monitoring all wastewater discharges made to the river, Silbermann said.

A control plan for the river is already in place, and the entity is now preparing the equipment necessary to begin monitoring on both sides of the river, Silbermann added.

The river monitoring scheme will be financed by CARU, which receives proceeds from tolls charged for the use of the two international bridges that cross the river, BNamericas reported previously.