Installation overview


Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil

Commissioned / installed date:


Application and type:


Technology configuration used:

Hollow fibre

MBR technology / membrane product used:

GE ZeeWeed

Scale of installation:

Large-scale municipal

Capacity range MLD:


Average daily flow:

16 MLD

Installation owned by:


About SANASA EPAR Capivari II

First large scale municipal MBR in Brazil & Latin America uses GE ZeeWeed membranes

All over the globe, water is becoming a critical commodity and is a scarce and valuable resource. People have become very conscious of the consequences of indiscriminate wastewater discharge and the extreme implications that are arising due to fresh water shortages. The treatment of wastewater to advanced discharge standards or reuse quality has become one of the most critical issues in the global water industry. This is particularly important in areas such as Sao Paulo state where fresh water supply is in high demand for potable use by the increasing population, which increases the need for other water sources such as reused water.

This is the case of Campinas city – located 100 km from Sao Paulo City (Brazil) – a bustling city with over 1.300.000 inhabitants. As the macro region of Campinas continues to evolve with new housing developments and industries, the community could face the following complex problems:

  • Existing wastewater treatment plants are distant from new developments and/or running at the maximum design capacity without possibilities of expansion.
  • Treated effluent is discharged into an increasingly sensitive environment, where nutrient reduction and pathogen removal will become critical requirements.
  • Water resources are scarce, such that initiatives to reduce water consumption and promote the recycling of water for diverse uses are warranted.
  • Simple, automated, reliable and easy-to-maintain solutions are being required by the operation personnel.

To address these issues and in an effort to provide full access to sanitation for Campinas City, SANASA (a publicly owned water & wastewater concessionaire) has recently constructed the “EPAR (Water Reuse Production Plant) Capivari II” facility with the GE ZeeWeed 500D® MBR membrane system. This is the first large scale MBR system in Latin America with biological tertiary treatment capability (nitrogen and phosphorus removal), being able to treat an average flow of 182 L/s in its first phase of construction, and to provide domestic sewage treatment for a population of 300.000 inhabitants once construction of Phase II is completed.

The basic and detailed engineering for this facility was conducted by the Brazilian engineering company EMA Engenharia Ambiental and the equipment supply, construction, installation and commissioning works were executed by a consortium formed between Construtora Norberto Odebrecht Brazil SA and GE Betz do Brasil Ltda (GE Water & Process Technologies).

The filtration system is composed of 3 membrane trains and plant was commissioned in April, 2012 with the permeate quality exceeding expectations. COD removal rates are around and above 97% on a consistent basis, with BOD5 and NH3 concentrations below detection levels and turbidity lower than 0,3 NTU. Treated effluent is sent to a water reuse accumulation tank and currently it is being discharged to the Capivari River.

Source: Design, Start-up and Operation of the First Large Scale MBR Treating Municipal Sewage in Latin America – Case Study; R Pagotto Jr. et al.

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