Land reuse in Group projects and re-use of excavated earth
In 2018, the network and plant works we completed used almost 170,000 m2 of land, 68% of which was already occupied by existing infrastructure. The Integrated Water Service, which recovered more than 95,000 m2 of soil, is the most significant contribution, in relation to the number of interventions carried out in the period under review.
From the preliminary analyses to the design of works, the Hera Group identifies technical solutions aimed at reusing areas that have already been urbanized and/or preserving the natural context of the land subject to intervention, in line with the objectives of the UN’s 2030 Agenda.
The following are among the main design criteria:
- in the network area: extensions carried out using existing roads and/or urban fabric, improvement of the network layout by upgrading or reclaiming of existing pipelines, laying of new pipelines adjacent to existing services;
- in the plant area: reuse of existing/occupied areas and infrastructures; disposal of infrastructure and restoration/return of the area at the end of its life cycle, use of technological solutions to reduce the overall size of the infrastructure.
During 2018 we completed many projects that involved a significant recovery of soil, among those in the field of purification are certainly noteworthy. These include the upgrade of the Cesena purification plant (20,000 m2), the construction of the head tank of the Riccione purification plant (14,000 m2) and the recovery of the via dell’Ambiente plant in Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO) (5,000 m2).
In the 2019-2022 period we plan to reuse almost 700,000 m2 of land in the design of infrastructure, or 3/4 of the total land involved in new projects.
As regards the protection and conservation of habitats and wild species, the EU issued two regulations, Council Directive 409/79, adopted in April 1979, on the conservation of wild birds (the “Birds Directive”) and Council Directive 43/92, adopted in May 1992, on the conservation of natural habitats and wild flora and fauna (“Habitats Directive”). These directives created a consistent ecological network of protected areas in the European Union, known as Natura 2000.
In the province of Ferrara, the two largest water collection plants, Pontelagoscuro and Stellata, on the Po river, are located within the Special Protection Area called “Fiume Po da Stellata a Mesola e Cavo Napoleonico”. In the province of Ravenna, the Marina di Ravenna treatment plant is located within the EU Conservation Area “Piallassa Piombone” and discharges the treated wastewater into the “Piallassa Baiona” special protection area.
At these two plants, in order to protect biodiversity, Hera Group carries out acute toxicity tests on the purification plants.