Wastewater treatment for a lead and zinc mine

ClearFox® SBR system for a mine with attached factory

Sewage treatment

Wastewater treatment for a lead and zinc mine

ClearFox® SBR system for a mine with attached factory

Sewage treatment

Project Details

Size 120 PE & 28 PE
Location Iran
Completed 2023

Project Delivery

Features Treatment for direct discharge into the environment
Underground installation
Treatment Modules ClearFox® SBR

Project Results

Before After
COD 1000 mg/l 80 mg/l
BOD 400 mg/l 35 mg/l



In the central desert of Iran, there are numerous lead and zinc mines that extract the valuable metals. One of them – the Mehdiabad lead and zinc complex – is located about 100 km south of the city of Mehdi Abad. A factory is connected to this mine, which processes the mined lead and zinc. However, since there is hardly any water in the desert, it is pumped from there to the mines via a pipeline.

Each day, about 120 PE of wastewater is produced in the worker camp and about 28 PE in the processing factory. Since this is mainly sewage, which is also contaminated with oil and dust, it cannot be discharged into the environment without treatment. For this reason, our partner from Iran requested a ClearFox SBR system to treat the wastewater before discharge. The goal was to reuse the treated wastewater for irrigation.


The challenge of this project was the vastness of the worker camp. As it can often get very hot in Iran, an underground wastewater treatment plant is usually advantageous, which is why only a central wastewater treatment plant came into consideration. The on-site partner therefore had the task of routing the wastewater via a network of pipes to the new central wastewater treatment plant.


For this project, PPU Umwelttechnik GmbH equipped its partner in Iran with two ClearFox® QuickONE+ SBR systems for underground installation. The larger 120 PE system treats wastewater from the worker camp, while the smaller 28 PE system treats wastewater from the factory.

ClearFox® SBR systems treat wastewater in cycles, each consisting of four phases: The first phase is filling and settling of solids. This is followed by aeration, during which the microorganisms are supplied with air. This results in the formation of activated sludge, which breaks down the contaminants in the wastewater. This is followed by another settling phase and clear water removal.

The length and intensity of the individual phases are precisely tailored to the customer’s specific wastewater. In addition, the ClearFox® SBR system is equipped with sensors to counteract any overloading or underloading.

The plant has been operating trouble-free since the beginning of August 2023 and the wastewater is used to irrigate the site, as requested by the customer.

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