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Project Updates: State of the art treatment plant

A sewage treatment plant considered to be one of the most modern in Latin America was inaugurated in April in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza as the centerpiece of a comprehensive program to improve local sanitation and living conditions.

The plant is part of a $265.6 million project to build sanitary sewerage and storm drainage works in the city of Fortaleza, home to 2.3 million people and capital of the Northeast state of Ceará. The project is also increasing the efficiency of water use through the installation of water meters. Financing includes two IDB loans for a total of $199.2 million.

On hand for the inauguration were IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias and Ceará Governor Tasso Jereissati.

The plant is considered one of the most modern in Latin America due to its level of automation. From one control center, operators can monitor the functions of all pumps, both in the plant and throughout the city.

Sanitary conditions in Fortaleza are very poor, particularly for the residents of more than 300 favelas, or slums, that dot the city, Brazil's seventh largest. Favela residents number some 541,000 people. Diseases caused by a combination of open-air sewers and untreated water have been responsible for serious health problems. Sanitary works under the project include the construction of sewer systems, outfalls, pumping stations and household connections.

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