Up to 400 million litre capacity: HUBER successfully commissions 18 RakeMax® screens in the Madrid-Butarque stormwater retention basin

It is a successful large-scale project at the gates of the Spanish capital: HUBER successfully commissions 18 HUBER Multi-Rake Bar Screen RakeMax® units in the Madrid-Butarque stormwater retention basin. After ten years of less than satisfactory operation with products from other manufacturers, combined with high additional expenses, the City of Madrid renewed the facility in the south of the city with innovative and reliable products from HUBER. With a capacity of up to 400 million litres (400,000 m³), the stormwater retention basin is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

HUBER has successfully commissioned 18 RakeMax® screens in the Spanish capital Madrid
HUBER has successfully commissioned 18 RakeMax® screens in the Spanish capital Madrid

Maximum throughput of 63 m³/s: new screening plant with 18 HUBER Multi-Rake Bar Screen RakeMax® units

The new screening plant for the protection of the Butarque stormwater retention basin consists of 18 HUBER Multi-Rake Bar Screen RakeMax® units size 5120 x 1775 with a bar spacing of 40 mm for a maximum water throughput of 63 m³/s. The screenings are discharged via a conveyor belt system.

HUBER Technology España, the Spanish subsidiary of HUBER, developed a customised solution to ensure reliable and smooth operation under real conditions. After being contacted by the City of Madrid in 2019, HUBER convinced with its tailor-made solution – through detailed and specific knowledge of the wastewater situation in Spain and specifically in the Madrid metropolitan area, coupled with significant practical experience from ongoing projects.

First project phase from December 2020 to April 2021: successful commissioning of the first nine HUBER RakeMax®

As the inflow into the stormwater basin could not be interrupted and the continuous availability of the system had to be ensured, the project was carried out in two phases. In phase I, the necessary adaptation of the concrete works to the new equipment was carried out from December 2020 to February 2021. The installation of the first nine HUBER Multi-Rake Bar Screen RakeMax® units, including the electrical installation, was successfully carried out in March 2021 and the commissioning of the first project phase was completed at the beginning of April 2021.

Outstanding performance of the HUBER machines: customer's expectations fully met

Shortly after commissioning, the newly installed products had to master the first test: with the onset of spring rains, the first floods hit the stormwater retention basin, filling the screenings containers with several cubic metres of screenings within a few minutes. The performance of the new HUBER plant proved to be excellent and fully met the customer's expectations.

Second project phase from July to November 2021: full upgrade and commissioning

The second project phase was carried out between July and November 2021. By the end of 2021, the Butarque stormwater retention basin was fully upgraded and commissioned with the new HUBER RakeMax® screens.

With this major project, HUBER has once again proven to be a very reliable partner for its customers.

City of Madrid had invested 90 million euros for new stormwater retention basin

As part of the infrastructure plan to improve the quality of the Manzanares, the approximately 90 km long river running through the Spanish capital, the city of Madrid had carried out the construction of one of the largest rainwater retention basins in Europe from 2005 to 2010. The city invested about 90 million euros in the construction. In total, more than 2.5 million m³ of earth was moved and over 90,000 m³ of concrete was used.

Pollution and negative environmental impacts minimised, quality of river and ecosystem guaranteed

Thanks to this measure, Madrid was equipped with a management and storage system (total capacity: 1.3 million m³) that prevents the direct discharge into the Manzanares of the large volumes of rainwater collected by the sewer network. This made it possible to stop the pollution of this water body, minimise negative environmental impacts and guarantee the quality of the river and its entire aquatic ecosystem.

Installed products from other companies had to be replaced

The originally proposed and installed solution for the inlet works comprised ten individual grab screens, and a flume channel had been built for the transport and removal of the screenings. However, already during the first storm event it became apparent that the installed equipment, screens and flume channels were not capable of handling the very large amounts of wastewater and screenings that entered the inlet structure of the stormwater basin. The inefficient and unsuitable cleaning system of these screens led to severe clogging of the bars, making it difficult to fill the rainwater basin. In addition, the operations staff had great difficulty in preventing the site from flooding and had to spend many hours manually cleaning the screens and the entire construction site after each rain event.

The Madrid-Butarque stormwater retention basin has a capacity of 400 million litres
The Madrid-Butarque stormwater retention basin has a capacity of 400 million litres

After almost ten years of operation: HUBER delivers innovative and reliable products

After almost ten years of operation under these inadequate conditions, which caused high effort and costs especially for operation and maintenance, the authorities planned to replace the mechanical equipment. In 2019, HUBER Technology España had been contacted and the current situation on site had been discussed by the responsible consultants, operators and owners.

The successful implementation of such projects once again clearly showed how important it is to work with partners who not only have a great deal of experience, but above all detailed knowledge of the local conditions and processes. This is the only way to find tailor-made solutions that work in the end and meet the customers' expectations. And HUBER has impressively succeeded in this in the major Madrid-Butarque project.

Roberto García