Vitebsk Wastewater Treatment Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation of wastewater treatment facilities in the city of Vitebsk is intended as a pilot project under the Belarus Environmental Infrastructure Framework Facility (BEIFF) with the overall objective to improve the water quality of the Western Dvina (Daugava) River, the Gulf of Riga and the Baltic Sea.

Vitebsk is the fourth largest city in Belarus, located in the north-east approximately 260 kilometres from Minsk and 40 kilometres from the border with Russia. The main supply area of Vitebsk Water Company is the central city – an area of significant industry and where toxic substances from industrial wastewater are a problem. The project will improve the efficiency and quality of wastewater and sludge treatment services in the City, thus improving the quality of the biological treatment and reducing pollution from nutrient discharges, improving the water quality in the Zapadnaya Dvina / Daugava River, the Gulf of Riga and ultimately the Baltic Sea, and improving the quality of the local environment and public health. It is estimated that 1.6 million people downstream along the Zapadnaya Dvina (Daugava) River and the Baltic Sea will benefit from better environmental conditions due to improved surface water quality.

Sludge management will improve, leading to less percolating water in the existing sludge fields and a reduction of ex-filtration of polluted water into the soil and groundwater. The WWTP is facing a problem of high heavy metals content in the influent wastewater from industries that do not have proper pre-treatment in place. If the content of heavy metals is reduced, sludge would be suitable for use in agriculture.

Environmental Benefits

The Priority Investment Programme (PIP) will significantly improve the biological treatment of the wastewater and introduce nutrient removal, thus bringing the quality of treated effluent into compliance with the Belarusian and European Union requirements for urban wastewater treatment (Council Directive 91/271/EEC) and the HELCOM recommendations on phosphorus and nitrogen removal.

Following PIP implementation, pollution loads are expected to reduce substantially as follows: Biological Oxygen Demand BOD5 by 19 per cent or 63 t/a due to the oxygen-demand controlled aeration system and fine bubble perforation of the membranes, total P load by 83 per cent (68 t/a) due to the assembly of a precipitation unit, and NH4 by 93 per cent (183 t/a). The implementation of PIP will also result in an energy saving of 3535 MWh/a corresponding to an annual CO2 emission reduction of about 26 per cent or 1290 t/a.

At a glance

Water and waste treatment
Vitebsk Water Company
Grant agreement signed:
Project status:
Pending signing
Implementing IFI:


National Funds

  • Local Funds
  • €3,000,000

IFI Loans

  • EBRD
  • €12,500,000

NDEP Grant

  • Investment
  • €2,000,000

Other Grants

  • SIDA
  • €2,700,000
  • Finnish TC Funds for PIU/CDP
  • €1,020,000
  • Total
  • €21,220,000


  • Jane Kieran
  • EBRD
  • One Exchange Square
    EC2A 2JN
  • Tel: +44 20 7338 6843
  • Email: