Drilling for the environment: so the cycle doesn't collapse

The upgrading of the wastewater treatment plant El Salitre in Bogotá pursues an environmental concept: to reduce the pollution of the Río Bogotá and sensibly reuse the treated water. Liebherr contributes to this project with the the LRB 355 is carrying out the deep foundation work.

 Botero Ingenieros using a LRB 355 for the expansion of El Salitre

Botero Ingenieros using a LRB 355 for the expansion of El Salitre

Even though two-thirds of the earth consists of water, it is necessary to utilise this resource with consideration. The project PTAR Salitre in the Colombian capital of Bogotá is well aware of this responsibility. Through the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant El Salitre it is trying to reduce the contamination of the Río Bogotá through the treatment of wastewater. The river rises to the north of Bogotá and becomes a famous attraction shortly after El Charquito. Here the water spectacularly plunges 150m at the waterfall Salto del Tequendama. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most contaminated rivers in South America.

The population of Bogotá is growing at a rapid pace. One of the reasons is certainly the rural exodus. Approximately 75 per cent of all Colombians now live in towns. This development also means that the infrastructure must be considerably improved. 

The wastewater from about two million inhabitants of north and central Bogotá flows to the wastewater treatment plant El Salitre. Thanks to the improvements, the amount of water treated can be nearly doubled. One of the contractors, the local company Botero Ingenieros, is successfully using the piling and drilling rig LRB 355 from Liebherr for the foundation work.

The LRB 355 is installing 1,879 foundation piles using full displacement drilling equipment. In the course of the whole project, it will drill a total of 62,000m into the deep. The piles have a diameter of 600mm and reach depths between 31 and 36m. Due to the performance of the Liebherr machine, Botero Ingenieros can complete the work in only eight months.

Following treatment in El Salitre, the water flows into the Río Bogotá. After the development is completed, the contamination can be reduced to a level that can be managed by the river itself. Due to the reduced contamination, the water can be sensibly reused in future, e.g. for grazing animals or agricultural purposes.

A fatal collapse in the environmental cycle can be avoided with the sustainable management of valuable resources. That is the responsibility towards future generations: to ensure the blue planet remains blue.